The new operator of the Meadowlands Racetrack has reported increases in attendance and live handle for the first quarter of 2012 harness meet.

The management of New Meadowlands Racetrack, LLC, announced Monday that live wagering was up almost 14 percent through the first 35 nights, increasing from $9.3 million in 2011 to $10.6 million in 2012, or roughly $302,000 daily.

All-source wagering also rose slightly, up 5.5 percent to $81 million. Attendance increased 7.4 percent to 83,673, an average of 2,391 fans.

New operator Jeff Gural said good weather has helped the figures, along with.an effort to make trips to the track more enjoyable.

The track also promoted Rob Fitzpatrick to chief financial officer, a position he holds at two other tracks operated by Gural, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)