222 races comprised of 1,985 starters
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2016) — Churchill Downs concluded its Fall Meet on Sunday. This year’s average race field was 8.9 starters, down 5 percent from the average of 9.4 in 2015. The meet consisted of 222 races comprised of 1,985 starters, a 5.4 percent decrease from the 2,099 starters in the Fall Meet of 2015 that featured 223 contests.
Total purses paid during the 21-day session rose to $10,067,188 from $9,882,559 offered during the 2015 meet, which consisted of the same number of racing days. Average daily purses paid rose to $479,290, a 1.9 percent increase from the $470,598 average from 2015.
The 2016 Fall Meet was memorable for special events highlighted by its Thanksgiving annual celebration, in which more than 7,000 turkey dinners with holiday trimmings, were served in dining areas around the track. The Thanksgiving has been a tradition at Churchill Downs since 1969. Other special events included a “Trick or Treat at the Track” Halloween celebration on Oct. 30, Family Adventure Day Presented by Kroger on Nov. 6 and “Who’s The Champ” handicapping contests on select Sundays.
Churchill Downs’ newest wager—the 20-cent minimum Single 6 Jackpot—continued its popularity with on-track and simulcast racing fans in its second year. There were no single perfect tickets on any of the first 20 days of the meet, which resulted in a total Single 6 wagering pool of more than $800,000 on the meet’s final day. There were no individual perfect tickets in the closing day Single 6 wagering, so the pool was divided among six winning bettors who correctly selected all six winners and collected payouts of $117,758.