Kentucky Derby 149, the Kentucky Derby Day Program, and Kentucky Derby Week Races All Set New Handle Records

Mage Crowned Winner of 2023 Kentucky DerbyLOUISVILLE, KY., – Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced that a spirited and vibrant crowd of 150,335 Derby fans at Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill Downs”) witnessed Mage claim the Garland of Roses at the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve at 15-1 odds under mostly sunny skies. CDI also announced that wagering from all sources was the highest all-time on the Kentucky Derby race, the Kentucky Derby Day program, and Kentucky Derby Week races.

Mage Upsets the Kentucky Derby

Mage, owned by OGMA Investments, LLC (Gustavo Delgado), Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing (Sam Herzberg) and Commonwealth Thoroughbred LLC (Brian Doxtator and Chase Chamberlin), bred in Kentucky by Grandview Equine (Robert Clay), trained by Gustavo Delgado, and ridden by Javier Castellano, rallied to win by a length. Mage covered the mile and a quarter in 2.01.57 over a fast track.

Wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program set a new record of $288.7 million, beating last year’s record of $273.8 million. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby race was a new record of $188.7 million, beating the previous record of $179.0 million set in 2022. All-sources handle for Derby Week rose to a new record of $412.0 million, beating last year’s record of $391.8 million.

TwinSpires, the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby, handled a new record of $73.6 million in wagering on Churchill Downs races for the Kentucky Derby Day program, compared to last year’s record of $67.4 million. TwinSpires’ handle on the Kentucky Derby race was a new record of $47.0 million, beating last year’s record of $44.0 million.
“We were thrilled to debut our new First Turn Experience, a one-of-a-kind premium accommodation with exclusive views of the horses and the racetrack from the rail of the first turn, as we commemorated the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s victory in the Run for the Roses,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We expect the Kentucky Derby Week Adjusted EBITDA to reflect a new record with $14 to $16 million of growth over the prior record set last year. We will now accelerate our focus on our year-long celebration in preparation for the 150th Kentucky Derby in May 2024.”

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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