A crowd of 34,619 was on hand at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on Friday for the first day of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships. The attendance figure was a slight decline over the 2009 Friday attendance at Santa Anita of 37,651, but up from the 2008 figure of 31,257.
"We're off to an encouraging start with great performances on the track, including Royal Delta's brilliant repeat in the Ladies' Classic, and strong business results. We're looking forward to picking up where we left off on Saturday," Breeders' Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel said.
Total common-pool handle for Friday's 10-race card was $47,586,765 vs. $50,053,505 bet last year on Championship Friday at Churchill Downs (a 5 percent decline) and $48,439,438 bet on the 2009 Friday card at Santa Anita.
On-track handle at Santa Anita on Friday was $7,298,174 vs. $7,097,789 here in 2009 (a 2.82 percent increase).
"Considering the effects of Hurricane Sandy and difficult circumstances for much of the East Coast, to be within 5 percent of last year's total handle is a success," Breeders' Cup Senior Wagering Consultant Ken Kirchner said.
Friday's betting action was highlighted by a $773,865 single winning ticket in the Pick 6. There were 52 consolation five-of-six tickets that paid $6,378.
There will be a $2 million guaranteed Ultra Pick 6 pool on Saturday.
Friday Attendance history: