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BREEDERS' CUP A CLASSIC: RATINGS UP, SET ATTENDANCE RECORD
Published November 9, 1998
Saturday's Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs attracted a record crowd of 80,452, eclipsing the previous record of 71,671 set when the event was held at the same track in '94 (Mult., 11/8). For the overnight ratings, see (#27). WAGERING: On-track wagering for the 10-race card was $13,390,497, while the handle for the seven Breeders' Cup races $11,239,447 (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/8). Total wagering from all simulcast outlets on all 10 races was $91,449,116, an 11% increase over the previous North American record of $82.6M set in '93 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/8). Churchill Downs has averaged 72,391 for the four times it has held the event, compared to the 51,602 average attendance at the events' other sites. In N.Y., Bill Mooney of the N.Y. TIMES reports that Churchill Downs Chair William Farish "supports" the series' concept of rotating venues. While recently opened Lone Star Park in TX "wants to be in the mix," several "major" tracks, such as MD's Pimlico and IL's Arlington have "never expressed interest" in hosting the event (N.Y. TIMES, 11/8). The event will be held at FL's Gulfstream Park on November 6 next year. The track, which holds its meet from January to mid-March, will open for three days in November, as it did when hosting the event in '89 and '92 (MIAMI HERALD, 11/8).