05/04/2013 9:19PM

Kentucky Derby wagering second-highest in history

Tom Keyser
Orb’s Kentucky Derby attracted $130.5 million in wagers.

Total betting on the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday was $130.5 million, according to the race chart, down 2.2 percent from the record total of $133.5 million bet last year but still the second-highest figure of all time.

Betting declined on a soggy day at Churchill in which reported attendance of 151,616 fell 8.3 percent from last year’s reported attendance record of 165,307, a decline that probably cut into Churchill’s on-track wagering figures. In addition, the two largest account-wagering companies in the United States Twinspires.com – owned by Churchill Downs – and TVG, both reported problems in taking bets leading up to the Derby.

[DRF LIVE AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY: News updates, photos, videos]

Nineteen horses ran in this year’s Derby, while 20 horses ran in last year’s edition. Size of field is a significant factor in the amount of money bet on a race, though many variables affect the figure.

Total betting on the 13-race card was $185.4 million, down 1 percent from last year’s record total handle of $187 million, according to the charts, the second-highest total for a Derby card. Last year, Derby handle and total handle set records after jumping double-digit percentages from the 2011 figures.

The total number of runners on this year’s card was 122, compared with 126 last year.

The Kentucky Derby is by far the most heavily bet race in the United States. For comparison, total handle on the 15 Breeders’ Cup races held over two days last November was $126.8 million.

The Derby was won by Orb, the 5.40-to-1 favorite, one of the highest-priced favorites in Derby history. The second choice was Revolutionary, at 6.40-to-1, who finished third. The longshot Golden Soul, 34.50-to-1, finished second, triggering a $981.60 payoff for a $2 exacta and a $6,925.60 payoff for a $2 trifecta.

A $1-million guaranteed pick six ending in the Derby attracted total bets of $1,170,941. The minimum for the Derby pick six is $2. Last year, handle on the pick six was $1.8 million, with a $500,000 guarantee. The forecast of bad weather may have had a significant impact on the amount of money that pick six bettors were willing to wager.


fourroads910 More than 1 year ago
If you have Delaunay with Point of Entry and Orb but Didnt get pay in the Pick 3! It's not like Wise Dan lose! Shouldn't you at least get a consolation Pick3 , bet you if Wise Dan had lost they would gave told you that you got the favourite . Shame on you Churchill Downs that was a total rip off, any one had POE in any one of the pick 3 got jerk by Twin Spire ,
Eric Mitchell More than 1 year ago
How much thought does DRF put into their beyer speed figures? Aubby K earned a Beyer 18 points lower than Delaunay but ran the same distance about an hour apart and the final time was only a half second difference???? I will use other equibase speed figures from now on.
Holybull More than 1 year ago
Funny how some people complain about offshore betting services but fail to look at our own parimutual ADW companies who are supposed to offer the best there is in technology and ease of operation. i have an account with TVG and was totally unable to place a wager on the Derby. i was waiting to see how fast the track was drying out before placing the wager. When I went to log-on, I was re-directed to the TVG mobile website and still could not log-on. The I decided to use the phone-betting system and the automated system just kept hanging up on me. A total of 7 phone call later I gave up. And yas, I was going to bet Orb as I saw tremendous value on him at 5-1. Congrats on all who got to place a winning wager on him.
wolves More than 1 year ago
TVG is owned by Betfair, so it's no surprise their platform broke down on the biggest day of the year. Any time there is a big festival in the UK, you can "1.01" Betfair service will be disrupted for a few hours
Juno Black More than 1 year ago
Horse racing, dead? Not yet.
Steve More than 1 year ago
Only the thinking of most track executives
Steve More than 1 year ago
add most racing industry executives to that list
Bob More than 1 year ago
It is dead,,,, One or twice a year people get into it... See what handle is today and attendance figues...
Lise McLain More than 1 year ago
Hi! Congratulations to Joel Rosario, the trainer, and the owners pertaining to Orb, the winner of the Kentucky Derby in that sloppy, messy track. It is a first for all of them. Good for them! Also, congratulations to Robby Albarado regarding coming in second aboard Golden Soul! You beat all of Todd Pletcher's horses after what happened to you in 2011. Good for you! Thank you! Lise from Maine
Lori Schwartz More than 1 year ago
""TVG reported problems" - It was down for several hours in the middle of the day. I can't imagine how much handle was lost.
bbro33 More than 1 year ago
xpressbets worked fine!! hahahahaha
Russell More than 1 year ago
Because they have fewer customers. It is, perhaps, a solid strategy to go with the smaller providers on the big days.