Jun 5, 2021

Belmont Stakes Day generates record handle for non-Triple Crown year

by Pat McKenna

Saturday's blockbuster Belmont Stakes Day card, highlighted by Essential Quality’s thrilling victory in the 153rd running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, generated all-sources handle of $112,725,278; a NYRA record for a non-Triple Crown year.

The 2021 all-sources handle figure is an increase of more than 10 percent over the previous non-Triple Crown record of $102,163,280, which was set in 2019.

On-track handle for the 13-race Belmont Stakes Day card, which included eight Grade 1 races among nine total stakes, was $7,532,571.

All-sources handle on the 153rd Belmont Stakes, carded as Race 11, was $60,459,330.

All-sources handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which featured 17 stakes and 33 races in total from Thursday through Saturday, June 3-5, was $$141,984,866.

This year marked the return of the Belmont Stakes to its customary spot on the racing calendar and its famed distance of 1 1/2 miles. In 2020, a readjustment to the stakes schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic saw the "Test of the Champion" run without spectators in attendance and as the opening leg of the Triple Crown series for the first time in history.

In accordance with New York State guidelines in effect prior to the event, capacity was restricted throughout Belmont Park and general admission was not offered in 2021. As a result, paid attendance on Belmont Stakes day was 11,238.

The Belmont Park spring/summer meet continues through July 11th. For more information, visit NYRA.com.

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