$20 Million Rainbow 6 Jackpot and $16 Million Pegasus World Cup Triggers Record Handle at Gulfstream
Nothing brings out big betting activity like a major event. Or a huge jackpot. The $16 million Pegasus World Cup brings tons of attention to horse racing and that’s good for the industry. The world’s richest race draws betting interest from more casual fans who want to bet on a big race and event, and get a quick return on their wager. Add in a prohibitive favorite like Gun Runner to the $16 million Pegasus and you can see why the total handle on Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream was up 3.8 percent to $16.4 million. That included all horizontal wagers ending in the race, which drew wagering of $15.8 million last year for the buildup and showdown between Arrogate and California Chrome.
Gulfstream Park had an all-sources weekend handle of $70 million, which was a two-day record for the track. The entire 12-race Saturday card drew a record $41.98 million in wagers, up 4 percent from last year’s record $40.2 million set during the 2017 Pegasus day.
Certainly part of the increased interest and wagering was also due to the huge, record carryover in the Rainbow 6 jackpot pool, which soared over $20 million Sunday after a total of $15.8 million was added to the pool, shattering Gulfstream’s previous single-pool betting record of $10.8 million set on a Rainbow 6 in 2016. The Rainbow 6 betting also played a large part in propelling Sunday’s all-sources handle to $28 million.
This year, betting on the Rainbow 6 on Pegasus Day was $1,544,385, more than three times the Rainbow 6 betting on Pegasus Day last year,
This year’s Pegasus pool betting totaled $4.2 million, down from last year’s $4.7 million Pegasus handle. As a comparison to another major race, total betting in the win pool of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic, also won by Gun Runner, was $7.2 million.
Also, handle on a late pick-4 ending in the Pegasus was $2,150,784, up 6.2 percent compared with the pick-4 handle of $2,023,813 last year.
The next big betting event goes this weekend with the Super Bowl, but plenty of big races ahead on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and other Triple Crown prep races. Get a few friends together and pool your money for the next big jackpot or race. It’s more fun when you share the excitement, interest and winnings with friends.