All-sources handle for the 10-race program of the first day of the 35th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs was $52,216,685, the fourth highest total for a Friday Breeders' Cup and the sixth time the total has exceeded $50 million.
The Future Stars Friday card featured five Breeders' Cup races for 2-year-old horses for the first time since the event expanded to its current two-day format in 2007 and Breeders' Cup officials were encouraged by racing fans' reaction to the new format.
“It's always exciting when the Breeders' Cup returns to Churchill Downs and especially today as we focus on our sport's future stars and highlight the connection between our championship races for juveniles and the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup President and CEO. We want to thank all of today's participants and congratulate all of today's winners as we look forward to tomorrow's outstanding showcase of the best international racing.”
Friday's attendance was 42,249, a 29% increase over last year's event at Del Mar, where attendance was capped because of the size of the venue, and a 4% increase over 2011, the last time the event was held at Churchill Downs.
Friday's on-track handle for the 10-race card was $7,251,466.
Breeders' Cup Friday attendance and handle history:
2017, Del Mar — 32,728; $52,273,883
2016, Santa Anita — 45,673; $49,651,600
2015, Keeneland – 44,497; $46,251,965
2014, Santa Anita – 37,205; $47,666,982
2013, Santa Anita – 35,633; $52,594,370
2012, Santa Anita – 34,619; $48,997,009
2011, Churchill Downs – 40,677; $52,095,202
2010, Churchill Downs – 41,614; $54,889,388
2009, Santa Anita – 37,651; $50,662,945
2008, Santa Anita – 31,257; $49,473,304
2007, Monmouth Park – 27,803; $31,499,007
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.