Derby Wagering Sets Records; First Race to Have $100-Million Handle

Edited press release
On-track and off-track wagering records were shattered at Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) as the Derby become the first individual race in U.S. racing to attract total betting of more than $100 million.

A crowd of 156,435 -- the second largest in Derby history -- saw Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss' homebred Giacomo win America's greatest race at odds of 50-1. On-track betting on the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby totaled $10,055,508 and off-track wagering soared to $93,270,002. The combined Kentucky Derby betting total of $103,325,518 marked the first time that more than $100 million had been wagered on a single race at a North American track.

Total betting from all sources on the track's 12-race Derby Day program totaled $155,133,631, which established a North American record for a single racing program. This year's total reflected an increase of nearly 9% from the previous record of $142,848,289 recorded in 2004.

The Derby Day crowd at Churchill Downs wagered $22,117,166 on the 12-race program, an increase of nearly 15% from last year's on-track total of $19,246,210. The previous on-track record of $20,639,221 in Derby Day betting was established in 2003.

Off-track wagering on the complete Churchill Downs program rose to a record $133,016,465, which was a gain of nearly 8% from the previous record total of $123,602,079 established in 2004.

One day earlier, the track established new marks for attendance and on-track wagering for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The renewals of Churchill Downs' signature races were the first since the historic track completed its $121 million renovation in April.

A crowd of 111,243 attended Friday's 11-race Kentucky Oaks Day card, which topped the previous record of 106,156 established in 2000. The Oaks Day attendance was an increase of 13% from last year's attendance total of 98,445 and it marked the sixth time in seven years that attendance for the event topped 100,000.

On-track wagering for Oaks Day totaled $12,065,134, which eclipsed the previous mark of $11,251,063 set in 2003. The total betting for the day rose 9.4% over last year's total of $11,015,102. Wagering from all-sources on Oaks Day was $31,159,328, a slight decline of 1.3% from last year's total of $31,570,827.

Combined attendance for this year's Kentucky Derby and Oaks programs was 267,678. The previous high for the two days of racing was 259,360 in 2000.



Attendance : 156,435/140,054/11.7%
On-Track Wagering (Derby Race): $10,055,508 /$9,488,539/6.0%
On-Track Wagering (Derby Day): $22,117,166 /$19,246,210/ 14.9%

Off-Track Wagering (Derby Race): $93,270,002/$89,875,549/3.8%
Off-Track Wagering (Derby Day): $133,016,465/$123,602,079/7.6%

Total (All Sources - Derby Race): $103,325,510/$99,364,088/4.0%
Total (All Sources - Derby Day): $155,133,631/$142,848,289/8.6%