A few days ago, the 149th Kentucky Derby ended, crowning Mage as the winner. The horse covered the mile and a quarter in 2:01.57, to the surprise of bettors who believed that either Angel of Empire or Forte will be the winner.
Mage’s upset of the Kentucky Derby favorites was a major development that ended with Angel of Empire finishing third and Forte falling farther behind. In addition, Mage’s spectacular win marked the first victory for its rider, Javier Castellano, and made its trainer, Gustavo Delgado, proud.
In the wake of this amazing race, Churchill Downs, the company hosting the Kentucky Derby, updates its EBITDA expectations for the event. As reported by Gambling Insider, Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of the company, said that his team expects Kentucky Derby Week’s adjusted EBITDA to dramatically increase.
We expect the Kentucky Derby Week adjusted EBITDA to reflect a new record with $14 to $16m of growth over the prior record set last year.
Bill Carstanjen, CEO, Churchill Downs
The CEO added that Churchill Downs will now focus on a year-long celebration and preparation for the jubilee 150th edition of the Kentucky Derby scheduled for May 2024.
This Year’s Race Was the Most Successful Yet
This year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby saw metrics skyrocket across the board. The Kentucky Derby Day program, for example, reached $288.7 million, which is the highest recorded number yet. Meanwhile, Mage’s race, in particular, beat its 2022 counterpart, with the Kentucky Derby Day Program recording $188.7 million.
In total, the program earned $412 million during the entire Kentucky Derby Week, far surpassing last year’s results of $391.8 million.
TwinSpires, meanwhile, reported a record-breaking handle of $73.6 million, surpassing last year’s result of $67.4 million. The Kentucky Derby race was singlehandedly responsible for $47 million of the total handle. For comparison, the gambling brand reported a sports betting handle of $44 million during the 2022 race.
Saturday’s race surpassed the 2022 results in terms of attendance as well. According to official data, a total of 150,335 people visited the iconic racetrack to attend the race. This is a slight increase from the 147,294 guests the signature twin spires attracted in 2022.
Luckily, the Kentucky Derby Day race went without significant problems, despite the recent concerns about the safety of the sport and the horses involved. However, there were protesters voicing their concerns with the greyhound races Churchill Downs is involved in.
In other news, Churchill Downs recently posted a record-breaking Q1 2023 revenue, defying market expectations.