The phenomenal success of the recently-concluded 144th meet at Saratoga Race Course begins, but does not end with a review of gains in handle and attendance. Daily average attendance for the meet (22,526) was up 0.8 percent from 2011. Total attendance (901,033) was up 3.4 percent. Numbers increased in all categories of wagering, with all-sources handle up 11.8 percent.
Purse hikes and incentive increases made possible by VLT revenue from Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct are rapidly turning New York into a national epicenter for racing and breeding. The first beneficiaries are New York State and the racetrack operator, but the benefits extend to all stakeholders: breeders, owners, horsemen, local communities, the State and the tens of thousands of New Yorkers employed by the racing and breeding industries.
Individuals from all over the country are coming to New York to buy and breed New York-breds. Total sales at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale in August increased by 28.3% over 2011, the average yearling price was up 15.3% and the median was up 42.9%. Upwards of 500 new mares came into New York to foal this year, and preliminary reports indicate a 40% increase in the 2012 foal crop.
New York Thoroughbred Breeders President Barry R. Ostrager said, “Because of what Resorts World and the State are doing to help boost the thoroughbred industry, the summer Saratoga meet was an unparalleled success. Even more important, as NYRA attracts the best horses and horsemen to race at its tracks, New York-breds are in demand in the marketplace, farms are reopening across the State and new stallions are coming in. After ten years of waiting, our breeding and racing program is finally getting a chance to live up to its potential.”