"The first-quarter handle and purses statistics are very solid‹especially in light of the quarter's drop in racing dates," said NTRA Commissioner D.G. Van Clief, Jr. "It was also a quarter that saw an unraced two-year-old sell at auction for a record $16 million, so there are a number of reasons to feel encouraged as we head into the Spring and Summer months."
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company released the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing during the first quarter of 2006, as well as for U.S. purses and race days, with prior-year, first-quarter comparisons. Despite fewer racing dates during the first quarter of 2006 compared with the same period in 2005, pari-mutuel handle increased 3.73% to $3,590,607,272 from $3,461,489,365 and aggregate purses rose 1.33% to $199,641,227 from $197,021,571 in year-over-year, first quarter comparisons. The number of race days declined 1.79% from 1,175 at this point last year to 1,154 this year.