Anne M. Eberhardt

March Wagering Down Slightly From 2012

Purses were off by 2.4% when compared with March 2012, Equibase reported April 4.

Wagering on United States racing rebounded somewhat in March after a rough start to 2013.

Commingled pari-mutuel handle for March was $983,428,969, down only 0.11% from the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase April 4. In February handle was down 6.56%, and in January 2.02% from the previous year.

For the first three months of this year, handle has totaled $2,612,376,173, down 2.81% from $2,687,934,540. At this time last year, total handle was up 5.43% from the first the first three months of 2011.

U.S. purses in March totaled $85,870,784, down 2.40% from $87,986,496 in March 2012. The number of race daysindividual programs at each trackwas down 1.78% from 394 to 387 year over year.

Through March 2013, $218,210,346 in purses had been paid, down 2.93% from $224,789,676 in the first three months of 2012. Part of that can be attributed to facilities such as Aqueduct Racetrack and Turfway Park curtailing their weekly racing schedules this winter.

The number of race days–975 during the first three months of the year–is down 6.34% from 1,041 at this time last year, according to Equibase.