All-sources handle on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands increased by 4.5 percent versus 2016 including a double-digit increase in separate-pool wagering from Europe and Australia.
Total handle on the 16-race program was $7,287,712 up from the $6.9 million wagered in 2016 on a similar 16-race card. Field size was nearly identical to last year (9.7 versus 9.6) with the Hambletonian attracting 19 entries this year versus 18 entries last year.
Foreign outlets, which wager into separate pools, showed especially strong growth. All international wagering including outlets throughout Europe and Australia topped $1.5 million, an increase of 14 percent from 2016.
“Not only did we see a historic finish to the Hambletonian, we also saw a strong increase in wagering which reflects the continued strength and reach of the Hambletonian and Meadowlands brand amongst horseplayers domestically and internationally,” said Jason M. Settlemoir, Meadowlands GM/COO. “We would like to thank the Hambletonian Society, all of the horsemen, fans, employees, and especially the horseplayers for their support of Hambletonian Day.”
Wagering on the Hambletonian Oaks was also up this year versus last year. Including the two elimination races held a week prior and the final, handle increased an impressive 17.1 percent including a nearly 8 percent increase in the final.
Hambletonian Day is traditionally the highest-handling harness racing program in North America.