FG Records Fall on Louisiana Derby Day

(from Fair Grounds report)
Louisiana Derby Day at Fair Grounds Race Course Saturday shattered all-sources handle records and the modern on-track handle record.

Racing fans wagered $11,310,990 on the 11-race card, which included the $600,000 Louisiana Derby, the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap, the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (all grade II) and the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap. The four stakes worth $1.5 million in purses combined to form the richest day in Louisiana racing history.

Other records to fall Saturday included all-sources handle for a single race ($2,972,213 for the Louisiana Derby) and the modern mark for on-track handle ($866,466).

"Today was everything we could have possibly hoped for," said Fair Grounds president and general manager Randall Soth. "We had a terrific turnout, perfect weather, and great human and equine talent for our on-track and simulcast customers to enjoy."

The previous all-sources handle record was $9,080,419, set five years ago to the day, when the Louisiana Derby also headlined an 11-race card. That Louisiana Derby, won by Mighty, also set a single-race record of $2.4 million.

The 2004-05 meet has now produced two of the three highest all-sources handle figures in Fair Grounds history. Louisiana Derby Preview Day on Feb. 12 generated $8,454,437 in wagering.

In the modern-day simulcasting era, the previous high for on-track handle was $740,854, also on the 2000 Louisiana Derby card.

Saturday's on-track attendance was 6,672.