North American racing continues on its road to recovery from the economic downturn as pari-mutuel handle, purses, and race days all posted healthy gains for the month of June, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase.
The $948,859,061 wagered in June, including world-wide commingled wagering on North American racing, represented a 6.99% gain over the $886,892,710 for June 2011. That handle growth resulted in a 13.1% increase in U.S. purses from $96,823,566 a year ago to $109,507,231 in June 2012. The number of U.S. race days during the month rose 9.78% to 595 from 542.
The June wagering figures included an 18.8% all-source handle gain for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) victory of Union Rags , with total all-source wagering of $96,485,985. Also during June, Churchill Downs had attendance of 21,827 and 22,417, respectively, for its June 2 and June 30 “Downs After Dark” programs. (Churchill Downs, Inc. has a policy of not publicly reporting handle for its tracks, but the data is provided to regulators in the respective states where the company operates racetracks.)
Churchill Downs' handle numbers are included in the Equibase report.
For the year to date, according to Equibase, total wagering of $5,657,286,019 through June was up 2.38% over the $5,526,027,065 figure for the same period a year ago. North American purses had increased 8.31% through June, from $482,475,243 in 2011 to $522,557,128 this year. U.S. race days though the first six months totaled 2,528, an increase from 2,481 through June 2011.