The “greatest two minutes in sports” did not disappoint. Saturday’s Kentucky Derby saw not only an 80-1 horse claim victory, but also a record-breaking betting handle.
Rich Strike’s improbable win was part of the most heavily-bet Derby on record. Per Churchill Downs, $179 million was wagered in the pari-mutuel pool on Saturday. That number was 8% more than the previous high betting mark set in 2019.
“We are deeply grateful to all of the fans of the Kentucky Derby around the world who once again made this an amazing and memorable experience,” Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs, said in a statement via the Courier Journal.
“We expect the Kentucky Derby week adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to reflect another record with $7 to $9 million of growth over the prior record in 2019.”
The 2019 record totaled $166.5 million. Compared to last year’s Derby, wagering increased 15%.
Wagering on the 2022 Kentucky Derby race totaled $179.0 million, up 15% over 2021 and up 8% from the previous record of $166.5 million set in 2019. This year’s wagering record includes $8.3 million of handle wagered in Japan.#ASportForEveryone @ABRLive pic.twitter.com/6uLXvMbNQ4
— Stephen Panus (@Man_o_PR) May 8, 2022
The Derby race wasn’t the only to set a new mark on Saturday. The Kentucky Derby Day program as a whole brought in $273.8 million. Compared to 2021, that’s a 17% increase and 9% more than the previous record of $250.9 million from 2019.
Included in Saturday’s record setting totals were more than $8 million wagered in Japan.
Per the track, of the nearly $200 million bet on the Run for the Roses, barely more than $500,000 was placed on Rich Strike – easily the lowest total amongst all horses within the field.
Those who knowingly rolled the dice (or drank too many pre-bet mint juleps) and bet on Rich Strike walked away with the second best winning odds in Derby history (80-1). Only Donerail’s win in 1913 featured longer odds (91-1).
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF