Tuesday, May 4, 2004 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . May 4, 2004 . . . Continuing a wagering trend begun during its recent Winter/Spring Meet, Turfway Park posted increases in handle on both Kentucky Oaks Day and Kentucky Derby Day this year compared to last year.
On Oaks Day, wagering by Turfway patrons on Churchill Downs races rose from $171,138 in 2003 to $272,362 in 2004, an increase of 59%. Wagering on races simulcast from other tracks increased 63%, from $212,720 to $347,129. Taking all wagering into account, the increase in handle amounted to 61% on Oaks Day.
Derby Day handle was up as well, with wagering on the Churchill Downs card rising from $869,838 in 2003 to $923,384 in 2004, a 6% increase. Of the 2004 total, 67%, or $621,617, was bet on the Derby itself. Turfway patrons increased their wagering on races simulcast from other tracks on Derby Day by 17%, from $218,242 last year to $256,133 this year. The overall increase on Derby Day wagering amounted to 8%.
Although general admission was free as usual and attendance figures are therefore unavailable, reserved Derby Day seating in the Turfway Park dining room, Homestretch restaurant, and Race Book ranged from $5 to $20 and was completely sold out.