The opening weekend at Keeneland, which marked a return to a dirt racing main track for the first time since the spring of 2006, saw steady attendance and on-track wagering but total handle declined 5.7%.
With sporadic rain showers throughout the day for Keeneland's fall meet opener Friday, which also marked the return to dirt for the Lexington track, attendance and handle figures were down compared with last year.
While it already has faced many hurdles, if the declining North American foal crop is not turned around soon, North American racing will require creative solutions from racetracks and horsemen or face further contraction.
According to a Thoroughbred Racing Associations study, money from added-gaming sources now accounts for more than one-third of the purse money awarded in U.S. Thoroughbred racing.
With the harsh winter of 2014 finally abating, Thoroughbred racing's key economic indicators of wagering and purses declined only slightly in March, according to figures released by Equibase Co.
A 5.07% decline in race days due to weather-related cancellations resulted in a 4.09% decrease in total wagering on U.S. races in February.
Despite an increase in race days, wagering on U.S. races in January of 2014 was similar to the amount of handle on U.S. races in January 2013.
United States race dates declined by 3.15% in 2013 when compared to the previous year, yet total wagering and purses held steady, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Jan. 5.
Buoyed by an 11% increase in total commingled pari-mutul handle for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, wagering on U.S. races improved 4.37% in November compared with the same month last year.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on United States races was strong in August, with a 4.69% increase from the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Sept. 4.
Compared with 2012, average all-sources handle declined 17% at the recently completed Ellis Park summer meet, a decrease the track attributes to new competition and fewer off-track outlets in the state.
Wagering on United States Thoroughbred racing experienced an incremental uptick during July 2013 compared to the same month last year, according to statistics from Equibase Company.
With a decline of 21 race days when compared with the same month a year ago, total wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing fell 1.57% during June, according to statistics from Equibase Company.
Considering a Triple Crown was not on the line, the New York Racing Association reported some solid numbers for the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day card.
The Arcadia, Calif., track received final handle figures for its winter-spring meeting April 25. Handle improved 3% to $710,813,700. That increase came during a first quarter that saw U.S. handle decline 2.81%.
In its first full year receiving added money for purses from the Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack, the New York Racing Association registered strong pari-mutuel handle in 2012.
Considering there were 13 fewer race days during the month of November compared to 2011 due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, pari-mutuel handle was down only slightly while purses showed a small increase.
With the number of U.S. race days in October down 7.86% from the comparable month a year ago, wagering on U.S. races fell 8.79%, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators from Equibase Company.
Racing continues to show some growth in 2012. In September, handle on U.S. races improved 2.6% and purses were up 13.77%.
Impacted partly by the decision of Gulfstream Park to alter its 2011-12 schedule, wagering on United States racing fell 7% in April, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.
- By Tom LaMarra
Purses and pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred races continued a solid rebound in March with a slight increase in race days, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase.
After posting a rare gain in December, wagering on North American racing took a small step backward in January, with total handle from all sources down 1.1% from January 2011.
Bolstered partly by Gulfstream Park's decision to begin its meet earlier than in the past, wagering on North American racing in December 2011 grew 17.88% when compared with the same month in 2010.
Wagering on United States races declined slightly to 2.86% during the month of July, according to figures released Aug. 4 by the Equibase Company.
Key economic indicators for the U.S. horse racing industry maintained the status quo in June, with declines in total wagering, purses, and race days.
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.
Consistent with recent trends, pari-mutuel handle on U.S. racing fell and purses rose during the month of April and for the year to date.
Key economic indicators for North American racing in March and the first three months of 2011 reflected a continuation of the trend in which wagering is down but purses are up.
There was good news and bad news March 4 when Equibase released its monthly report on Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.
- By Tom LaMarra
United States purses increased slightly in January year-over-year despite a reduction in racing days, but pari-mutuel handle on U.S. races dropped almost 10%.
Wagering on Thoroughbred racing in the United States fell 7.3% and purses declined 6% in 2010, continuing the trends seen in recent years as the industry remains mired in recession.
Wagering, purses and race days in United States Thoroughbred racing continued a downward spiral in November compared to one year ago, according to the latest available data.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering and purses for Thoroughbred racing declined again in October, in part because of a decrease of 61 race days from the same month in 2009.
In the best showing of U.S. racing economic indicators since January, wagering on U.S. races in July fell only 1.96% when compared with the same month a year ago.
Total handle for June is down 5.82% while purses and race days fall 1.21% and 3.23%, respectively.
- By Ron Mitchell
A report showing that for the second consecutive year wagering on Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. sustained a major hit is a sign that the industry is impacted by the recession and needs to find ways to generate more money.
Wagering on U.S. racing in 2009 declined by 9.9% to total $12.3 billion, compared with $13.7 billion the previous year, according to figures released Jan. 6 by Equibase Company.
The Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup World Championships during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet provided a major shot in the arm for November purses, which were up 24.9% over the same month a year ago when the Breeders' Cup was held in October.
Wagering on Thoroughbred races in the United States was only down less than 1% in September, but for the year still lags 2008 by more than $1 billion.
Pari-mutuel handle increased 0.56% to slightly more than $4 billion during the second quarter of 2006, compared with $3.99 billion during same period in 2005, according to information released Monday.
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