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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®

Churchill Downs Handle Up


Kentucky Derby fans weathered rainstorms and unseasonal cold. Announced attendance was 158,070, the seventh highest attendance figure in track history.   

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 $209.2 million, a 9% increase over the 2016 total of $192.6 million, and an increase of 8% over the previous record set in 2015 of $194.3 million.  Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby race increased 12% to $139.2 million from 2016’s $124.7 million and a 1% increase over the previous record set in 2015 of $137.9 million.

“We expect another Adjusted EBITDA record with growth of $4.0-to-$6.0 million over last year’s Kentucky Derby week,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc.
TwinSpires, the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, recorded $32.8 million in handle on Churchill Downs races for the Kentucky Derby Day program, an increase of 22% over the prior year. TwinSpires’ handle on the Kentucky Derby alone race was $20.1 million, up 22% over 2016.

All-sources handle for Opening Night, April 29, through Derby Day, May 6, rose to a new record of $285.1 million, up 7% from 2016’s previous record. Attendance for those five days was 349,455, down 7% from the previous record set in 2016.

Edited Churchill Downs release

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