Anne M. Eberhardt

Key Economic Indicators Declined in October

Numbers for wagering, purses, and race days ahead of 2011 for first 10 months.

With the number of U.S. race days in October down 7.86% from the comparable month a year ago, wagering on U.S. races fell 8.79%, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators from Equibase Company.

Equibase reported $742,671,714 wagered on U.S. racing from all sources last month, compared with $814,256,850 during October 2011. The number of race days during the month dropped from 471 to 434. U.S. purses experienced an 8.38% decline, from $101,499,408 to $92,998,688. The drop in all three figures is largely attributable to the fact that October 2011 had five weekends, while October 2012 had just four.

While vital business figures were off for the month of October, the numbers for all three categories are on an uptick for the year.

According to Equibase, total U.S. wagering of $9,216,002,318 through the first 10 months of the year represents a 1.32% increase over the $9,095,511,332 bet through the same period a year ago. Purses are well ahead of the first 10 months of 2011, with a 7.08% increase from $885,634,564 to $948,321,750. U.S. race days also are up for the year, from 4,560 to 4,596.