Anne M. Eberhardt

Handle on U.S. Races Down 3.08% Through April

The April figures indicated wagering was down 6.07% versus April 2013.

A decline in commingled pari-mutuel handle on United States racing in April versus the same month last year left total wagering down 3.08% for the first four months of 2014, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase May 5.

Wagering on U.S. races in April totaled $812,595,067, down 6.07% from $865,102,137 in April 2013. The number of race days–individual programs at each track–was down 6.58% to 355 in April versus 380 last April.

U.S. purses in April totaled $79,688,690, down 2.85% from $82,030,066 last year, according to Equibase.

For the first four months of 2014, wagering totaled $3,370,084,711, down from $3,477,047,233 for the January-through-April period in 2013. The number of U.S. race days through April 2014 was 1,327, down 2.07% from 1,355 last year.

Purses have the smallest percentage reduction. Equibase said that through April $294,617,289 has been paid, down 2.07% from $300,235,050 for the same period in 2013.