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Kentucky Derby Sets New Betting, Attendance Records, While Oaks Continues To Grow

Kentucky Derby Sets New Betting, Attendance Records, While Oaks Continues To Grow

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This year's Kentucky Derby set an attendance record with 165,307
All-sources wagering on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs “established a new record and was a significant increase over betting on the race last year,” according to Matt Hegarty of the DAILY RACING FORM. Figures from Churchill show the preliminary all-sources handle figure for the Derby was $133.1M, an 18.8% increase over last year’s handle and a 12.4% increase over the "previous high mark.” All-sources handle for the 13-race card was also a record at $187M, up 13.2% from $165.2M last year (DRF.com, 5/6). In Louisville, Jennie Rees reported attendance at Churchill Downs on Saturday “set a Derby record at 165,307” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/7). DAILY RACING FORM’s Hegarty reported all-sources handle on the 12-race Kentucky Oaks card on Friday “was a record and up 6.5 percent over last year’s total.” Coupled with attendance of “112,522 -- the second-highest figure of all time for Oaks day, and roughly 47,000 more people than attended the Saturday Breeders’ Cup card at Churchill last November -- the growth in Oaks day business underscores the efforts by Churchill Downs to leverage the Derby and its surrounding events.” Churchill said that total wagering on the Oaks card was $39.9M, a $2.4M increase over handle of $37.5M for last year’s record-setting Oaks day. Hegarty noted ontrack wagering for the Oaks, however, “did not fare as well,” as the total for the card was $11.6M, down 3.6% (DRF.com, 5/5).

NOT SO GOOD NEWS: In Louisville, Green & Sullivan report police believe a “man was murdered” at Churchill Downs after the Derby. Louisville Metro Police Media & PR Specialist Alicia Smiley said that a man’s body “was discovered in barn No. 8 by a track security officer shortly before 5 a.m.” on Sunday. The cause and manner of death “won’t be known until today at the earliest,” but he was identified as a groom for a trainer at the track. Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Jo-Ann Farmer said that the man’s “19-year-old son, who also works at Churchill, identified his father” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/7).

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