Kentucky Derby Hangover After Record Numbers

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

What recession?  That's what some of us around here at are asking - at least when we look at this past weekend's Kentucky Derby figures....what we have of them.

Preliminary stats show that the Derby brought more traffic through the website, however, final server stats were not immediately available on Sunday as the total had not been fully added up by the scheduled report time.  

"Early numbers suggest that Kentucky Derby traffic was up around 25 percent from the Super Bowl," says Payton O'Brien, Senior Editor of the website. 

Until now, this year's Super Bowl was the single most trafficked day for the G911 website with over 2 million hits and close to 900,000 page views.

At one point immediately following the Derby conclusion, the site underwent extreme pressure due to the vast amount of traffic coming in.  For nearly an hour and twenty minutes the site experienced the greatest strain on its resources ever.  The server did crash for two intervals of eight minutes and twelve minutes over this period.  Additional bandwidth pipelines in Canada had to be opened. 

"Nearly everyone and their mother and their grandmother was clicking on the website to get the online payout results," says O'Brien. 

The best payout - found at - Sports Interaction - was 80/1 on the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird (compared to the 50/1 official odds posted by Churchill Downs).  It is believed that as many as three Sports Interaction customers bet on Mine That Bird though no dollar amounts were revealed.  The Sports Interaction website was also knocked out for a brief time following the race.

"Now we must focus in on the Preakness," says O'Brien.

The Preakness, which takes place in two weeks, has traditionally underperformed compared with the Kentucky Derby, yet still ranks among the most bet on events of the year.  Last year's numbers suggest that the Preakness is becoming even more competitive among major one day wagering events.

"We were pleasantly surprised by the numbers that came in for the Preakness," says O'Brien.  "When we have huge underdogs like Mine That Bird paying out significant sums of money, this only helps fuel an interest in horse betting across the Internet."

Kentucky Derby traffic figures were also supplemented by a huge fight card that drew significant attention from bettors: 

Ironically, it was Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear who spoke during ceremonies on Saturday and celebrated in the Winner's Circle.  It was Beshear who earlier this year lost a court battle to seize 141 online gambling domain names, claiming these businesses were cutting into Churchill Downs revenues.  The Web gaming sector was represented by the powerful Interactive Media & Gaming Association (iMEGA).

Christopher Costigan, Publisher        

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