Gross purses rose 3.6% and pari-mutuel handle increased 1.6% in the United States for 2001, setting records in both catagories, according to the 12th edition of "The Jockey Club Fact Book," released online today.
Gross purses in the United States topped $1 billion for the first time last year, according to statistics contained in the eleventh edition of "The Jockey Club Fact Book." In spite of slowing growth in handle, U.S. purses reached $1,030,839,223 in 2000, an increase of 7.0 per cent against 1999. Nearly two-thirds of the increase, however, came from Illinois, West Virginia and New Mexico, where the return of live racing to Arlington Park and legislative changes in all three states boosted combined purses by $42.7 million over 1999 levels.
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