Derby Wagering Sets Records; First Race to Have $100-Million Handle

Edited press release
On-track and off-track wagering records were shattered at Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) as the Derby become the first individual race in U.S. racing to attract total betting of more than $100 million.

A crowd of 156,435 -- the second largest in Derby history -- saw Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss' homebred Giacomo win America's greatest race at odds of 50-1. On-track betting on the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby totaled $10,055,508 and off-track wagering soared to $93,270,002. The combined Kentucky Derby betting total of $103,325,518 marked the first time that more than $100 million had been wagered on a single race at a North American track.

Total betting from all sources on the track's 12-race Derby Day program totaled $155,133,631, which established a North American record for a single racing program. This year's total reflected an increase of nearly 9% from the previous record of $142,848,289 recorded in 2004.

The Derby Day crowd at Churchill Downs wagered $22,117,166 on the 12-race program, an increase of nearly 15% from last year's on-track total of $19,246,210. The previous on-track record of $20,639,221 in Derby Day betting was established in 2003.

Off-track wagering on the complete Churchill Downs program rose to a record $133,016,465, which was a gain of nearly 8% from the previous record total of $123,602,079 established in 2004.

One day earlier, the track established new marks for attendance and on-track wagering for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The renewals of Churchill Downs' signature races were the first since the historic track completed its $121 million renovation in April.

A crowd of 111,243 attended Friday's 11-race Kentucky Oaks Day card, which topped the previous record of 106,156 established in 2000. The Oaks Day attendance was an increase of 13% from last year's attendance total of 98,445 and it marked the sixth time in seven years that attendance for the event topped 100,000.

On-track wagering for Oaks Day totaled $12,065,134, which eclipsed the previous mark of $11,251,063 set in 2003. The total betting for the day rose 9.4% over last year's total of $11,015,102. Wagering from all-sources on Oaks Day was $31,159,328, a slight decline of 1.3% from last year's total of $31,570,827.

Combined attendance for this year's Kentucky Derby and Oaks programs was 267,678. The previous high for the two days of racing was 259,360 in 2000.

KENTUCKY DERBY 131 ATTENDANCE AND WAGERING

2005/2004/Change

Attendance : 156,435/140,054/11.7%
On-Track Wagering (Derby Race): $10,055,508 /$9,488,539/6.0%
On-Track Wagering (Derby Day): $22,117,166 /$19,246,210/ 14.9%

Off-Track Wagering (Derby Race): $93,270,002/$89,875,549/3.8%
Off-Track Wagering (Derby Day): $133,016,465/$123,602,079/7.6%

Total (All Sources - Derby Race): $103,325,510/$99,364,088/4.0%
Total (All Sources - Derby Day): $155,133,631/$142,848,289/8.6%

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