ON-TRACK CROWD OF 36,155 MARKS A 30 PERCENT INCREASE OVER LAST YEAR
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 8, 2017)–With a sensational performance in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks highlighting an afternoon of world-class racing, Santa Anita Park showed significant increases in both attendance and handle on Saturday, Santa Anita Derby Day.
An on-track crowd of 36,155, a 30 percent increase from last year’s 27,821, wagered $3,254,000, which was up from last year’s $3,137,609–despite the fact there was one less race than a year ago.
All sources handle on today’s 11-race card was $20,855,004, up from last year’s 12-race program which resulted in total handle of $19,922,378.
In the day’s main event, the 80th running of the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, Jerry and Ann Moss’s Gormley prevailed by a half length under Victor Espinoza, while the Moss’s Royal Mo, also trained by John Shirreffs, finished third with Gary Stevens. Both horses are being pointed for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.
In the Oaks, Sarkowsky and Wygod’s Paradise Woods turned in the best racing performance of the day in North America, winning the 78th running of Santa Anita’s premier event for 3-year-old fillies by a record 11 ¾ lengths under Flavien Prat. Trained by Richard Mandella, Paradise Woods is expected to make her next start in the Kentucky Oaks on May 5.