Attendance, Handle Dip Slightly
Attendance for Breeders’ Cup Championship Friday at Churchill Downs decreased by two percent from Championship Friday last year also at Churchill Downs. A crowd of 40,677 was on hand today for the 10-race card that included six Breeders’ Cup World Championships races and finished under the lights. Attendance on Championship Friday in 2010 was 41,614.
The common-pool handle for the 10 races was $50,053,505, a 5.6 percent decrease from the $53,010,625 wagered on last year's Friday card. For the six Breeders’ Cup races handle this year was $42,490,444 vs. $45,393,976 for a 6.4 percent decrease. Breeders’ Cup officials noted that $2,195,465 was refunded because of two late scratches.
The on-track handle was $7,765,183, a four percent decrease over the $8,109,443 bet on-track in 2010.
The common-pool handle for Friday does not include the $562,284 wagered on the Classic Double covering the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“We’re off to a very strong start with an amazing day of racing and outstanding performances on the track,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel. “Racing fans around the globe supported day one of our Championships and we’re looking forward to a great day two on Saturday.”
Friday’s program was the first of the two-day, 15-race, $26 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.
The 28th Breeders’ Cup concludes Saturday with nine World Championship races including the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. General admission tickets and a limited number of reserved seats are still available at the Churchill Downs box office. Post time for Saturday's first race is 12:05 p.m. ET.