Spectator-less Kentucky Oaks-Derby Day Wagering Down Nearly 50%, Lowest Since 2002.

A historic Kentucky Derby saw Authentic claim the Garland of Roses in what was the first time the race had ever occurred on Labor Day weekend.

Authentic, owned by Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Myracehorse.com, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing and bred in Kentucky by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, led from the start, held off a challenge through the stretch from Tiz The Law and drew away to a 1 1/4-length victory. Trainer Bob Baffert secured his sixth Kentucky Derby win, tying the all-time record and jockey John Velazquez won the Kentucky Derby for the third time.

We are grateful to our fans and our community for their support of the 146th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “We look forward to seeing our loyal fans at next year’s 147th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby on the first weekend of May.”

Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program totaled $126.0 million compared to $250.9 million on the 2019 Kentucky Derby Day program. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby race was $79.4 million compared to $165.5 million from last year’s Derby race.

Churchill Downs attributed the decline in handle for this year’s Derby Day program to the lack of on-track wagering, fewer horses per race including in the Kentucky Derby race, and a prohibitive favorite in the Derby race.

Similar declines were reported for Kentucky Oaks day on Friday, which saw a decline in wagers from $60.1 million in 2019 to $30.6 million in 2020. The Oaks itself handled $9.8 million compared to $19.3 million in 2019.

Combined Oaks-Derby day wagering totaled $156.6 million, a 49.7% decline from the record $311.1 million wagered in 2019 when the Oaks and Derby were run in May.

In 2019, $31.2 million was bet on-track at Churchill Downs on Oaks and Derby day ($9.9 million on the Oaks card and $21.3 million on the Derby). That’s equal to 20.2% of the $154.4 million in lost wagers this year.

Other wagering declines resulted from a contract dispute between Churchill Downs Inc. and the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association representing race and sports books throughout Nevada. Race and sports books were permitted to book wagers on the races but they were not commingled into the pari-mutuel pools hosted by Churchill Downs or counted in the totals.

The combined Oaks and Derby day wagers were the lowest since 2002.

The Churchill Downs press release added, “Although it is difficult to compare the financial performance to prior years, we are pleased with the profitability of the spectator-less 2020 Derby Week.”

The post Spectator-less Kentucky Oaks-Derby Day Wagering Down Nearly 50%, Lowest Since 2002. appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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