DERBY: A Winner in LouisvilleKY, by the Numbers, Betting and a Complaint

Photo by Paula Presley

So you had Nyquist and Exaggerator in the exacta, did you? Sorry, but you don’t get the same kind of amazed reactions from us, even if you bet on the Horse only because you’re a Detroit Red Wings hockey fan. We know you bet the favorite in the Derby and it paid off to the tune of $6.60.  So don’t over-celebrate — it’s not like you picked Mine That Bird in 2009.

2spiresChalk was the big winner on the big race — I had my money on Horses that finished 2nd, 4th and 5th. In all I spent $98.40 on bets Derby Week, using the Twin Spires app. About that — it was almost flawless, but even with all their preparations, the app couldn’t handle the traffic that came right after the race, and once on Friday I couldn’t get it to come up.

Traditionalists – like Paula – prefer the thrill of cashing a ticket at a teller window. I’m all for technology that eliminates waiting in line, even a short one. So it’s nice that we have both choices.

Speaking of preparations, how could a concession stand run out of hot dogs an hour before the Derby?

girlattrackOtherwise, high grades on our city’s performance — I talked with people from Montana, California, Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Michigan — many on bucket-list trips to Louisville. Even those who lost money on the race, and got rained on, and paid too much for a hotel room, were jubilant.

In losing my $98.40, I cashed just one ticket, out of more than a dozen. Paula’s method seems as good as any — she bets the three longest shots across the board — and is about a hundred bucks ahead of the track. However, in the Derby, she had two of the last three finishers.

Which brings me to one complaint — hotel prices. In the minds of many, Louisville’s reputation for price-gouging exceeds other memories of the city. While the Metro Council takes up the issue of  making it tougher for residents to rent their houses, why does it look the other way as hotels charge five times a normal rate — just because they can.

Here’s some official numbers from Churchill Downs:

Second-Highest Attendance in Track History as 167,227 Fans Watch Undefeated Nyquist Win the 142nd Kentucky Derby

Derby Week Breaks All-Sources Wagering and Attendance Records

Nyquist added the 142nd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands to his already impressive and perfect resume. Attendance of 167,227 was the second largest crowd in Derby history, just under the record of 170,513 in 2015.

Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program was the second highest in history, totaling $192.6 million and only 1% off the record set in 2015. Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby race was $124.7 million, down 10% from 2015’s record, impacted by 2-1 prohibitive favorite, Nyquist.

On-track wagering on the Kentucky Derby Day program was up 2% to $23.5 million, just shy of the record $23.7 million in 2012.  On-track wagering on the Kentucky Derby race totaled $11.3 million, a decrease of 6% from 2015.

Churchill Downs returned $151.8 million to bettors on the Kentucky Derby Day program.  Additionally, purses earned from the Kentucky Derby Day program approximated $10.7 million that will be paid out to Horsemen during the remainder of the 2016 race meets.