The total commingled handle on the two-day Breeders' Cup program at Santa Anita Park dropped 9.5 percent as compared with 2011, according to a report in the Daily Racing Form.
According to the report, the total handle of $126.8 million on the Friday races and Saturday races was down from handle of $140.1 million on the races last year at Churchill Downs. Betting on the six Friday races was $37.5 million, down 11.7 percent from the Friday total last year, while betting on the nine Saturday races was $89.3 million, down 8.8 percent from the Saturday races last year.
It was the third year in a row that betting on the Breeders' Cup has declined on a year-over-year basis. Attendance declined for the second year in a row.
Part of the decline was a result of Hurricane Sandy; however, there seemed to be other factors that also came into play. There was a decline in the field sizes for the five juvenile races, more than likely due to the Lasix ban. Also, according to the DRF, that while betting on the Saturday races started out strong, by the time the Classic went off, wagering had dropped considerably compared with last year.
Ken Kirchner, Breeders' Cup's simulcasting consultant, declined on Monday to discuss the figures in the analysis with the DRF, citing his need to collect and analyze figures from Breeders' Cup simulcasting sites.
“It's too early to say until we get those site-by-site numbers,” Kirchner said. “That will probably tell the story.”
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