Friday, September 8, 2023

All of the numbers are in, and betting on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 5) at The Meadowlands was huge, to say the least, coming close to the all-time record.

All-source wagering on the 16-race program totaled $8,759,100, when you add the North American total of $7,805,789 to the European action, which was $631,091 from PMU (Pari Mutuel Urbain of France) and $322,220 from the Scandinavian entity ATG.

PMU and ATG are the two of the largest tote systems in Europe.

Only twice in history has more been bet on harness racing’s biggest day, the $8.81 million put in play in 2002, and the only time betting busted the $9-million barrier, when $9.01 million was pushed through the windows in 2005.

“The Meadowlands and the (Hambletonian) Society have worked hard to incorporate foreign betting into Hambletonian Day and the handle came back with a bang this year,” said Hambletonian Society Chief Operating Officer Moira Fanning, “and we got all of the indicators we like to see for a successful event. The sponsors on the day and the USTA (United States Trotting Association) support of Fox and the CBS Sports Network help make Hambletonian Day an enormous success.”

“A lot of things went our way on Hambletonian Day this year but it took many entities doing what they do well to make it happen,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “The on-track crowd betting over $900,000, the national television exposure we got from being shown on Fox Sports, the TV crew both at The Meadowlands and the New York Racing Association, the efforts of the Hambletonian Society, and, of course, our horsemen, who put on a spectacular show, all added up to a great day at the races. And it showed at the betting windows.”