In the United States and Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced that 147,294 people packed into its Churchill Downs Racetrack on Saturday to see Rich Strike claim an unexpected victory at the 148th running of its Kentucky Derby.
The Louisville-headquartered firm used an official press release to detail that the triumph for the Eric Reed-trained animal represented the second-longest in the history of the prominent horseracing extravaganza with the winner’s eventual odds of 80-1 only being surpassed by the 91-1 of 1913 champion Donerail.
This year’s Kentucky Derby was the first to be held since the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic with the Daily Racing Form newspaper using a Saturday report of its own to disclose that the event moreover produced a record handle of some $168.8 million. The source explained that this tally, which included all multi-race bets ending with the flagship race, equated to a rise of 9.9% year-on-year and was an impressive 5.8% higher than the previous ceiling set in 2019.
Although the Daily Racing Form revealed that the handle figure did not include parimutuel future wagers placed through Churchill Down Incorporated, it nevertheless signalled that the Kentucky Derby has returned to normality after two years of coronavirus-related disruption. This assertion was purportedly moreover helped by the fact that handle for the entire 14-race card grew by 13.9% year-on-year to top an all-time high of $263.2 million, which represented a boost of 4.9% on the tally seen in 2019.
In its press release and Churchill Downs Incorporated divulged that bettors in Japan wagered slightly over $8.3 million on the Kentucky Derby via a separate pool to drive the record handle amount even higher. The Kentucky operator noted that such aficionados are only permitted to bet on a limited number of simulcasts from foreign jurisdictions every year so long as a locally-trained runner is taking part, which this year covered 20-1 runner Crown Pride.
Bill Carstanjen (pictured) serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Churchill Downs Incorporated and he used the press release to assert that his firm’s TwinSpires-branded advance deposit wagering system saw its own aggregated Kentucky Derby handle swell by 8% year-on-year to a new record of $67.4 million. The experienced professional additionally stated that the tally for the individual race that was eventually won Rich Strike experienced a similarly striking 8% increase to top $44 million.
Read a statement from Carstanjen…
“We are deeply grateful to all of the fans of the Kentucky Derby around the world who once again made this an amazing and memorable experience. We expect the Kentucky Derby Week’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to reflect another record with $7 to $9 million of growth over the prior record in 2019.”