All-sources handle for Friday’s first day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs was $52,216,685, the fourth highest total for a Friday Breeders’ Cup and the sixth time the card has exceeded $50 million.
The Future Stars Friday card featured five Breeders’ Cup races for 2-year-old horses for the first time since the event expanded to its current two-day format in 2007 and Breeders’ Cup officials said they were encouraged by fans’ reaction to the new format.
“It’s always exciting when the Breeders’ Cup returns to Churchill Downs and especially today as we focus on our sport’s future stars and highlight the connection between our championship races for juveniles and the GI Kentucky Derby and the GI Kentucky Oaks,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “We want to thank all of today’s participants and congratulate all of today’s winners as we look forward to tomorrow’s outstanding showcase of the best international racing.”
Friday’s attendance was 42,249, a 29% increase over last year’s event at Del Mar, where attendance was capped because of the size of the venue, and a 4% increase over 2011, the last time the event was held at Churchill Downs.
Friday’s on-track handle for the 10-race card was $7,251,466.