04/09/2006 11:00PM

Santa Anita Derby Day handle dips

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Despite meet-high attendance, business was mixed on Saturday's Santa Anita Derby program. While the announced crowd of 54,189 soared by 42 percent over last year's figure of 38,014, the handle fell 5.6 percent, to $21,454,595.

The crowd was boosted by a T-shirt giveaway and interest in Brother Derek, who is unbeaten in three Triple Crown preps this year.

The handle was affected by a small field in the Santa Anita Derby. Brother Derek, who paid $3 to win, had only four rivals.

The attendance surpassed the 49,089 in attendance for the March 4 Santa Anita Handicap program.

The track guaranteed a $1 million pool for the pick six. Chasing a carryover of $127,917 from Friday, bettors added $1,298,490 Saturday. Thirty-six winning tickets were worth $23,580.20 each.