Purses Up But Handle Down for October

Purses totaled $101 million and handle on U.S. races came in at $813 million.

Purses were up but pari-mutuel handle was down in October, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released Nov. 5 by Equibase.

Purses increased 5.27% from $96,349,196 in October 2010 to $101,425,856 this year. Handle, however, dropped 6.49% from $870,219,013 last October to $813,764,864 this year.

Race days—individual racing programs at each track—actually increased 0.43%, from 469 in October 2010 to 417 this year.

Year-to-date handle figures indicate some leveling off of decline. Through 10 months this year worldwide commingled handle on United States races totaled $9,095,655,837, down 7.47% from $9,830,351,905.

At this time last year, handle on U.S. races was down 7.15% from October 2009.

Purses thus far this year are up 1.11%, from $875,665,714 in 2010 to $885,396,039 this year. The number of race days is down 4.68% from 4,784 last year to 4,560 in 2011.

Purses for the first 10 months of 2010 were down 5.94% from the same period in 2009.