Wally Skalij

U.S. Wagering, Purses Down Slightly in March

Wagering and purses are down 2.08% and 1.5%, respectively, through March.

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.

Wagering on U.S. races totaled $964,458,778, for a 1.92 % decline from the $983,348,093 figure for March 2013, and there were 388 race days last month, one more than for the same period a year ago. U.S. purses fell slightly in March from $85,867,152 to $85,462,041.

Still reeling from the inclement weather the first two months of the year, cumulative wagering on U.S. racing totaled $2,557,489,644 for the first quarter, down 2.08% from the $2,611,945,096 recorded for the first three months of 2013. This year, purses declined 1.5% from January through March, totaling $214,928,599. There were 974 race days through March, one fewer than in 2013.