Anne M. Eberhardt

October Handle Increases 8.3% From 2012

Equibase also reported a decline in race days and fairly static purses.

Despite 25 fewer racing programs, commingled wagering on United States races increased 8.3% in October versus the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Nov. 5.

October pari-mutuel handle totaled $804,303,623 this year versus $742,671,715 in 2012. There were 409 race days—individual programs at each track—compared with 434 in October 2012; the decline was 5.76%.

The month ended the day before the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.

U.S. purses inched up 0.31% to $93,286,965 in October from $92,998,608 last year, according to Equibase.

For the first 10 months of this year, handle is holding steady. Wagering on U.S. races totaled $9,268,407,702 through October, up 0.56% from $9,216,492,185 in 2012.

The number of race days was down 3.2% from 4,596 to 4,449, while purses for the first 10 months of 2013 totaled $951,152,650, up 0.30% from $948,317,293 in 2012.