Strong Derby Week Boosts Churchill Downs Spring Meet Overnight Purses 10 Percent

Jun 02, 2017 Darren Rogers

Effective Thursday, June 8, Churchill Downs Racetrack will raise overnight race purse offerings 10 percent thanks to record Kentucky Derby week business levels.

Purses for overnight races – which include overnight stakes, allowance, maiden special weight, claiming and maiden claiming events – will rise by an approximate blended average of $3,209 per race.

Total overnight purses for the meet are projected to be $12.7 million, up from the original forecast of $12.3 million. The daily average purse distribution, not including stakes money, will be approximately $335,000 per day. That number grows to $568,000 when stakes money is included.

The purse boosts were made possible by record all sources wagering on Kentucky Derby week, which covered Opening Night on Saturday, April 29 through Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 6. The six days of racing lured a record-breaking $285.1 million in wagers – up $18.4 million or 7% from last year’s $266.8 million.

“Our record Kentucky Derby Week business levels helped generate $16.1 million in purses that will be paid to horsemen this year,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We’re thrilled that our local owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders will benefit from the increased purse offering over the final four weeks of the Spring Meet.”

Monday was the halfway mark of Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet. Racing continues Thursday-Sunday through Friday, June 29.

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