Monday, May 9, 2005

Saturday’s running of the Kentucky Derby left favorites in dry churned up dust, as speedster Spanish Chestnut forced an early pace that only long-shot horses fully answered. The two top finishers, Giacomo and Closing Argument ran past race favorites Bellamy Road and hopeful Bandini, who came off the starting gate well and into the first turn. But they faded under a blistering early pace that at the half-mile pole was second fastest in race history.

Only Afleet Alex, showing at third, applied salve to the wounded crowd of 154,000 ticket-tearing fans. Betting for this year’s race totaled a record $103.3 million counting both on- and off-track wagering. A 2 dollar wager on the winning horse Giacomo paid $102.60.

TV viewership in top metropolitan markets was down only slightly from the previous year, which considering the wagering shows no lack of interest in the race:

Win: Giacomo $102.60
Place: Closing Argument: $45.80
Show: Afleet Alex: $19.80
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