2019 Kentucky Derby Sets All-Time Handle Records; $4.1 Million Wagered In Japan

by | 05.04.2019 | 11:23pm
Country House being led to the winner's circle after the 145th Kentucky Derby

Derby fans weathered a steady late-afternoon rain as Country House captured the 145th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve over a sloppy track. Wagering from all-sources was the highest all-time on both the Kentucky Derby Day program and on the Kentucky Derby race.

Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program totaled $250.9 million, an 11% increase over the 2018 total and previous record of $225.7 million. Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby race increased 10% to $165.5 million from the previous record of $149.9 million set last year. This year's wagering record includes $4.1 million of handle wagered in Japan with this being the first year the Kentucky Derby has ever been offered for wagering in the country.

Attendance of 150,729 decreased 4% compared to last year, as the threat of an all-day rain forecast kept many fans away.

This year's Derby purse was elevated $1 million to a guaranteed $3 million making it the richest in history for America's greatest race and first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

“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,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”). “We expect the Kentucky Derby Week Adjusted EBITDA to reflect another record with $4.5-to-$6.0 million of growth over last year.”

TwinSpires, the country's leading online and mobile betting platform and the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby, recorded $48.4 million in handle on Churchill Downs races for the Kentucky Derby Day program, an increase of 20% over the prior year. TwinSpires' handle on the Kentucky Derby race alone was $30.2 million, up 23% over 2018.

All-sources handle for Opening Night, Saturday, April 27, through Derby Day, Saturday, May 4, rose to a new record of $343.0 million, up 10% from the previous record of $311.2 million set last year. Attendance for those five days was 360,237, down 4% over 2018.

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