Without the burden of competition from events like the Delaware Oaks and the National Claiming Crown, Virginia Derby day shattered records for both attendance and handle. Last year 6,615 folks showed up at the New Kent track and they bet $484,629 (according to Equibase). This year, 8,695 made the trip and they pushed $645,364 through the mutuel windows. That’s an increase of 33% in on track handle and 31% in attendance.

Simulcast wagering from Virginia OTB’s increased 29% from $124,667 last year to $161,499 this year. Simulcast wagering from out-of-state balooned 80% from $2,065,317 in 2006 to $3,783,826 — an increase of 80%!

Total wagering on the day increased a whopping 65% from $2,674,673 to $4,429,191.

Well done, CLN.