Handle Up Slightly, Purses Drop in April

Wagering on U.S. races increased 0.39%, while purses dropped 3.41%.

Wagering on United States racing in April registered a small year-over-year gain, but purses were down from April in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase May 5.

Total pari-mutuel handle for the month was $865,163,995, up 0.39% from $861,844,814 in April of last year. U.S. purses of $82,038,613 were down 3.41% from $84,939,086 in 2012, according to the Equibase statistics.

The figures are for worldwide commingled handle on races run in the U.S.

There were 380 race days–full programs at track–in April, down 2.43% from 371 in April 2012.

For the first four months of 2013 overall handle is down 2.04% ($3,477,540,168 this year versus $3,549,779,354 for January through April 2012). There have been 57 fewer race days this year (1,355 versus 1,412, a decrease of 4.04%), Equibase reported.

Purses through April totaled $300,248,959, down 3.06% from $309,728,762 for the first months of 2012.