Breeders' Cup 2004 Sets Total Handle Record

The Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park set several handle records, including an all-sources mark that topped the previous standard by a little more than $200,000.

Total all-sources handle for the 12-race card was $120,863,117, up from the previous record of $120,631,437 established in 2003 at Santa Anita Park. The eight Breeders' Cup races generated total handle of $109,838,668, up from the old record of $108,578,049 set in 2002 at Arlington Park.

A new record was set for total simulcast handle, with $107,536,392 bet on the 12-race card. Simulcast betting accounted for 89% of the total handle.

Among wagering by individual states for all 12 races, Texas led the way with $14,594,711, which includes on-track handle at Lone Star and handle other outlets in the state. California led all simulcast jurisdictions with $12,709,298 in handle, followed by New York with $12,583,903.

At Lone Star, the crowd of 53,717 wagered $13,326,726 on the 12-race program--a Lone Star record--and $11,274,066 on the eight Cup races.

International simulcast handle, including common- and separate-pool wagering, totaled $16,401,782. Canada wagered $4,930,127 in a separate pool. France led all common-pool countries with $2,120,643 wagered on the eight Cup races, and an additional $1,409,666 in separate-pool wagering. International handle represented 13.6% of the total handle.

According to figures provided by Ken Kirchner, senior vice president of product development for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, handle through account wagering--domestic and international--totaled more than $13 million on the 12-race Cup program.

Leading the way was the TV Games Network at $3,229,872, followed by Racing and Gaming Services ($3,184,186), Youbet.com ($2,240,250), AmericaTab ($1,270,081), and XpressBet ($1,018,791). Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns Lone Star, operates Xpressbet.

Of the international outlets, The Racing Network International led the way with $1,085,265 in handle. The U.S. numbers don't include account wagering figures from states such as Pennsylvania and New York, where the money is lumped in with total handle.

"Account wagering clearly is a significant portion of handle, and it, along with international handle, is growing very rapidly," Kirchner said.

NTRA and Breeders' Cup officials believe international handle will grow next year given the fact the 30% withholding tax on foreigners who win money on United States races has been eliminated. The international pari-mutuel market is said to be in the $85-billion range.

The total pool for the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 was $4,566,837, up 1.7% from last year. No one correctly selected all six races, but 61 tickets had five winners good for a payout of $56,149.

"We are delighted with our record-setting wagering performance at this year's Breeders' Cup," D.G. Van Clief Jr., Breeders' Cup president and National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner, said in a release. "Our fans responded positively to this year's wagering opportunities, both on track at Lone Star and off track at sites around the globe."

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