05/06/2012 9:40AM

Churchill Downs: All-sources Kentucky Derby handle sets record at $133.1 million

Barbara D. Livingston
I'll Have Another (left) runs past Bodemeister to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby in front of a record crowd of 165,307.

All-sources wagering on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby established a new record and was a significant increase over betting on the race last year, according to figures released by Churchill Downs late Saturday.

The preliminary all-sources handle figure for the Derby, as reported by Churchill, was $133.1 million, an 18.8 percent increase over last year’s handle and a 12.4 percent increase over the previous high mark. This year’s Derby had 20 horses, compared to 19 last year, but more significantly, this year’s field did not include a standout that focused bettors’ attention on one or two horses.

All-sources handle for the entire 13-race card also established a record at $187 million, up 13.2 percent from last year’s total of $165.2 million. The all-sources handle figure dwarfs any other single-day wagering number for a racing card, including the Saturday Breeders’ Cup card at Churchill last November, in which handle was $97.6 million.

The spike in the figures stands out against a brief decline in Derby wagering figures that accompanied a much larger drop in betting figures on Thoroughbred racing nationwide. Handle on Thoroughbred races has declined markedly over the past three years, and Derby figures have seesawed between marginal declines and insignificant upticks for five years.

Ontrack, attendance was 165,307, as reported by Churchill, a record. The previous record was reported last year, at 164,858. Churchill does not announce attendance figures except on Derby Day and the day preceding the Derby.

Betting ontrack for the Derby was $12.3 million, according to Churchill, a rise of 7.1 percent. That figure also was a record, breaking the previous mark of $12.1 million, set in 2008. Total wagering ontrack for the 13-race card was $23.7 million, an increase of 1.3 percent, Churchill said.

earl More than 1 year ago
Here is some worldwide real numbers comparison All in US Numbers Sha tin in hong kong has an 83 day meeting with a 128 million average DAILY handle The record daily handle average for a meeting at Saratoga is 3.1 million The Japan Cup race handle hits around 150-180 million every year Melbourne Cup has attendance on par with the Kentucky Derby of 100-120 every year but they cap their attendance and dont have unlimited general admission ticket sales like Churchill Dubai world cup 80k attendance with no betting options offered In 1843 The richest race in the world up to that point was the peyton stakes ran in Nashville, Tennessee
Tony Ruiz More than 1 year ago
how is it possible that the derby is only $2million?... owners pay $25k to enter and another $25k to start...so thats a 1 million...and Yums pays 1million to advertise. so what does churchill pay? NOTHING...DERBY SHOULD BE THE RICHIEST RACE IN THE US!
earl More than 1 year ago
The Breeders Cup Classic with proven horses should always be the richest race in the US and should aim to be the richest race in the US. Maybe in addition to the 5 million bonus for the Triple Crown. There should be a 5 million bonus for winning Derby/BC Classic in the same year
Kevin More than 1 year ago
Perhaps racing should scale down in volume and focus on quality. Doing away with year round racing and having an actual "racing season", like any other sport might also help.
raymond More than 1 year ago
Racing ia alive and well around the world. Thoroughbred venues do need some uplifting. First and foremost is that some of the buildings are in need of repair and many are far behind on technology. This is the information world and we need more info. Racetracks should provide info concerning the change of equipment, such as different types of blinkers, whether a horse has had bandages in front or back in previous races, types of bits used in previous races, amount of medication being administered. It seems to me that their is much missing that can be offered in these areas. As for the PR, well that is the expertise of the managment team and their efforts to make their place a more relaxing and exciting day, take a page frrom some of the racinos and casinos, more give-aways and chances to win items such as items that would attract people to visit for a chance. Also free replays of races online. Giving some thought to what it would mean for the handle. After all this is a product like none other, the excitement of a thrilling stretch run. Come on and lets start working on updating this great and wonderful product that people all around the world love.
earl More than 1 year ago
I dont think people in the US and US horse racing media realize the worldwide popularity of this sport,,, The Melbourne Cup-Dubai Cup-Japan Cup, although i dont have figures to back this up, I tend to think they outdraw the Kentucky Derby in attendance. I'd love to know the handle of a meeting at Sha tin in Hong Kong, I'd bet it leaves Churchill downs in the dust
earl More than 1 year ago
This is what i dont about horse racing All time record Derby Attendance, Handle,,but most importantly The coverage of the kentucky derby on every major media outlet, newspaper, cable news,etc A huge celebrity and powerful people following to the Derby and horse racing yet all the time,,,Its horse racing is dead, dying,,etc,,,its been around since 1880s for K Derby,,before that it was alive and well in Tenneesee in USA and in the world for 500 years about. Yet,,Its so trendy the rest of the year for everyone to comment on Horse Racing dying off. Is it me or do you think horse racing is regaining some popularity as people are tiring of overpaid people playing sports who dont care about winning as much as cashing their paycheck. Its almost refreshing when watching horse racing to realize the horse isn't corrupted and driven by money. The horse is just doing basically what they do in the wild with a human tweak to it obviously. I'll watch horse racing over the Lebron James, Raffi Torres, any day of the week Overpaid athletes are the next bubble and horse racing will be continue on being awesome for a long long time
earl More than 1 year ago
** this is what i dont get about horse racing
Brett Amand More than 1 year ago
Awesome.... Excitinbg 1 Race in the World.... See Interest in Horse Racing is ALIVE and Well.. We just Need other racetracks to Figure out How to Draw Large Crowds... GULFSTREAM Pk.. has Accomplished that with TIM RITVO a True Horseman... They have had 2011-2012 Records Set as Well.. I only Dream for the day we have NITE RACING in South Fla.... Also Another thing is that RACETRACKS should have a FOOD COURT like you See in SHOPPING MALLS.. and Like COSTCO... OFFER CHEAP FOOD Items LIKE a "HOTDOG"" for a a $1-Dollar... they Would SELL a ZILLION of them.. LOL....
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
So - - - You wanna go to the Mall or to the Races? Visit Saratoga before it's too late. Visit MonmouthPark before it's too late. These classy old joints are disappearing.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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chad mc rory More than 1 year ago