Kentucky Oaks 133 Sets New Wagering Records

As the eighth largest crowd in the 133-year history of the Grade I Kentucky Oaks watched post-time favorite Rags to Riches romp to a 4 1/4-length victory over a full field of 14 fillies, Churchill Downs set new records for on-track, off-track and all-sources wagering on a competitive 11-race Oaks Day card, as well as the Kentucky Oaks race itself.

Total wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Oaks race, America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, was $10,112,064, a 2.2-percent increase over the $9,890,141 wagered on the Oaks race by patrons in 2006. On-track wagering on the Kentucky Oaks race totaled $2,968,635 a 5.4-percent increase over the $2,816,104 wagered one year ago. Off-track wagering on the Oaks race was $7,143,429, a 1.0-percent increase over the 2006 off-track total of $7,074,037.

All sources wagering on the 11-race Kentucky Oaks race card climbed to $33,570,510, a 1.5-percent jump from the previous all-sources record set in 2006 of $33,076,351. On-track wagering on the entire Oaks card was $12,234,128, an increase of 0.7 percent from the $12,150,844 wagered by patrons at Churchill Downs during the previous year. Off-track wagering on the Kentucky Oaks card was $21,336,382, a 2.0-percent increase over the 2006 figure of $20,925,508.

Although steady rains during the early part of the race card kept some general admission fans away, this year’s attendance of 100,075 was the eighth largest in Kentucky Oaks history. In 2006, 108,065 fans attended the 132 Kentucky Oaks under sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 70s. The 2006 Kentucky Oaks attendance mark was the second highest in the history of the event.

The on-track attendance and wagering figures do not include totals from Churchill Downs’ Trackside Louisville off-track betting facility. A total of 6,852 patrons, a 5.6-percent decrease from the 2006 Trackside attendance figure of 7,257, wagered $209,966 on the Kentucky Oaks race, a jump of 48.7 percent as compared to the $141,165 wagered on the Oaks race by Trackside patrons one year ago. Wagering by Trackside Louisville patrons on the entire Kentucky Oaks Day race card was $748,740, an increase of 45.2 percent from the previous year’s total of 515,609.

Rags to Riches’ easy 4 1/4-length win in the Kentucky Oaks under jockey Garret Gomez gave trainer Todd Pletcher his second Kentucky Oaks victory in three years (Pletcher won with Ashado in 2004) and co-owners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith their very first garland of lilies. Rags to Riches extended her current winning streak to four races and paid $5 on a $2 wager. The daughter of A.P. Indy covered 1 1/8 miles over a sloppy Churchill Downs track in 1:49.99

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2007. The track’s 2007 Spring Meet is set for April 28 through July 8. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.