Preakness Sets All-Time Records; Crushes Handle and Attendance Marks

Breaks Previous Handle Mark from 2005 as Exaggerator Upsets Nyquist
BALTIMORE – The Maryland Jockey Club announced that Saturday’s 141st Preakness Stakes (G1) set all-time records for total handle and attendance for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
A record crowd of 135,256 watched at historic Pimlico Race Course as Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Exaggerator handed Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby (G1) winner Nyquist his first defeat in nine career starts. 
Total handle on Pimlico’s 14-race program, which featured seven other stakes, was a record $94,127,434, eclipsing the previous mark set in 2005 of $91,028,704. Total handle was up 10.8 percent over 2015 and attendance was up 2.5 percent over last year’s 131,680.
Total in-state wagering was up 3.1 percent.
Saturday’s Preakness came after a record crowd of 47,956 attended Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Day program. The crowd wagered $19.4 million over the previous year, a 4.7 percent increase.
“It was a truly remarkable weekend,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “The crowds were fantastic, the racing incredible, and once again InfieldFest drew some of the top performers in the world. We want to thank our horsemen and fans and the state of Maryland for setting a new standard at the Preakness.
“Our record handle and attendance is further indication of the revitalization of Maryland racing. We will continue our efforts to reinvigorate Thoroughbred racing in the Mid-Atlantic.”
Photo by Jon Kral