Record Derby Day at Lone Star Park

Horse racing fans at Lone Star Park wagered a track record $1,039,758 on Saturday’s 129th Kentucky Derby, the first time a Triple Crown race surpassed the million dollar mark at the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack.

The lofty handle figure on America’s greatest race by the 18,119 customers in attendance was a 6.2% increase from the $978,463 bet in 2002, the previous Lone Star Park high. Funny Cide, the New York-bred gelding sent postward at odds of 12-1, defeated 5-2 favorite Empire Maker by 1 ¾ lengths to capture the first leg of the Triple Crown.

A number of patrons took advantage of Lone Star Park’s “Drive Thru Wagering” service off Belt Line Road at Gate 2. A total of 1,365 cars passed through the four service lanes and wagered a record $128,310 on the day (an average of $94 per car).

Also, a record $1,476,871 was bet on Churchill Downs’ 12-race program, another Lone Star Park record.

Wagering on Lone Star Park’s 11 live races by the local crowd totaled $1,131,460, a 2.9% jump from 2002. Off-track patrons bet another $2,967,107 on Lone Star Park’s program for a total of $4,098,567.

At 7:20 p.m. (CDT), Lone Star Park’s overall wagering on-track had surpassed $3 million for only the fourth time in its history. With more simulcast racing scheduled for the night, the single day track record of $3,356,951 on Kentucky Derby Day 2000 could be challenged.

Lone Star Park’s featured live race, the $75,000 Ford Express, went to the odds-on 3-5 favorite That Tat, owned by Ken Murphy of Dallas. Ridden by Eddie Martin Jr. and trained by Cole Norman, the 5-year-old gelding ran six furlongs in 1:09.05 and paid $3.20 to win for his third victory in as many starts this year. Overall, That Tat has won 10 of 26 starts. The $45,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted his earnings to $254,585. Doctor Mike finished three-quarters of a length back in second and Front Nine finished third.

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