The 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar lured a total of 70,420 fans to the seaside oval who wagered $25,181,317 on track, the highest in the history of the event, which expanded from one day to two in 2007. That number represented a 21.4% increase from the $20,742,846 wagered at Santa Anita 12 months ago.
Saturday’s full-card on-track handle was $15,981,250 and was the largest since 2006. Common-pool wagering was $113,803,603, a 6% gain over 2016. Total handle for the two days was $166,077,486, which improved on the 2016 total of $156,861,811 by 5.9%. Total handle was highest since the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, when an additional two Breeders’ Cup races were programmed.
“We were treated to world championship performances over two days of the very best in international racing, combined with spectacular weather, smooth operations and excellent customer service from our hosts at Del Mar” Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel said. “Del Mar proved to be an extraordinary venue for our Championships and we want to thank its staff, our volunteers and the greater San Diego community for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to our guests from around the world. We also want to thank racing fans for their enthusiastic support of our event.”
Joe Harper, president and general manager at Del Mar, also sung the praises of the event.
“Del Mar, its staff and the community of San Diego absolutely shone for this Breeders’ Cup,” he said. “I could not be more proud of the effort that was put forth by everyone at our racetrack and all the folks in San Diego who jumped on board for this marvelous event and made it into something spectacular. This was racing at its best; it was Del Mar at its best; and it was San Diego being all it could be. It was a complete winner.”
Saturday’s attendance was 37,692. Owing to the relatively small capacity at Del Mar, officials limited ticket sales to 37,500 for each day.