10/31/2014 7:56PM

Handle declines on Friday Breeders' Cup races

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Overall handle on the four Breeders’ Cup races held Friday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., was $28.2 million, compared with handle of $34.9 million on five Friday Breeders’ Cup races held at the same track last year, according to charts of the races.

Though the total Friday handle on Breeders’ Cup races was down 19.3 percent, handle was only down 6.6 percent when comparing the four races held Friday with the same four races held on Friday last year, at $28.2 million this year compared with $30.2 million last year. Since the card last year, the Breeders’ Cup has dropped the Marathon from its lineup.

Still, handle was down in nearly every category on a race-by-race basis for the races that remained. Only the Distaff, the anchor leg of the four Breeders’ Cup races on Friday, had higher handle numbers this year than last year, and that was because the field for the Distaff this year had 11 horses, compared with only six horses last year.

Handle on the opening Breeders’ Cup race, the Juvenile Turf, was down 1 percent, according to charts, with a field of 14 this year, compared with 13 last year. Post time for the race was 5:27 p.m. Eastern, or 2:27 p.m. local time.

Handle on the next race, the Dirt Mile, was down 21.2 percent, with a field of nine horses last year, including 3-5 favorite Goldencents, compared with 11 horses last year. Handle on the Juvenile Turf Fillies was down 13.5 percent, with a 14-horse field, compared with a 13-horse field last year.

Attendance was reported by Breeders’ Cup to be 37,205, up 3.8 percent over reported attendance last year. Still, ontrack betting, according to the Breeders’ Cup, was $6.97 million this year for the entire 11-race card, down 3.3 percent compared to ontrack handle on an 11-race card of $7.21 million last year.

Handle on the $1.5 million-guaranteed all-Breeders’ Cup pick four was $2.67 million. Handle on the pick six ending with the Distaff was $1.07 million.

The Breeders’ Cup continues Saturday at Santa Anita, with nine Breeders’ Cup races on a 12-race card.