Anne M. Eberhardt

Racing Registers Handle Surge in May

Increased wagering on U.S. racing in May came despite a decline on KY Derby day card.

While the biggest wagering card of the year saw a 1% decline in handle, racing managed to register a strong month of May as pari-mutuel handle was up 3.57% compared with the same month last year.

While a rainy day contributed to a 1% decrease in wagering on the Kentucky Derby Day card at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes Day card at Pimlico Race Course enjoyed a 1.8% handle increase.

According to economic indicators provided by Equibase, total wagering for the month reached $1,200,810,201 and registered that 3.57% increase despite offering 10 fewer race days, down 1.92% to 511. The strong May boosted year-to-date totals, which at $4,678,350,369 are 0.66% off of last year's total through the first five months.

Purses were up 0.69% in May to $104,009,358 but they are down 2.12% for the year at $404,258,317.
Race dates through May are down 3.47% for the year to 1,866 when compared with last year.

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators
For May 2013
May 2013 vs. May 2012


May 2013

May 2012

% Change

Wagering on U.S. Races*




U.S. Purses




U.S. Race Days