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BREEDERS' CUP WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS WAGERING PASSES $104 MILLION; SECOND HIGHEST OF ALL TIME
Total wagering on the 10-race program from last Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park reached $104,145,186, establishing the second highest Breeders' Cup total in history, just behind last year's mark of $108,603,040.
This year's simulcast wagering total of $91,057,372 on Belmont's 10-race card was also the second highest Breeders' Cup simulcast handle to date, behind last year's figure of $95,023,242. The simulcast numbers will increase when the remaining overseas outlets are added in over the next few days.
New York led the way among individual states with a record total handle of $24,378,953, which includes on-track wagering at Belmont Park. California led all other simulcast jurisdictions with $12,891,975 wagered on the 10-race Belmont Park card. Following California were Pennsylvania with $6,186,002, Nevada with $5,707,868, Kentucky with $5,153,633, Illinois with $4,975,747, Florida with $4,631,271, New Jersey with $3,468,796, Maryland with $3,054,585 and Texas with $2,779,872. The total Canadian simulcast number was $3,994,924.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships also produced a record Belmont Park on-track handle with a crowd of 52,987 wagering $13,087,814 on the 10-race program, erasing the previous mark of $10,581,093 set on Belmont Stakes day earlier this year.
The Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 pool was $4,811,450. There were 11 winners, each of whom received $262,442 for a base $2 ticket. The winning combination was 12-3-5-3-2-10.
"This year's World Thoroughbred Championships exceeded our expectations on several levels, including wagering participation, in light of the extraordinary circumstances in the New York Metropolitan area recovering from the tragedy of September 11," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Limited and vice chairman of the NTRA. "Certainly from an overall view, the Championships were an unqualified success, thanks largely to the team effort among management and staff of the New York Racing Association and the new NTRA/Breeders' Cup combined operation. We would also like to recognize the various law enforcement agencies, which provided a safe and secure event for the fans and participants at Belmont Park.
"With regards to the international competition on the racetrack," Van Clief continued, "the rebranding of this year's event as the World Thoroughbred Championships could not have fit more appropriately. Europe sent its strongest contingent of horses in the history of the Breeders' Cup and they responded with their best Cup performance yet."
For the second time in the event's history, European based-horses won three races: Banks Hill in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf; Johannesburg in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Fantastic Light in the Breeders' Cup Turf. In addition, foreign horses accounted for two second- and two third-place finishes. In 1991, European horses also won three races.
Among the top overseas wagering outlets, this year's simulcast figure included $2,185,445 wagered in France, a 42% increase over last year's French total.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of Thoroughbred racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, racing's year-end Championship consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, and the Breeders' Cup National Stakes Program, which are funded by the industry's owners and breeders. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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