Chad Harmon

Friday Breeders' Cup Crowd, Handle Decline

Attendance Nov. 2 totaled 34,619 and handle exceeded $47.5 million.

Attendance of 34,619 at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2 for the first day of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships represented a 14.7% decline when compared with the first day at Churchill Downs a year ago.

The figure was a slight decline from the 2009 Friday attendance at Santa Anita of 37,651, but up from the 2008 figure of 31,257.

Total common-pool handle for Friday's 10-race card was $47,586,765, compared with $50,053,505 bet last year on Championship Friday at Churchill Downs (a 5% decline) and $48,439,438 bet on the 2009 Friday card at Santa Anita.

Ontrack handle at Santa Anita Nov. 2 was $7,298,174, compared with $7,097,789 in 2009 (a 2.82% increase).

"We're off to an encouraging start with great performances on the track, including Royal Delta's brilliant repeat in the Ladies' Classic, and strong business results. We're looking forward to picking up where we left off on Saturday," said Breeders' Cup president and CEO Craig Fravel.

"Considering the effects of Hurricane Sandy and difficult circumstances for much of the East Coast, to be within 5% of last year's total handle is a success," said Ken Kirchner, Breeders' Cup senior wagering consultant.

Friday's betting action was highlighted by a $773,865 single winning ticket in the Pick 6. There were 52 consolation 5-of-6 tickets that paid $6,378.00.

Friday Attendance history:
2012, Santa Anita 34,619
2011, Churchill Downs 40,677
2010, Churchill Downs 41,614
2009, Santa Anita 37,651
2008, Santa Anita 31,257