2017 betting: The Maryland Jockey Club announced that total handle on races at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2017 exceeded $600 million for the first time since 2008. Total handle was $627.3 million compared to $560.1 million in 2016 while average handle was $3.3 million, up from $3.091 million in 2016. There was also a significant increase from in-state handle, from $408.6 million to $442.1 million. Wagering on racing at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course has been up year-over-year since 2015 and is up $216 million since 2014. The Preakness Stakes – the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown – set all-time records for its 142nd running May 20 when a record crowd of 140,327 fans wagered a record $97,168,658, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year. The Black-Eyed Susan Day May 19 drew a record crowd of 50,339 that wagered a record $19.89 million, a 6 percent increase over the previous year. The 32nd anniversary of Maryland Million Day attracted a festive crowd of 22,682, an increase of 4.4 percent over last year, while in-state handle on the program was up 2.8 percent over the previous year.