ELMONT, N.Y. – A crowd of 7,921 wagered $1,036,894 Friday afternoon at Belmont’s “Party at the Park,” marking the Spring/Summer Meet’s twilight racing card a resounding success.

An additional $370,293 was wagered at Belmont on incoming simulcasts, bringing the total on-track handle to $1,407,187, compared to $962,375 for June 19, 2009, the corresponding “Party at the Park” date on last year’s calendar, a 46 percent increase.

Friday’s all-sources handle, which includes all wagers made on Belmont Park races, was $7,765,628, a 19 percent increase over last year’s all-sources total of $6,544,205.

With a first-race post time of 3 p.m., food and drink specials all afternoon, and sunny, breezy weather with temperatures in the low 80s, the Belmont Park backyard proved an idyllic setting for fans taking in Friday’s nine-race program. At the conclusion of live racing, the night came alive in the Festival Tent with the fabulous sounds of “Big Shot,” the popular tribute band featuring the songs of Long Island’s own Billy Joel.

“We are delighted that so many fans were able to come out and enjoy the fine combination of thoroughbred racing and live entertainment at beautiful Belmont Park,” said Charlie Hayward, President and CEO of The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).