Indiana Derby Sets New Track Records For Handle, Attendance

by | 07.16.2017 | 12:51am
TVG's Peter Lurie, Indiana Grand's Rachel McLaughlin, and WISH-TV's Anthony Calhoun preparing for Indiana Derby broadcast in front of record-setting crowd

The 2017 Grade 3, $500,000 Indiana Derby, won by J. Paul Reddam's Irap, established new track records for handle for a single race and for the highest handle ever in the history of racing at Indiana Grand. A total of $1.150 million was wagered on the Indiana Derby, an increase of five percent over last year's record total of $1.095 million.

Wagering on the entire card surpassed the $3.3 million mark after the Indiana Derby with one race left on the program. The total handle from the 2016 Indiana Derby Night was $3,156,859. The final handle for the evening, a new track record, totaled $3.581 million on the 10-race card, a total increase of more than 13 percent.

Attendance for the evening was 13,622, also surpassing last year's record attendance of 12,974 by five percent.

  • Bob Hope

    Congratulations for your record setting event! It’s what its all about !

  • Concerned Observer

    Only a little problem. Handle was $3.581,000. If takeout was 15% to the track (overly optimistic)
    take out would be $537,150…..but……..Purses were $1,212,000.

    So the track lost $675,000 before expenses……ouch!

    PS: This is the “Quality” racing model that so many say is horse racing’s salvation.

    • ben

      How much from the purses was paid by owners through the stakes system.??

      • Concerned Observer

        Well lets use the IN Derby as an example: not much.: No nomination fee, $500 to enter, $500 to start. 10 horses =$10,000. vs $500,000 purse.
        and Every horse that finished the race (6 thru 10) got $5000 purse money….check out the chart

        Or stakes race #7, no nomination fee, $200 to enter, $200 to start..7 starters=$1400.
        Purse $100,000. the horses that finished 6th and 7th got $1000 in purse money.

        This is not magic numbers…it is all in the race chart.

    • longshot

      Think about how much they made on beer sales alone, not to mention all the people who went in the into the casino after the races. All they worry about is getting people to show up, when they do they can do a pretty good job of separating them from their money

      • Concerned Observer

        $675,000 divided by 13622 people in attendance =$49.55 beer sales per person. Assuming the beer sale was 100% profit.

        • longshot

          I’m glad you got an A in math, but when a track has a big day like this they make money

        • gtsipe

          So that’s what, 3 or 4 beers? Using your analogy on takeout, it would have to be 34% to break even. If the same applies to the Ky Derby, it must be a loser every year. Of course all those mint juleps add up.

    • David Worley

      I think you might be missing the point of a ‘big day’ of racing. Big days, themselves (unless you are talking about the KY Derby and Oaks), aren’t the direct mechanism to make money. They drive further traffic to your other race days and to your other business units (like the Casino in this case). So, actually, this was a big success when you look at it this way.

      A place like Indiana Grand has to drive more regional and national attention prior to driving profitability. This was a good step in that direction. Bean counting around the specific event is not a sufficient business metric in the larger scheme of things.

      • Concerned Observer

        Gee, I really do hope you are right. I have been tracking this a long time. Optimism is good, “feel good” events are good. Lots of tracks are trying the big multiple stakes day concept. So far the results are questionable.

        My concern is that the sport may be chasing a dream. It certainly is not based on proven lift.

        • David Worley

          I think your concern is totally legitimate. What American racing really needs is a commissioner who coordinates things; but I doubt this will ever happen because everyone has their little fiefdoms.

          Imagine a time when your nearly always have 2-3 top tracks running at a given time with coordinated post times and marketing. It would be possible to have several quality stakes races (or high level allowance races as a fall back) every Saturday afternoon spaced 20 minutes apart. Furthermore, tracks like Canterbury and Indiana Grand should (with the exception of their biggest race days) be putting the best quality product they can on the track on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday nights. Imagine a national audience handicapping the same tracks with large (and quality) fields every weekday night in the summer. It could be really good.

          I think this is how the game is elevated. But, it requires centralization which never goes well with Americans… to our own peril.

          • Concerned Observer

            Well said.

    • snowchrome

      I think they did a great job. That many people came out plus they probably went into the casino after. I believe it was a success for a racino. No need to pick apart with a track on the rise.

    • Sparky Smith

      The takeout at most tracks is higher than 15%, especially on exotic wagers where it could be nearly double that. Not sure what they are at Indiana grand Was the $3 million on track handle only or all sources handle?

  • David Worley

    I was really impressed with Indiana Grand yesterday. It is literally the first time I bet this track. They need to continue to build and grow similarly to a Canterbury Park in Minnesota. Both are really nice examples of the future of racing for second tier tracks.

  • kuzdal

    This must improve Centaur Gaming’s position by at least 10%; good for them. New ownership will focus on (what)? Profits?

  • Sparky Smith

    I think they did a great job and look for them to do even better each year with the derby.

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