Gambling Today: Horse Racing Handles Soar as Tracks Reopen

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As the initial wind that put all sports into hiatus starts to blow over, competitions begin to return and with chutzpah. Horse Racing announced its comeback with two legs of the Triple Crown being given definitive dates in the fall, and the reopening of its tracks over the weekend, and bettors made sure to give it a warm welcome. SI Gambling Today delves into how horse racing handles soared this weekend and broke records in doing so.

Read the full transcript below: 

Bill Enright: Monday, May 18th. This is Sports Illustrated's Gambling Today. And for our view from Vegas, we go to Frank Taddeo, our gambling insider here at SI. Frank, let's talk about horse racing because, from what I understand, the horse tracks around the country saw a surge in handle this weekend.

Frank Taddeo: Yeah. Bill, sporting events being conducted without spectators is something we'll be talking about for generations. But as we saw this past weekend, that might not be such a bad thing. As we highlighted last week, Bill, here at Gambling Today, many tracks around the country reopened this past weekend and the results were nothing short of amazing as tracks saw handles continuously soar. It's another indication that bettors are back and willing to come out strong following the COVID-19 shutdown. Churchill Downs saw an increase of 183.7%. 

Churchill Downs

Charlestown saw the fifth-largest handle on the tracks near eighty-seven-year history. Sirenita saw a 184% increase compared to the last Friday that the track operated prior to the coronavirus shutdown. And Bill, as racing fans know, we got some more good news over the weekend when it was announced that the Preakness will now be run on October 3rd. So that's two legs of the Triple Crown that we now have definitive dates for. As we know, the Kentucky Derby is set for September 5th. The only thing we're waiting on now is the Belmont Stakes in New York.

Bill Enright: All right, so we'll have to wait for the Triple Crown to officially happen in the fall instead of late spring. But horse racing is back and that's very good to hear for anyone that is looking to take some action on the ponies. Frank, thank you for your analysis. Plenty more gambling info. You can find it all from Sports Illustrated by going to