Breeders’ Cup World Championships Attracts $160m in Betting

Total all-sources handle for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course was $160,472,894, the sixth-highest total since the Breeders’ Cup expanded to a two-day event in 2007 and an 8% decrease from the 2019 record handle of $174,000,574 at Santa Anita.  

The two-day total handle represented a 7% increase from the 2015 Championships at Keeneland. 

Breeders’ Cup did not report attendance figures for the 2020 Championships at Keeneland as no tickets were made available to the general public and attendance was restricted to participants and essential personnel due to COVID-19 safety precautions.  

“We had an extraordinary two days of racing showcasing the best Thoroughbreds from around the world and we want to thank our hosts here at Keeneland, who did an amazing job, and the city of Lexington,” Breeders’ Cup CEO Drew Fleming said. “Given the unique circumstances for this year’s event with attendance limited here and at other tracks and simulcast facilities around the country, we are very pleased with the overall handle for the two days.”  

Total common-pool handle on Saturday’s 12-race Breeders’ Cup card was $110,186,908 a 6% decline from last year’s Saturday handle of $117,483,346 at Santa Anita. 

The Breeders Cup World Championships will be held at Del Mar in 2021 and will return to Keeneland in 2022.  

Breeders’ Cup Two-Day Attendance and Handle (common-pool) history: 

2020, Keeneland Race Course – no attendance reported; $160,472,894 
2019, Santa Anita Park – 109,054; $174,000,574 
2018, Churchill Downs – 112,672; $157,445,841 
2017, Del Mar – 70,420; $166,077,486  
2016, Santa Anita Park – 118,484; $156,861,811  
2015, Keeneland Race Course – 94,652; $149,869,035  
2014, Santa Anita Park – 98,319; $151,158,813  
2013, Santa Anita Park – 94,628; $160,704,877  
2012, Santa Anita Park – 89,742; $144,272,332  
2011, Churchill Downs – 105,820; $161,512,867  
2010, Churchill Downs – 114,353; $173,857,697  
2009, Santa Anita Park – 96,496; $153,271,176  
2008, Santa Anita Park – 86,588; $155,740,328  
2007, Monmouth Park – 69,584; $129,197,262 ***


The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes. 

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, was held on Nov. 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, and featured a total of $31 million in purses and awards. The event was televised live by the NBC Sports Group.