The 2017 Preakness Stakes handle set a new record as $97,168,658 was be from all sources. This is a steady increase over the previous record which was $94,127,434. This amount of action is bet on the 14-race program which covers two exciting days.
Wagering on the race itself was high, but just shy of the $61.3 million set last year. The 142nd renewal brought in $60.2 million in overall action, which is just 1.7 percent off of the record itself.
For those who have been living under a rock (or on vacation where the internet can’t reach you), Cloud Computing upset the 2017 Preakness as a 12/1 outside shot with Classic Empire coming second. Always Dreaming faded to a very disappointing eighth and saw the dreams of a Triple Crown winner this year dim along with him. But that didn’t stop a feverishly enormous gathering from slamming down the paper on the race itself.
“From morning into evening, we witnessed an incredible day of world-class racing and eclectic entertainment,” said Sal Sinatra, President of the Maryland Jockey Club. “The sport of Thoroughbred racing is being rejuvenated and reimagined by the Stronach family. Their commitment to this sport is remarkable and unparalleled. Their vision is being embraced by horsemen and fans around the country. We want to thank the fans who came to Pimlico Saturday as well as the horsemen who supported our program this weekend. And, of course, the incredible equine athletes for their spirit and beauty.”
While the 2017 Preakness Stakes handle saw a massive uptick, so did the attendance. The record for the crowd was set just last year with 135,256 cramming the grandstands. The 142nd renewal saw 140,327 which means that the Preakness promoters are certainly doing something right.
All of this comes after the 2017 Kentucky Derby set a massive total with $207.5 million wagered. The 2017 Preakness Stakes handle receives a direct – and obvious – burst of momentum. What will be interesting to see is if the 2017 Belmont Stakes can continue this haul. It’s been a growing and alarming trend that the final leg of the Triple Crown suffers drastically when there is nothing historic on the line.