Statistics in The Jockey Club’s 2008 online fact book, which was released Feb. 14 and is available through the publications and resources section of the organization’s website at http://www.jockeyclub.com, reaffirm the beneficial impact of “racinos” on state Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.
The Jockey Club fact book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry; the 18th edition of the printed version will be published and distributed in early May.
Available purse money in the U.S. in 2007 increased 5.4% to a record $1,180,587,881. Gains were derived largely from racino revenue in several states, including Pennsylvania, where the first full year of slot machine gaming at Philadelphia Park and the opening of Presque Isle Downs in Erie boosted purses in the state by 77.8% from 2006 to 2007. Presque Isle Downs offered nearly $11 million in purses during its inaugural meet.
The contribution to purses from alternative gaming at racetracks also helped boost purses in Louisiana by 26.9% and in Oklahoma by 16.6%.
While U.S. gross purses increased for the third time in the last four years, total handle on U.S. Thoroughbred races in 2007 declined 0.4% to $14,724,681,108.
In the breeding section of the online fact book, seven of the top 10 foal-producing states increased their production of registered foals between 1996 and 2006. The four leading percentage gainers among the top 10, based on foal registrations completed as of Jan. 15, 2008, were states that have established racinos: New Mexico, up 126.2%; Louisiana, up 78.8%; New York, up 44.5%; and Pennsylvania, up 40.3%.
Statistics in the sales section reveal total gross auction sales of $1,234,507,606 in 2007, which represents a 2.5% decline from the record auction performance of 2006. Double-digit percentage gains in gross sales and average price for broodmares in 2007 were offset by declines in gross sales and average price for weanlings, yearlings and 2-year-olds.
In the online fact book, some tables have been expanded to include multi-year reports; others include state-by-state analysis. Statistics in the breeding section are updated regularly.
The following sections of the online fact book have also been updated: Thoroughbred racing and breeding worldwide in 2006; the international calendar of events, which includes all grade I races for which dates are known; and the directory of national, state, Canadian, and international organizations, which includes phone numbers for all organizations and website links for organizations that have them.