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Record Breaking Belmont Stakes

The backyard at Belmont was already very full at 11am.

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Date: 06/08/02

Courtesy of NYRA

A record Belmont Park crowd of 103,222 witnessed the biggest upset in Belmont Stakes history as Sarava, at odds of 70-1, upset War Emblem's Triple Crown bid and returned a record $142.50 to win for every $2 wager. Belmont Park handle records, notwithstanding last year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, were crushed in every category.

The previous Belmont Park attendance record was established in 1999 when Charismatic finished third in his bid to complete the Triple Crown sweep before a gathering of 85,818.

On-track handle of $12,045,114 broke the previous mark of $10,581,093 established in last year's Belmont. A new Belmont Stakes day commingled handle record of $90,703,830 smashed the previous record $68,323,600 set last year. The total handle from all sources was $95,423,752, easily surpassing the previous Belmont Stakes day record of $74,133,188 in 1999.

"Today's crowd has to be one of the highest for any sporting event in New York," said NYRA President and COO Terry Meyocks. "The dedicated work of NYRA staff and the Belmont Stakes Festival committees, which includes both local communities and the state, has really been beneficial in the continued growth of this event. The Nassau County and New York City Police should be congratulated for an outstanding job and the crowd was sensational."

Handle on the Belmont Stakes established a new single-race record for both on-track and total handle. The on-track figure of $3,753,983 broke the previous mark of $3,143,508 set in 1999, while the total commingled handle of $51,292,575 crushed the 1999 record of $36,333,231.

The single-day handle records, all established last year when Belmont Park hosted the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, remain unchanged. They are: $13,087,814 for on-track handle, $98,757,581 for commingled handle and $103,257,457 for all-sources handle.

The crowd is wall to wall in the stands during the True North Handicap, the first graded stakes on the card. If you would like a copy of this picture for wallpaper on your computer, here.

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