Total Handle on Oaks Day a Record $45.8M
by Tom LaMarra
Date Posted: 5/4/2013 9:26:54 AM
Last Updated: 5/6/2013 2:35:47 PM

The Oaks crowd set a wagering record.
Photo: Skip Dickstein

Churchill Downs set a record for its May 3 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) program when more than $45.8 million was wagered on a 12-race card.

The total is up 14.7% from $39.9 million in 2012, Churchill officials said. On-track wagering on the full card increased 4.7% to $12.2 million, about $34,000 shy of the record set in 2007.

Pari-mutuel handle on the Oaks itself jumped 21.4% to $14.4 million, while on-track handle was up 19.2% to $3.1 million.

The Oaks, won by King of Prussia Stable's Princess of Sylmar, featured a contentious field of 10. The weather was ideal; clear skies and temperatures around 80 degrees.

Attendance was reported at 113,820, the second-highest in Oaks history.

"We had a beautiful spring day," Churchill president Kevin Flanery said in a statement. "Since last year we have made several improvements to the historic racetrack, which resulted in dramatic new experiences. The Kentucky Oaks racing program now routinely ranks among the top for total wagering and attendance for Thoroughbred racing in the United States each year."

Churchill this year will donate $1 from each May 3 sale of the Oaks Lily, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks, to Horses and Hope, a breast cancer outreach program in Kentucky. The Oaks has raised almost $600,000 for the program the last five years.



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