Rain Dampens Oaks Attendance; Handle Up

Rain Dampens Oaks Attendance; Handle Up
Photo: Jeffrey Snyder
These boots were made for...
(from Churchill Downs release)
As the eighth largest crowd in the 133-year history of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) watched post-time favorite Rags to Riches romp to a 4 1/4-length victory over a full field of 14 fillies, Churchill Downs set new records for on-track, off-track and all-sources wagering on a competitive 11-race Oaks Day card, as well as the Kentucky Oaks race itself.

Total wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Oaks race was $10,112,064, a 2.2% increase over the $9,890,141 wagered on the Oaks race by patrons in 2006. On-track wagering on the Kentucky Oaks race totaled $2,968,635 a 5.4% climb over the $2,816,104 wagered one year ago. Off-track wagering on the Oaks race was $7,143,429, a 1% improvement over the 2006 off-track total of $7,074,037.

All sources wagering on the 11-race Kentucky Oaks race card climbed to $33,570,510, a 1.5% jump from the previous all-sources record set in 2006 of $33,076,351. On-track wagering on the entire Oaks card was $12,234,128, an increase of 0.7% from the $12,150,844 wagered by patrons at Churchill Downs during the previous year. Off-track wagering on the Kentucky Oaks card was $21,336,382, a 2.0% hike over the 2006 figure of $20,925,508.

Although steady rains during the early part of the race card kept some general admission fans away, this year’s attendance of 100,075 was the eighth largest in Oaks history. In 2006, 108,065 fans attended the 132 Kentucky Oaks under sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 70s. The 2006 Kentucky Oaks attendance mark was the second highest in the history of the event.

Rags to Riches’ easy 4 1/4-length win in the Kentucky Oaks under jockey Garret Gomez gave trainer Todd Pletcher his second Kentucky Oaks victory in three years. Pletcher won with Ashado in 2004. Co-owners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith earned their first garland of lilies.

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