Total Handle on Breeders' Cup Card Up 2.5%

All-sources handle on the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park was a record $124,009,593, up 2.5% from the $120,897,141 wagered last year when the event was held at Lone Star Park.

Though Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association set a goal of 9% handle growth for the Cup each year through 2010, officials indicated they were satisfied with the numbers given the circumstances. There were 10 races on the Cup card this year versus 12 last year, and several secondary pari-mutuel operations weren't allowed to take the signal this year; those sources produced about $13 million in handle last year.

In addition, business was expected to be down in hurricane-ravaged regions of Florida and Louisiana.

Another record was established for total simulcast handle--$109,267,073 for the 10-race card. Last year, the figure was $107, 536,392 for 12 races.

New York had the highest total handle of any jurisdiction with $27,089,711. California led all simulcast jurisdictions with $14,668,783 in wagers.

For the first time, all wagers from Canada were included in the common pool. Total Canadian wagering was $5,383,588, up from $4,930,127 in a separate pool.

International simulcast handle (not including Canada) this year totaled $11,129,292, down a bit from $11,471,655 last year. France led all common-pool countries with $2,089,003 in wagers on the eight Cup races, and $1,336,932 in separate-pool wagering. International handle from 20 countries made up 9% of total handle, down from 13.6% last year.

The eight Cup races produced record handle of $116,465,923, up 6% from the previous record of $109,838,668 in 2004.

The total pool for the Dodge Ram Mega Cab Pick 6 was $4,586,700, up slightly from $4,566,837 last year. No one correctly selected all six races. There were 40 tickets containing five winners with a payout of $90,325.

Pick 4 handle was way up this year. The pool for the wager on the first four Cup races was $1,770,023, up 72% from last year. The pool on the second set of Cup races was $2,280,681, up 55%.

The number of starters in the eight events this year was 100, the third highest ever and the highest since 103 at Churchill Downs in 2000. NTRA officials said field size and the depth of each field were key to the handle growth this year.

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