LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Churchill Downs set a record for wagering during its fall meet as simulcast betting surged, offsetting a decline in attendance at the track.
Total wagering during the meet that ended Saturday reached $160.5 million, a record for a 24-day fall meet and an increase of 7.2 percent from the previous record of $149.7 million during the 1999 fall meet.
Betting on Churchill Downs races at racetracks and satellite wagering centers throughout North America reached $130.6 million, also a 24-day fall meet record, Churchill Downs said. The amount was an 8.2 percent increase from the previous record of $120.7 million set a year ago.
The increase in on-track wagering was attributed to brisk business on the Friday before the Breeders’ Cup.
Attendance for the fall meet totaled 180,259, a 6.6 percent decrease from 192,989 during the 1999 fall meet and down 10.8 percent from the 202,153 who attended fall races in 1998. This fall meet was plagued by rain and cold the final weeks.
The Breeders’ Cup highlighted the fall meet, but attendance and wagering figures for Breeders’ Cup Day were not included in meet totals. Churchill Downs has played host to the Breeders’ Cup a record five times.