Updated on 09/17/2011 10:26AM

Derby handle up once again

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All-sources handle on Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs was a record $87,663,663, a 10.8 percent increase over last year.

Total handle on the Derby - and on Churchill's Derby card - has risen for 13 consecutive years, with the figures tripling over that time. In 1989, the last year that Derby handle fell, total betting on the race was $29,840,582.

The popularity of Churchill's entire Derby card has also continued to grow. This year, all-sources handle on the 12-race Saturday card was $140,250,590, up from $123,233,111 in 2002. Churchill carded only 11 races in 2002.

Attendance this year was 148,530, the fifth largest in Derby history and up 2.4 percent compared to last year. The Derby attendance record of 163,628 was set in 1974, the 100th Derby and the last year that Churchill had an expanded capacity in the infield.

The ontrack crowd bet a record $20,583,143, a 6.1 percent increase over the previous record, which was set last year. Ontrack betting on the Derby was $9,079,841, also a record and up 5.2 percent compared to 2002.

Business on the Friday before the Derby, when the Kentucky Oaks was held, was also strong. Attendance was 100,523, the fifth-highest of all time, and total wagering on the 11-race card was $30,895,718, a record. Ontrack betting was also a record at $11,251,063.

Kentucky Business

YearAttendanceHandle*
1994130,594$44,739,018
1995144,110$44,815,488
1996142,668$46,989,250
1997141,981$52,020,485
1998143,215$55,200,187
1999151,051$57,322,739
2000153,204$65,377,042
2001154,210$71,189,142
2002145,033$79,089,887
2003148,530$87,663,663

*-all sources