The spring meet featured just 20 live racing dates, 11 fewer than a year ago. When comparing the 41 days of the stand (20 live and 21 simulcast) with 2008, the average daily handle rose from $6.293 million to $6.854 million.
Increased wagering for the May 16 card headlined by Preakness Stakes was the reason for the higher totals. Wagering on the 13-race card finished at more than $86.6 million, the fifth largest in the 134-year history of the event, up 18 percent from a year ago. Nearly $60 million was bet on the Preakness itself as filly Rachel Alexandra defeated 12 colts and geldings. The race drew 10.9 million viewers on NBC, up 38 percent from 2008.