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Chad B. Harmon

Numbers a Mixed Bag for Breeders' Cup 2014

Attendance up, pari-mutuel handle down at host site Santa Anita Park.

Breeders' Cup reported a 4% bump in attendance and a 3% decrease in total pari-mutuel handle for its Nov. 1 program at Santa Anita Park compared with the Saturday card in 2013.

Total pari-mutuel handle of $105,979,291 for 12 races was down from $109,184,432 last year. Officials said the numbers were depressed because two of the undercard races, the Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes and grade III Senator Ken Maddy Stakes, were moved to the turf and impacted by multiple scratches.

Attendance for the second day of the World Championships was reported at 61,114, up from 58,795 in 2013. The two-day attendance of 98,219 was up 4% from 94,628 last year and a record at Santa Anita since the Breeders' Cup was expanded to a two-day event.

Common-pool wagering for Oct. 31-Nov. 1 was $151,158,815, down 6% from $160,704,877 last year at Santa Anita. It was, however, up almost $7 million from 2012, when Santa Anita also hosted the World Championships.

For just the 13 Breeders' Cup races this year, common-pool handle was $128,215,643, down from $136,549,714 on 14 Cup races in 2013. The grade II Breeders' Cup Marathon was discontinued after last year's edition.

Handle figures will increase somewhat when separate-pool wagering from foreign countries is tallied in the coming days.

After three consecutive years in California, Breeders' Cup will move to Keeneland in Kentucky for 2015. It then will return to California at Santa Anita in 2016 and Del Mar in 2017.

"Our Championships once again provided amazing performances and incredible drama, and we congratulate all of the winners," Breeders' Cup president and chief executive officer Craig Fravel said. "We're thrilled with the crowd over both days, strong wagering levels, and our gracious hosts here at Santa Anita, Arcadia, and the greater Los Angeles area."