Numbers are via the NYRA media guide. Inflation calculations via Tom's Inflation Calculator using the Consumer Price Index setting.



Record breaking numbers for Saratoga Race Course 2015 season

saratoga race course entrance statue jockey

At some point large numbers just become... numbers. You know, how often do we ever encounter a million of anything? So, it's easy to see some large figure quoted in a news story and just be like... yeah, sure, whatever.

We were thinking about that today while looking over the numbers for the Saratoga Race Course season that ended Monday. Because it involved some very big numbers.

NYRA reported that the "handle" for this year's season -- that is, the amount of money bet on races -- was $648,272,805, a record. (The previous record was $590,187,876, set in 2012.)

Think about that for a second. That's more than half a billion of dollars that people, both here and elsewhere, put down on horse races over the season's 40 days in Saratoga Springs. When you take a second to think about the total, it's kind of astounding. (By the way: NYRA says almost $50 million was bet on Travers Day races this year.)

Paid attendance for this year's meet was also high: 1,065,625. That's a new seasonal record total, though it comes with an asterisk. The old record -- 1,049,309 -- was set in 2003, the season for which only had 36 days.

Here are a few quick tables and charts with some more recent context for this year's Track numbers...

Chartage is above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

Earlier on AOA: American Pharoah? Really? Please explain.


Of all the years for Tom Durkin to have retired before, it had to be the record breaking, American Pharaoh/Triple Crown winner-visiting, 2015 season.


PS. That said, the new guy does not seem to be a slouch. Just a little less personal flair, IMO.

Does anybody talk about the 11 horses that died at the track this year?

Well, you do.

How much of that $648,272,805 is returned to the bettors as winnings and how much is taken by NYRA?

Does anyone talk about the amount of litter and garbage people leave behind in the picnic area and lawn seats? People are fricking pigs.

Well, Tom, you do.

NYRA's take out is about 17%, depending on the type of bet (win, place, show, extacta, trifecta, superfecta, pick 3, pick 4, pick 6, grand slam, etc)

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