Meadowlands Racetrack commenced its 2012 Championship Meet with the highest Kentucky Derby Day attendance and wagering in several years.
Total day and night attendance on Saturday, May 5 was 15,036, the largest Derby Day attendance since 2007 and 1,182 higher than the 2011 crowd of 13,854.
Total wagering in the building was $4,023,848, up nine percent over $3,686,664 in 2011, and the highest for a Derby Day since 2008. Meadowlands guests wagered $1,601,472 on the Kentucky Derby itself, won by I’ll Have Another, an 18 percent increase over 2011. The live handle for the 11-race harness card was $471,284, up one percent despite three fewer races than the previous year.
“It was a great day to be at the races from start to finish,” said Meadowlands Director of Racing Operations Alex Dadoyan. “The building was more crowded and livelier than it had been in a long time. It was good to see a lot of new faces mixed in with our regulars.
“For the last several years, the State was unable to devote resources to aggressively market the Meadowlands Racetrack,” he continued. “Jeff Gural has changed that and is making a significant marketing investment in the Meadowlands. The Talk Derby To Me t-shirt giveaway, food and drink specials, entertainment and increased advertising all helped to create the best day we’ve had at the Meadowlands in four years.”
Racing resumes Friday night at the Meadowlands with a 7 p.m. post time.
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