Blessed by near perfect weather, NYRA has to be very happy with the weekend 2 results at Saratoga.
74,649 fans walked through the Saratoga gates Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a nice healthy number, especially considering this was a "non-spinner" weekend as there was no giveaway day on Sunday. Monmouth Park had 58,175 fans over the same 3 days.
Monmouth was a big winner on Sunday with 40,904 fans coming to see the Haskell, but the Spa still drew 22,190 on Sunday and almost drew even with on track handle ($3,270,939 at Monmouth vs $3,152,520 for Saratoga).
On Saturday it was no contest as Saratoga had 28,682 fans with $4,682,285 in track handle compared to only 9,890 fans and $720,090 in on track handle at Monmouth. I guess it was so nice, everyone in Jersey just stayed at the Shore.
Friday was a big success for Saratoga as 23,777 fans came out for Twilight racing with an on track handle of $2,762,008. Monmouth on Friday drew 7,381 fans with $622,391 in on track handle.
NYRA heavily promoted the Friday Twilight card as "Party at the Spa" with tons of signs throughout the track and ads in the local media. They had a band, The Sean Dolan Band, playing after the last race outside the Clubhouse gates. I don't know if they are any good, but Ernie Munick said they are, and that's good enough for me. Plus Ernie himself was there playing in the backyard on Friday.
With such nice weather, the fans showed up all weekend and with the oppressive humidity of week one gone, everyone I bumped into over the weekend seemed happy. I also had my first Shake Shack Shake, a black and white Shake, on Saturday. After drawing a goose egg all day Saturday at the betting windows, the $13.00 for 2 Shakes, (one for the better half) was the best bet I made all day.