Wagering on Thoroughbred races in the United States was only down less than 1% in September, but for the year still lags 2008 by more than $1 billion.
The latest handle and purse figures, released monthly by Equibase, showed that during the ninth month of the year handle decreased from $891,007,745 to $883,382,038, a drop of just 0.86%. Unfortunately, the drop was more significant in terms of purse monies paid to owners of Thoroughbreds, falling 6.09%, from $103,855,653 to $97,530,050.
The number of racing days run in September was nearly the same, 543 in 2008 and 546 this year.
Handle is down 10.22% on a year-to-year comparison, falling for the first nine months of the year from $10,754,187,507 last year to $9,654,618,788 this year.
Purses paid to owners have dropped 7.27%, from $890,405,461 to $825,647,251. The number of races run during the year has declined 2.59%, from 4,785 contests to 4,661.