The most well known track in America is about to increase their overnight purse by 10 percent with added funds streaming in from action generated online. The increase will go in to effect on May 31st and will cover the remainder of the spring schedule, which includes 19 more races ending June 30th.
In real money terms, overnight purses are jumping from $12.4 million to $13.1 million with the daily allowances going from $344,337 per day to $604,456 per day.
“Despite historic rainfall on Kentucky Derby Day fans wagered at record levels on races presented throughout Derby Week at Churchill Downs, and it’s exciting that owners, trainers, jockeys, and breeders who compete in our races will benefit from those increased business levels,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs. “Kentucky Derby Week racing at Churchill Downs continues to grow as both an on-track event and an increasingly attractive product for online wagering platforms led by TwinSpires.com and at other racetracks and satellite wagering outlets.”
The all-sources handle from the Kentucky Derby was a staggering $311 million, setting a new record that will feed directly in to the increased overnight purse. This trend follows a continued boom in the horse racing industry, one that will seemingly follow the windfall of congress’s decision to allow for more sports betting. Betting on horse racing has always been culturally permitted, but now gambling as a whole will become a more widely entrenched part of American culture. It practically already is.
The 2018 Preakness Stakes also hit a record on-track handle for the race itself, with the third all-time highest total hitting $93.86 million. A total of $61.97 million of that was bet on the Preakness itself.
Thoroughbred racing has enjoyed an upward curve, and where Churchill Downs is already the leading earner in terms of tracks across the country, overnight purse totals will continue to rise as well. A rising tide raises all ships.