Considering there were 13 fewer race days during the month of November compared to 2011 due to several track power outages in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, pari-mutuel handle was down slightly with purses showing a small increase, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released Dec. 5 by Equibase.
Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Oct. 28, had a significant effect on the Nov. 2-3 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park as some northeast tracks were unable to offer wagering on the races due to damage and power outages. The two-day wagering total of $144,272,332 was down 10.67% from the 2011 event held at Churchill Downs.
Equibase reported worldwide comingled wagering on United States races of $867,928,453, down less than 1% from $874,137,205 in November 2011. U.S. purses totaled $104,460,953, an increase of 2.55% from last November.
Meanwhile, the number of race days—individual programs at each track—fell 3.32% from 392 last November to 379 this year.
The November 2012 figures reflect a solid turnaround from a year ago. Handle last November was down 7.2% from November 2010, purses were off 6.2%, and race days declined 7.89%.
For the first 11 months of 2012, handle on U.S. Thoroughbred races totaled $10,083,930,771, up 1.15% from $9,969,648,537 at this point last year. Purses through November were up 6.61% to $1,052,782,703 from $9,969,648,537 for the first 11 months of 2011, while U.S. race days of 4,975 so far this year are up slightly from 4,952 a year ago.