Jockey Club Fact Book: Purses, Sales Each Reach $1-Billion Levels

Edited from The Jockey Club release
The beneficial effect that alternative gaming at racetracks has on state Thoroughbred industries was affirmed again in 2004, according to statistics contained in The Jockey Club's 2005 Online Fact Book.

The Jockey Club Fact Book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry; the 15th edition of the printed version will be published and distributed in early May.

According to The Jockey Club statistics, available purse money in the U.S. reached a record $1,092,085,465 in 2004, with the largest percentage gains (excluding the impact of Breeders' Cup Day on Texas) coming from Louisiana and West Virginia. Louisiana purses soared 23.5%, benefiting from the installation of slot machines at Evangeline Downs in December 2003. Purses in West Virginia, meanwhile, increased 21.4% due in part to continued expansion of the number of slot machines at Charles Town Races.

The expanding purse structure in those states has generated momentum in their breeding industries, as Louisiana and West Virginia are the only two states among the top 20 in 2004 to register increases in both the number of stallions and the number of mares bred since 2002. During this period, the number of stallions standing in Louisiana increased 8.6% while the number of mares bred in the state surged 32.2%. In West Virginia, the number of stallions increased 16.7% and the number of mares bred jumped 13.6%.

Statistics in the "Sales" section reflect the improving American economy, favorable tax-code revisions and the strength of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar which helped drive increased participation by foreign buyers. Gross sales in 2004 increased 23.3% to a record $1,055,132,219, led by a 29.2% gain in gross sales of broodmares.

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, which by their very nature change constantly, will be updated regularly.

The "Breeding" section includes Annual Foal Crop and its Distribution by State; and Distribution of Stallions and Mares Bred by State.

The "Racing" section includes Number of Races; Gross Purses; Pari-Mutuel Handle; Distribution of Races by Purses and Distance; Size of Field and Starts per Horse; Two-Year-Old Racing; and the Relationship of US Races, Purses and Foal Crops.

The "Sales" section includes Gross Sales in All Categories; Average and Median Price per Yearling; and the Foal Crop/Auction Yearling percentage.

Also updated are Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Worldwide in 2003; the International Calendar of Events, which includes all Grade 1 race for which dates are known; and the Directory of National, State, Canadian and International Organizations, which includes phone numbers for all organizations and web site links where known.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds.