Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs

Anne M. Eberhardt

Churchill Meet Handle Nearly $116.7 Million

Total wagering averaged nearly $5.6 million during 21-day stand.

Wagering during the 21-day Churchill Downs fall meet, highlighted by Shackleford's career finale in the Clark Handicap (gr. I), totaled nearly $116.7 million, according to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Churchill Downs Inc.'s corporate policy is not to release wagering and attendance figures for its tracks, except on major race days and night racing.

The track, however,does report handle statistics to the KHRC, and those figures obtained upon request from the regulatory agency show a total of $116,697,792 wagered for a daily average of $5,557,037 for the fall 2012 meet.

Direct comparisons of handle with the corresponding meet in 2011 are difficult because that 20-day stand included two days of the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Excluding the $155.5 million wagered on Breeders' Cup event days, Churchill's 2011 wagering totaled $106,651,648 for an 18-day average of $5,925,091, according to KHRC records.

Churchill previously announced purses paid out during the season totaled $8,893,694, an average of $423,513 daily. The purse total in the fall of 2011 was $8,331,752 with a daily average of $438,513. A total of 2,104 horses competed in 219 races for an average field of 9.61 horses-per-race, up from the 2011 fall meet size of 9.38.

"Our fall meet is always a fast-moving treasure, and our 21 days of racing were packed with wonderful performances on the track by horses and humans, another testament from fans to the allure of 'Downs After Dark' night racing, (and) a high quality daily racing product... " said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs, said in a statement. "It was a satisfying meet on many levels as we continue to navigate a challenging competitive environment."