June 7, 2023

DeRosa’s Blog

Last updated: 3/25/13 5:47 PM


MARCH 26, 2013

Derby Championship Series Handle

by Ed DeRosa

Sunland Park generated handle of $3,818,878 for its Sunland Derby day card on
Sunday, March 24. The Eastern New Mexico track called it an all-sources record
— a fitting coda on the first leg of the inaugural Kentucky Derby Championship
Series presented by
that saw all-sources handle on the eight race dates involving
the so-called “50-point” races jump 5.79 percent versus last year.

And in a sign that a rising tide lifts all boats, all-sources handle on the
eight days in particular increased 3.64 percent for all North American
Thoroughbred tracks those days. Those numbers are even more impressive when you
consider that handle for the entire leg 1 period of the Derby Championship
Series was flat. I.e., handle from February 23-March 24 decreased except for the
bump on DCS cards. As for the year, handle January 1-March 24 is down .7

Determining how much the new points system has to do with increased wagering
interest will require more than eight races of overall wagering data within one
Derby prep season, but this is definitely a good first sign that the system is
achieving its mission of getting people more excited about these races, and
ultimately, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.

Leg two of the Derby Championship Series begins this weekend with the U.A.E.,
Florida, and Louisiana Derbys, continues with the Wood Memorial Stakes and Santa
Anita Derby on April 6, and concludes with the Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas
Derby on April 13. In particular, the two domestic races each weekend will
provide an additional measuring stick regarding interest in the series, but the
early returns are certainly positive.