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Churchill Downs spring meet sees betting gains

Churchill Downs' spring meet that finished Saturday saw a 2.46 percent increase in wagering, benefiting at least in part from the afterglow of American Pharoah's Triple Crown win that began with the track's Kentucky Derby. 
 
Statistics from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission -- the Central Avenue track doesn't release meet wagering totals -- show $377.87 million was bet on the 38-day meet's races. 
 
The gain comes after an 11.5 percent decline in last year's spring meet when a takeout increase -- the amount of wagers taken off the top for the track and race purses -- was implemented. 
 
This spring's 368 races saw 7.79 starts per race, an increase of 6.9 percent from the 2014 Spring Meet average of 7.29 horses-per-race. Four fewer races were run this year, but the number of starts was up 5.7 percent. 
 
Purses offered averaged $55,982 per race, up half a percent from 2014. Purses paid decreased 0.6 percent from last year. An average of $542,142 in purses a day were offered, a decrease of 0.5 percent from last spring. 
 

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