|Hawthorne Racecourse release (5/4/03)
Contact: Jim Miller
Illinois Record Handle Day for Derby
STICKNEY, IL -- Hawthorne Race Course set a pair of Illinois betting records for Kentucky Derby day as fans and wagers poured into Hawthorne. While Funny Cide was winning in Kentucky, those who wagered on the gelding in the Hawthorne pool were licking their lips. Funny Cide returned $27.60 to win at Churchill Downs, but came back a whopping $34.20 at Hawthorne.
Overall, the betting was strong. Hawthorne set an all-time state record for all-sources handle on Derby Day, taking in $12,879,513 for the day, topping Sportsman's 2002 figure of $11,253,107. Additionally, the on-site crowd of 7,576 supported the races, wagering a Derby Day record $1,473,027 on-site, compared to Sportsman's $1,295,942 of 2002.
"We gave the fans what they want with the Derby, options," stated Hawthorne's Director of Operations Thomas F. Carey III. "This year, the best value came to those who wagered through our pool and we will definitely look to offer the separate pool on Triple Crown races in the future."