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Crowd of 153,563 Witnesses History as Longshot Mine That Bird Wins Kentucky Derby 135

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/02/2009 #
  • Mine That Bird and Calvin Borel, on their way to victory in Kentucky Derby 135.

  • From last to first -- Mine That Bird, who at one point raced last, six lengths behind his nearest competitor, rallied for an incredible 6 3/4-length victory in Kentucky Derby 135.

A crowd of 153,563 witnessed Kentucky Derby history on Saturday as Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird scored a stunning upset at odds of 50-1 and captured the 135th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands by 6 3/4 lengths in a field of 19.

The attendance figure marks the ninth time that Kentucky Derby Day attendance has topped 150,000.  Combined attendance for the 2009 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks was 258,430, exceeding the combined attendance of both events from one year prior.

Excluding the Kentucky Derby race, total wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby Day card was $51,406,269, up 2.6 percent from the 2008 figure of $50,110,812.  Total wagering from all sources on the 13-race Kentucky Derby Day card at Churchill Downs was $155,969,770, a decline of 5.3 percent from the $164,668,176 wagered a year earlier.  Total wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby race, which includes on-track and off-track wagers, was $104,563,501, an 8.7-percent decrease from the $114,557,364 all-sources total in 2008.

“The Churchill Downs team would like to extend its congratulations to all those involved with Mine That Bird on his historic victory in this year’s 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands,” said Churchill Downs Incorporated Chief Operating Officer Bill Carstanjen.  “We welcomed an impressive and enthusiastic crowd under the Twin Spires this year, and appreciate the support that the entire Louisville community continues to deliver.  Despite the very difficult economy, we were able to offer a strong card of racing that produced solid overall handle figures.  Today was truly a Kentucky Derby to remember.”

Race fans generated a Super Hi-5 carryover pool of $251,865 and a Pick 6 carryover pool of $781,146.  Churchill Downs will resume its 2009 Spring Meet on Wednesday, May 6, with post time at 12:45 p.m. EDT.

Churchill Downs returned $127,825,423 to bettors on the Kentucky Derby Day race card, which amounts to 82 percent of total wagering.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky benefited from $789,241 in revenues generated through the state’s excise tax on pari-mutuel wagering.

Mine That Bird’s unlikely win in Kentucky Derby 135 gave his owners their first Kentucky Derby victory.  It was also the first Derby win for trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr., who was making his first appearance in the race.  The victory was the second for jockey Calvin Borel in the “Run for the Roses,” who also captured the 2009 Oaks/Derby double by virtue of his win aboard favored Rachel Alexandra in Kentucky Oaks 135 one day earlier.  Mine That Bird, the ninth gelding to win the “Run for the Roses,” returned $103.20 on a $2 wager and completed the 1 ¼-mile distance in 2:02.66 over a sloppy track.

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 136th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2010.  The track’s 2009 Spring Meet is underway and continues through July 5.  Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on November 5 and 6, 2010.  Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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