As a near-record crowd, which included royal visitors Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, watched James Tafel’s Street Sense power home to win Churchill Downs’ 133rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands by 2 1/4 lengths, the total on-track and all-sources wagering on the “Run for the Roses” nearly matched the record levels set one year ago.
Attendance of 156,635 was the third largest in Derby history. It trailed only the crowd of 163,628 that saw Cannonade with the 100th Derby in 1974 and the 157,536 racing fans that watched Barbaro’s commanding victory in 2006. It also marked the sixth time in nine years that Kentucky Derby Day attendance has topped 150,000.
Total wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby race, which includes on-track and off-track wagers, was $118,317,714, a dip of only 0.1% from the record-smashing 2006 all-sources total of $118,426,874. On-track wagering for America’s greatest race totaled $12,076,490, nearly even with the $12,075,504 wagered on the Kentucky Derby race in 2006. Off-track wagering on the Kentucky Derby race was $106,241,224, off only 0.1% from the $106,351,370 wagered by fans through simulcast-wagering centers and account-wagering services around the country.
Total wagering from all sources on the 12-race Kentucky Derby Day card at Churchill Downs was $168,018,982, a decline of 4.1% from $175,129,090 wagered on the 12-race program in 2006. On-track wagering on the Kentucky Derby Day card was $24,065,098, down 1.6% from the $24,463,927 wagered by on-track fans one year ago. Off-track wagering on the Derby Day program was $143,953,884, down 4.5% from the record $150,665,163 wagered by fans around the country in 2006.
Steve Sexton, Churchill Downs president, said off-track wagering totals were affected by small field sizes for three of the day’s stakes races.
"While we believe that short fields in two of our Derby Day stakes races, as well as our first race of the day, did cause the slight decline in off-track wagering, the exceptional racing throughout the day and storybook ending for the connections of Street Sense certainly made Kentucky Derby 133 one to remember,” he said.