Key economic indicators for the U.S. horse racing industry maintained the status quo in June, with declines in total wagering, purses, and race days.
According to figures released July 5 by Equibase Company, total wagering on U.S. races totaled $886,944,168, a 5.21% decline from the $935,707,537 bet during the same month a year ago. Total purses fell 4.27% to $96,764,394 from the June 2010 figure of $99,974,935 and the number of U.S. race days of 542 represented a 9.67% decline from the 600 race days a year ago.
The month was highlighted by the $81.2 million wagered on the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Day card at Belmont Park, which was up 8.9% over the previous year.
The number of race days declined at a greater rate than did the wagering, resulting in an average daily increase, perhaps the only silver lining in the pari-mutuel handle data. The average handle per race day of $1,636,420 in June 2011 represented a 4.9% improvement over the June 2010 average of $1,559,512.
Overall, Equibase reported year-do-date total wagering of $5,526,048,808 on U.S. races through June, a drop of 7.67%, with purses up 1.15% to $482,248,045, and the average race days down 6.16% to total 2,481.
The average daily handle per race day of $2,227,347 was down 1.6% from the daily race day average of $2,263,626 through June of 2010.