Saturday, November 07, 2009

Breeders’ Cup Friday Attendance and Handle Increase at Santa Anita Park

ARCADIA, Calif. – Attendance for Breeders’ Cup Championship Friday at Santa Anita Park increased by 20% over Championship Friday last year as 37, 651 were on hand today for the nine-race card that included six Breeders’ Cup World Championships races. Attendance on Championship Friday in 2008 was 31,257.

The common-pool handle for the nine races was $48,439,458 a 1% increase over the 2008 10-race Friday card. An additional $1,159,007 in a separate pool was wagered in France.

A total of approximately $8.8 million was wagered through exchange wagering on Betfair.

The on-track handle was $7,097,789, an increase of 3.6% over last year. On-track handle increased by 9.8% when comparing wagering totals from the first nine races of last year’s Friday card to this year’s nine races, when $6,463,571 was bet in 2008.

The common-pool handle for today does not include the Classic Double on the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the inaugural jockeys bet.

“This was an encouraging start for the event with solid support from the Southern California racing fans. We saw strong performances today on track, at the turnstiles and at the betting windows,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Greg Avioli.

“Today’s strong wagering figures are an encouraging sign for Saturday’s program with the great anticipation and fan appeal of Zenyatta’s participation in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic,” said Sherwood C. Chillingworth, Executive Vice President of the Oak Tree Racing Association.

Friday’s program was the first of the two-day, 14- race, $25.5 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships held during the Oak Tree Racing Association meeting at Santa Anita. The 26th Breeders’ Cup concludes Saturday with eight World Championships races.

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