Abbreviated to 25-days and held without spectators in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Belmont Park’s spring/summer meet closed July 12 after generating approximately $15.5 million in average daily handle from all sources, a 42-percent jump from the 2019 meet.
“We would like to thank the horseplayers for their enthusiastic support of New York racing during this most unusual spring/summer meet,” said New York Racing Association President and CEO Dave O'Rourke. “That we were able to resume racing on June 3, and usher in the return of professional sports in New York, reflects the dedication and professionalism of the racing community during these uncertain and challenging times.”
The opening of Belmont’s spring/summer meet marked the return of professional sports in New York and was conducted with strict health and safety protocols in place.
Despite running 23 fewer days than in 2019, a 48 percent decrease, all sources handle during the spring/summer meet totaled $386,654,955. Average field size over the 248 races carded was 8.61, a 23 percent increase over 2019. Five races were taken off the turf due to weather, and all five came on July 10 with the impact of Tropical Storm Fay.
The June 20 Belmont Stakes Day card, which featured 12 races and six graded stakes, highlighted by Tiz the Law's victory in the 152nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, generated all sources handle of $67,753,336.
Chad Brown notched 23 wins to finish as the leading trainer at the 2020 Belmont spring/summer meet for the fifth consecutive time. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. posted 34 victories to lead all riders. He teamed with Brown for four of his five graded stakes victories of the meet, piloting Newspaperofrecord to both of his graded stakes wins and Instilled Regard to triumphs in both the Grade 3 Intercontinental and Grade 1 Manhattan. Klaravich Stables led all owners with 13 wins, outpacing Michael Dubb, who had 7 victories.
Racing will return to Belmont on Friday, Sept. 11. The summer meet at Saratoga Race Course begins today, July 16 and continues through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Following the four-day opening weekend, live racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays.