Belmont Betting Down $34.1 Million from 2019 as Races Run Without Fans in Stands


Al Bello/Getty Images. Pictured: Tiz The Law crosses the finish line in front of no fans

Jun 21, 2020, 09:03 PM EDT

Having no crowd and being the first triple crown race of the year surely hurt the betting volume on the Belmont, as the all-sources handle on Saturday was down 33.6% from last year and 50.8% down from 2018, when Justify won the Triple Crown.

A total of $67.8 million was bet on the races at Belmont Park on Saturday, a far cry from the $102.2 million wagered last year and $137.9 million bet in 2018.

The handle in 2018 was the second largest handle ever for a Belmont Saturday, only surpassed in 2014 ($151.1 million).

This year’s running of the Belmont, which was held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marked the first time that the race was the first leg of the triple crown. It is not known how much of the overall handle each year came from in-person wagering at Belmont Park. The record attendance for the Belmont came in 2004, when more than 120,000 people attended the race.

Total betting on the Belmont Stakes itself this year was $34.1 million, down from $53.2 million last year and $72.7 million in 2018.

The Kentucky Derby, usually the first of the Triple Crown races, will go next on Sept. 5, while the Preakness will come last on Oct. 3.

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