Highest all-time wagering from all-sources on both the Kentucky Derby Day program and the Kentucky Derby race
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 6, 2017) – Derby fans weathered rainstorms and the unseasonal cold during the day, to watch post-time favorite Always Dreaming win the 143rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands over a sloppy track. Attendance of 158,070, was 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.
“Congratulations to the connections of Always Dreaming on a very impressive performance to win the 143rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We were excited to introduce our latest round of renovations and our investments in the facility continue to pay off as we strive to improve the guest experience every year. Thanks and congratulations to our horsemen, employees and volunteers that made this an amazing Derby and a phenomenal opening to our 2017 Spring Meet.”
“A heartfelt thanks from all of us at Churchill Downs to all of the fans of the Kentucky Derby around the world who once again made this an amazing spectacle rain or shine,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”). “We expect another Adjusted EBITDA record with growth of $4.0-to-$6.0 million over last year’s Kentucky Derby week.”
TwinSpires, the country’s leading online and mobile betting platform and 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, Saturday, April 29, through Derby Day, Saturday, 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.
Always Dreaming, owned by MeB Racing Stables, Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola Stables, St. Elias Stables, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds, and bred in Kentucky by Santa Rosa Partners, cruised to win by three lengths as the 9-2 favorite, returning $11.40 for each $2 win wager. Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Kentucky Derby for the second time. His first win was with Super Saver in 2010. Jockey John Velazquez also won the Kentucky Derby for the second time, winning previously on Animal Kingdom in 2011. The winner covered 1 ¼ miles over a sloppy track in 2:03:59 to win for the fourth time in six career starts. Always Dreaming is by Bodemeister out of the In Excess mare Above Perfection. Lookin at Lee finished second and Battle of Midway finished third.