Breeders' Cup two-day handle, attendance off from past three runnings

The total two-day common-pool handle for the Friday and Saturday race cards of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park was $144,272,332, Breeders' Cup announced Saturday.

Wagering on Saturday's 12-race Breeders' Cup card was $96,685,567, a slight decline from the 2011 handle of $105,472,442 when the event was held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The on-track handle for the two days at Santa Anita was $20,680,143, a slight increase over the $19,208,111 total for the 2009 event at Santa Anita, the last time the Championships were held at the iconic Southern California racetrack. 

Breeders' Cup officials indicated that 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.

A crowd of 55,123 was on hand Saturday for the second day of the Breeders' Cup, bringing the two-day total attendance to 89,742.

"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," Breeders' Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel said.

The nine Breeders' Cup winners Saturday came from across the country as well as from Ireland. Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, Filly & Mare Sprint queen Groupie Doll, Mile hero Wise Dan and Turf victor Little Mike are all based in Kentucky; Sprint star Trinniberg is based in South Florida; Juvenile scorer Shanghai Bobby and Dirt Mile upsetter Tapizar last raced in New York; and Turf Sprint vixen Mizdirection is based in California.

Juvenile Turf winner George Vancouver was part of the Irish-based contingent of trainer Aidan O'Brien.

"We are gratified by the continued strong interest of racing fans in Southern California and around the world in the Breeders' Cup," Fravel added. "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."

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

2012   Santa Anita Park   89,742   $144,272,332
2011   Churchill Downs   105,820   $161,512,867
2010   Churchill Downs   114,353   $173,857,697
2009   Santa Anita Park   96,496   $153,271,176
2008   Santa Anita Park   86,588   $155,740,328

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