Preliminary figures indicate decline in Cup betting

Updated: October 29, 2007, 1:52 PM ET
By Matt Hegarty | Daily Racing Form

The preliminary commingled wagering figure for the eight Breeders' Cup races this year was down 20 percent compared to last year's record preliminary commingled betting total, according to figures released by Breeders' Cup.

Commingled wagering on the eight Breeders' Cup races on Saturday was $105.5 million, down $26.5 million from last year's preliminary commingled total of $132 million, according to the figures. Breeders' Cup officials estimated that separate-pool wagering on the eight Saturday Breeders' Cup races would total approximately $5 million, whereas separate-pool wagering last year on the eight races was estimated at $2 million.

Comparisons between the 2007 event and the 2006 event are difficult for a number of reasons. Rain deluged this year's host site, Monmouth Park, from Thursday until late on Saturday, turning the main track muddy and leaving the turf course soft. In addition, Breeders' Cup held three new races this year on Friday, putting strain on players' bankrolls for the Saturday card.

Wagering on the three new races - which each carried a $1 million purse - was $19.8 million, Breeders' Cup said, bringing the preliminary total for the 11 races to $125.3 million.

The $105.5 million preliminary total is the lowest since the 2001 event at Belmont Park. If the separate-pool estimate of $5 million is accurate, the $110.5 million total would be the third-highest of all time, behind last year's record and the $116.4 million bet at 2005 at Belmont Park.

Betting on the $3 million guaranteed pick six was sharply lower this year, dropping to $3,287,581 from $4,786,481 last year. In addition, the first $2 million guaranteed pick four, linking the first four Breeders' Cup races, fell short of its guarantee at $1,882,987. The second pick four attracted $3,166,213 in wagers.

Ontrack handle for all 11 races on Saturday at Monmouth was $12,726,622, the smallest ontrack total since 1997. Attendance was 41,781, the second-smallest crowd in the 24-year history of Breeders' Cup. Like Arlington Park in 2002 and Lone Star Park in 2004, attendance was restricted this year because of the small size of Monmouth's grandstand.