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Churchill Downs releases record-breaking wagering figures for Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs and its official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby, TwinSpires, have released wagering figures from all sources for the Day programme.

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According to the report, wagering from the Kentucky Derby race, the Kentucky Derby Day program and the Kentucky Derby Week races generated the highest handles of all time.

The race wasn’t just an exciting one for the figures alone, as Mage managed to cause an upset despite holding 15-1 odds at race time.

Both Angel of Empire and Forte were tipped to come in as the winners, with a shocking third-place finish for Angel of Empire and Forte being scratched from the race altogether.

Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs, said: “We expect the Kentucky Derby Week adjusted EBITDA to reflect a new record with $14 to $16m of growth over the prior record set last year.

“We will now accelerate our focus on our year-long celebration in preparation for the 150th Kentucky Derby in May 2024.”

The Kentucky Derby Day program hit the record amount of $288.7m, beating last year's amount of $273.8m.

For the specific Kentucky Derby race, the new record from last weekend stands at $188.7m, with the same race in 2022 totaling $179.0m.

The total for the Kentucky Derby Week rose to $412m from $391.8m.

Reports from TwinSpires indicate that it took a new handle record of $73.6m, with handle for the Kentucky Derby race totaling $47m alone.

Handle figures from the 2022 Kentucky Derby event stood at $67.4m and $44m respectively.

The official attendance for Saturday’s races was 150,335, another increase from the year prior, which managed to attract 147,294 guests.

However, the event this year was not without its controversies. One of them featured a Greyhound protection group pledge to fly banners over the venue, protesting Churchill Downs' involvement in the sport.

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