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he number of persons who came out for this premier horse racing event is only 3,435 less than what was obtainable pre-pandemic in 2019, and 147,294 more than the turnout in 2020 as the event witnessed no attendance. The Kentucky Derby recorded the highest number of visitors ever in 2015, with 170,513 fans.
Financials Were Just as Impressive
The visitors were not the only numbers that went up as the track recorded $273.8 million in Saturday’s race, 9% more than the handle recorded during the last edition in 2019. Kentucky Derby 148 was responsible for $179 million in wagers, another record-breaking figure.
While the derby race wagers increased on the ground, the figure also soared online. This event’s operator recorded $67.4 million in bets through the TwinSpires betting website.
Rich Strike Wins at 80 – 1 Odds
The derby ended in favor of Rich Strike, whose odds to win the game were set at 80 - 1. This racehorse pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the derby. Rich Strike, ridden by Sonny Leon, broke the odds after covering a mile and a quarter in 2:02.61 in an upset only surpassed by Donerail in 1913 with 91-1 odds.
The final 50 yards were very decisive as Rich Strike came off the rail to lead the others. This improved the winner’s share to $1,860,000 as Rich Strike returned $163.60, $74.20, and $29.40. Remember that Reed got this horse for $30,000 after winning a 1-mile maiden race by 171/4 lengths.
What the Kentucky Derby Means to the Operators
The Kentucky Derby held by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has long been a significant attraction for horse race lovers. The premier horse racing event is a significant factor in the financial success recorded by Churchill Downs Incorporated in recent years. Although CDI did not reveal how much it paid in winnings or how much profit it recorded, these astronomical numbers, one way or the other, represent financial growth.
CDI’s share of the total earnings is expected to hit an all-time high as the impressive run of record-breaking sporting activities extends to the Kentucky Oaks, where fans produced $74.6 million in wagers. This is 24% higher than what the company got in 2019. Out of that figure, $24.3 million came from the Kentucky Oaks race alone, topping the previous record set in 2019 by 25%.
With this unprecedented record, the Derby joins the league of sporting events like the El-Classico, Grand-Prix, Wimbledon, Olympics, and Superbowl that attract a large number of onlookers and stakes.
Andrew is interested in gambling developments in Canada and the USA. He writes news updates and contributes to casino reviews for the site. A keen ice hockey player, Andrew likes to spend time on the rink playing for his local team.