Meadowlands Racetrack capped its 2012 harness meet with a spectacular display of stakes races and events that drew increases in attendance and handle over the previous year. Night-time attendance on Friday (August 17) was 4,014 vs. 3,941 for the 2011 finale, which was raced on a Saturday. Live wagering was $424,227 vs. $396,719 in 2011, while the Meadowlands total handle was $2,479,596 for the 12-race card vs. $2,171,319 wagered on 10 races in 2011.
The summer finale marked a positive end to the track's first season under private management by Jeff Gural's New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC. Overall, live attendance for the meet was up 6.6 percent, while on-track wagering was up 8 percent. Export handle (the amount wagered on the Meadowlands by other outlets) was up 1.7 percent. Total Meadowlands handle (all sources) was up 2.5 percent.
"We were pleased with the live meet,” said General Manager Michael Newlin. "Our numbers show that we got some new people in the door and they wagered on our live product.”
Yannick Gingras clinched his first career driving title on the final night of racing with 125 victories for the meet. Gingras, who also won his first Meadowlands Pace with A Rocknroll Dance, bested earnings leader Tim Tetrick ($3.4 million) by two wins.
Ron Burke ran away with his first Meadowlands training title, harnessing 64 winners over the season. Newly inducted Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter led all trainers in earnings with $1.9 million in purses won. (Meadowlands)