Dave Harmon

$144.3 Million Wagered on Breeders' Cup Races

The total handle and attendance both declined from 2011.

Breeders' Cup reported that a total of nearly $144.3 million was wagered on the two-day World Championships Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park, down from the $155.5 million figure a year ago when the event was hosted by Churchill Downs.

Also, the two-day attendance of 89,742 represented a decline from the 105,820 on hand at Churchill in 2011.

Wagering on the 12-race Nov. 3 card was $96,685,567, compared with 2011 handle of $105,472,442 for the second day of the World Championships.

On-track handle for the two days at Santa Anita was $20,680,143, up slightly over the $19,208,111 total for the 2009 event at Santa Anita, the last time the Championships were held at at Southern California racetrack.

"We were witness to two days of amazing athletic performances by the world's best Thoroughbreds with winners from the East, Midwest, South America, Europe and California and seven winners this weekend from our Breeders' Cup Challenge series," said Breeders' Cup president and CEO Craig Fravel in a statement.

"We are gratified by the continued strong interest of racing fans in Southern California and around the world in the Breeders' Cup. We want to thank our guests, all of the breeders, owners, trainers, and jockeys who competed, our hosts at Santa Anita Park, and the entire greater Los Angeles community for another excellent edition of the World Championships."

In a release, Breeders' Cup officials indicated the handle totals were in line with expectations based on the interruption in service from many East coast pari-mutuel outlets affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Breeders' Cup Two-Day Attendance and Handle (common-pool) History:

2012, Santa Anita Park 89,742; $144,272,332
2011, Churchill Downs 105,820; $155,525,947
2010, Churchill Downs 114,353; $163,619,784
2009, Santa Anita Park 96,496; $144,599,205
2008, Santa Anita Park 86,588; $155,474,553