Breeders’ Cup Friday handle down 6.3%, attendance dips 2.3%

by | 11.05.2011 | 8:01am
The Breeders' Cup was last held at Churchill Downs in 2011

The six Breeders' Cup races held Friday at Churchill Downs produced a total wagering handle of $42,490,444 – down 6.3% from last year's total of $45,393,976, according to figures released late Friday.

According to a Daily Racing Form report, the numbers were down in part due to a decline in the number of horses that ran on the Friday card – a total of 69 compared to 73 in the six Friday races last year. A factor making comparisons difficult was the move of the Marathon to the Saturday card and addition of a 15th BC race, the Juvenile Sprint, which ran Friday.

Attendance on the day declined 2.3% from 2010 – for a total of 40,677 compared to Friday attendance of 41,614 last year.

Although down from last year, attendance was still better than three of the last five Breeders' Cup Fridays, which included 27,803 in 2007 at Monmouth Park, 31,257 in 2008 at Santa Anita, and 37,651 in 2009 at Santa Anita.

Even with the addition of a 15th race, Breeders' Cup is unlikely to match last year's total two-day handle, largely because of last year's pick six carryover and the presence of the highly popular Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

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