(Edited NTRA release)Total wagering during the third quarter of the year increased to $4,007,591,917, a growth of 3.38% over the same quarter last year. Third-quarter purses dipped 4.15%, to $306,800,417. Compared with third-quarter 2002, racing days declined slightly, with a total of 16 fewer days. "The increase in pari-mutuel wagering during the last quarter can be attributed in part to the positive impact of the movie 'Seabiscuit,'" said National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith. "In the month after the film's release, wagering increased 5.51% over the comparable period in 2002, with no additional racing days. Record-setting meets at tracks like Del Mar and Saratoga also helped fuel the growth we observed in August. Purses, while down against the comparable quarter of 2002, remain fairly constant for the year." The figures are compiled quarterly by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase.