Wagering on U.S. races fell 7.8% during the month of May as the declines in Thoroughbred racing continue, according to figures released June 4 by the Equibase Company. Overall, handle has declined 8.12% during the first five months of the year.
During May, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) experienced a slight 1.5% increase in total wagering, while handle on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) fell by about $3 million when compared with last year.
Equibase reported total May handle of $1,163,454,383, compared with $1,261,814,872 a year ago. Purses fell 4.35% to $95,983,896 from $100,348,921 the previous year. Total race days in May were 509, down 9.6% from the 563 in May 2010.
For the year to date, U.S. total wagering has fallen 8.12% to $4,639,320,277 ($5,049,378,245 in 2010), but purses are up 2.33% to total $385,543,651. The total race days have declined 5.19% through May.