Fueled in part by all-source handle declines at such meetings as Del Mar, Arlington Park and Monmouth Park, overall wagering on United States racing at U.S. and Canadian outlets in the third quarter of 2006 dropped by nearly $7 million when compared to the same period a year ago, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association reported Oct. 10.
The decline may not be as glum as it might appear at first glance. Del Mar alone saw a decline of just more than $26.3 million from its all-time record handle of $608,916,117 recorded in 2005, but still managed to post its second-highest handle total ever at the historic California track with $582,604,451.
Saratoga Race Course, Colonial Downs and Turfway Park, all of which carried live days of racing during the third quarter, all managed increases in handle, with Colonial and Turfway checking in with double-digit increases over 2005.
Purses in the United States rose 2.25% to $337,888,371 from third quarter 2005, while the total amount of race days dropped 1.8% to 1,959.