LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A record-breaking 124,589 fans watched Cathryn Sophia capture the 142nd running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs Racetrack. Perfect weather contributed to an outstanding day of racing and a crowd that broke the previous attendance record of 123,763 set just last year.
Wagering from all-sources on the full Kentucky Oaks Day race card was the highest all-time and totaled $49.0 million, an increase of 6% over the previous record 2015 total of $46.1 million. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Oaks of $15.0 million was 2% down from 2015's record-setting $15.2 million.
On-track wagering on the Kentucky Oaks Day race card of $12.0 million was flat to 2015. On-track wagering on the Kentucky Oaks race of $3.0 million was down 4% from 2015's record-setting $3.1 million.
TRACK PRESIDENT COMMENTARY
"Congratulations to the connections of Cathryn Sophia and special thanks to all of the horse owners, trainers and jockeys who participated on today's card," said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. "The record numbers today show that the Kentucky Oaks continues to grow and proves that it has established itself as one of the world's most popular events. The fans loved our most recent investments in the facility which focused on improving the customer experience."
Churchill Downs held its eighth annual "Pink Out" in support of two cancer-related charities - Bright Pink and Horses & Hope - during the celebration of the 142nd running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks.
The Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation donated $50,000 and helped raise an additional $28,294 through on-line donations to benefit Bright Pink®, a national non-profit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.
Churchill Downs also donated $30,000 and $1 from each Friday sale of the Grey Goose Oaks Lily®, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks, to Horses & Hope, a breast cancer outreach program in Kentucky's horse industry.
The Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade Presented by Kroger celebrated 142 cancer survivors who marched down Churchill Downs' historic homestretch immediately prior to the running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks. Model and actress, Kate Upton, served as the "First Lady of the Oaks" to help raise national awareness of breast and ovarian health and honor survivors.
Cathryn Sophia, owned by Cash is King, LLC and bred in Maryland by Robert T. Manfuso, rolled to a 2 ¾ length victory in the Longines Kentucky Oaks as the 9-2 second choice. Jockey Javier Castellano and trainer John C. Servis won the race for the first time. The daughter of Street Boss out of the Mineshaft mare Sheave was the first Longines Kentucky Oaks winner owned by Cash is King, LLC and returned $11.40 for a $2 win wager.
ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS RACETRACK
Churchill Downs, the world's most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America's greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. The track's 2016 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 30-July 2. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships eight times and recently announced that it will host the event a ninth time in 2018. Information about Churchill Downs can be found online at www.churchilldowns.com.
ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS INCORPORATED
Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) (NASDAQ:CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby. We are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with gaming positions in six states, and we are the largest, legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also one of the world's largest producers and distributors of mobile games through Big Fish Games, Inc. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorported.com.
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