LEXINGTON, KY - (Oct. 30, 2015) - A crowd of 44,947, the largest ever for a Friday since the Breeders' Cup expanded to a two-day event in 2007, provided a warm welcome at Keeneland Race Course for the first day of the 32nd Breeders' Cup World Championships. The event is being held for the first time in the heart of central Kentucky where the Breeders' Cup concept originated.
The Friday attendance was a 21% increase over day one at Santa Anita last year and an 8% increase over the prior Friday attendance high of 41,614 at Churchill Downs in 2010.
Total handle for Friday's 10-race card was $44,949,165, a slight decrease from the 2014 figure of $45,815,111. Total handle for the four Breeders' Cup races was $28,234,543.
The on-track crowd at Keeneland wagered $7,550,279, an 8% increase over the 2014 on-track handle at Santa Anita of $6,970,456.
"With an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd and a great job by our hosts at Keeneland, the 2015 Breeders' Cup got off to a great start today," said Breeders' Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel. "We want to thank the connections of all of today's starters, to congratulate today's winners, and we look forward to another great day of world-class racing tomorrow."
"Keeneland is proud to have hosted such a spectacular day of racing," Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. "Together with our partner, the Breeders' Cup, we thank our fans and our horsemen for their loyal support. We congratulate each of today's winners and we look forward to another championship day of racing on Saturday."
2015 Friday Total handle - $44,949,165
2015 Friday On-track handle - $7,550,279
Friday attendance history:
2014, Santa Anita - 37,205
2013, Santa Anita - 35,833
2012, Santa Anita - 34,619
2011, Churchill Downs - 40,677
2010, Churchill Downs - 41,614
2009, Santa Anita - 37,651
2008, Santa Anita - 31,257
About Breeders' Cup
The Breeders' Cup administers the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships. The Breeders' Cup also administers the Breeders' Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 grade I races and purses totaling $26 million, will be held October 30-Oct. 31 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders' Cup press releases appear on the Breeders' Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders' Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube #BC15