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Kentucky Derby Betting Returns to Pre-Pandemic Heights
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Kentucky Derby Betting Returns to Pre-Pandemic Heights

Entrance to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby

The 2021 Kentucky Derby betting deal with returned to pre-pandemic ranges, with $233m wagered on all races over the weekend and $155.4m on the Derby itself. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Getting again to regular

The weekend was a great one for the horse racing trade, as betting deal with figures returned to pre-pandemic ranges throughout the 14-race Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs Inc. reported that bettors positioned $233m value of bets on the races, making it the second-largest deal with on Derby Day. The report of $250.9m in bets got here in 2019. That is usually the US horse racing occasion that takes in essentially the most bets every year.

$155.4m went towards betting on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby itself

Breaking down the entire deal with determine, $155.4m went towards betting on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby itself. The report deal with for this specific race is $165.5m. These figures cowl all sources, together with on-track at Churchill Downs, at different race tracks, and on-line.

Churchill Downs didn’t report the particular deal with that got here from on-track betting. Due to the diminished crowds this 12 months because of pandemic-related restrictions, it’s probably that it could not surpass the $21.3m in on-track bets from 2019.

A brand new on-line deal with report

On-line bets did set a report this 12 months on race day. The Churchill Downs-owned TwinSpires on-line betting platform reported a preliminary report deal with of $62.7m. TwinSpires took in $40.8m for the Kentucky Derby race alone.

The total online handle for the race day was a 66% year-on-year rise and the Derby deal with was a 75% enhance. One of many contributing elements for the bigger variety of on-line bets was considerably greater viewership numbers.

NBC Sports activities revealed preliminary information on Sunday that estimates a median of 15 million viewers tuned in for the day’s broadcast. This compares to solely 9.3 million final 12 months, which was the bottom tv viewers quantity within the historical past of the race. The common variety of viewers in 2019 was 16.5 million.

The crowds return

On Saturday, 51,838 folks have been in attendance at Churchill Downs for the day of racing, the most important crowd to attend a sports activities occasion within the US because the begin of the pandemic. This attendance determine, nonetheless, is nicely beneath the 150,720-person crowd in 2019.

immediately it was extremely gratifying to welcome our followers again to Churchill Downs”

Within the delayed 2020 Kentucky Derby, little to no crowds have been permitted. Betting on the races final 12 months was simply $126m. Talking in an announcement about Saturday’s racing, Churchill Downs CEO Invoice Carstanjen stated: “As we speak it was extremely gratifying to welcome our followers again to Churchill Downs for the 147th working of the Kentucky Derby.”

Medina Spirit got here on high within the Kentucky Derby on Saturday by half a size. It was coach Bob Baffert’s seventh Derby win, which is a brand new report. Jockey John Velazquez was on board his fourth Kentucky Derby winner.

Derby wasn’t good for Mattress Mack

The Kentucky Derby typically attracts a variety of large bets. Properly-known sports activities bettor and Texas businessman Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale reportedly wagered $2.3m on the race. He positioned these bets in individual with money, backing the pre-race favourite Important High quality.

The 70-year-old was considering inserting as a lot as $4m on the race after wiring this sum to Churchill Downs. His reasoning for putting the wager at Churchill Downs was as a result of the cash would assist Kentucky horsemen and the Kentucky Thoroughbred racing fund. On account of Mattress Mack’s bets, the percentages for an Important High quality win dropped from 5/1 to three/5. Sadly for the furnishings retailer chain proprietor, Important High quality might solely handle a fourth-place end within the race.

At the side of the Kentucky Derby wager, Mattress Mack supplied a refund to clients who bought a mattress for no less than $3,000 if the race favourite was the winner. Offering his reasoning for backing Important High quality, Mattress Mack defined that six of the seven earlier Kentucky Derby winners have been the pre-race favourite.

Mattress Mack has positioned quite a few different high-profile sports activities bets in recent times. Most just lately, he lost a $1m bet on the Houston Cougars to win the NCAA Men’s Division 1 college basketball tournament.

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