Wagering Up, Purses Down for Second Quarter

Wagering in North America during the second quarter of the year increased 2.52% over the corresponding period in 2002. But, while there were 32 more racing days, purses dropped 1%.

The figures, for pari-mutuel wagering, purses, and race days, were released today by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase. They are for Thoroughbred racing in the United States and Canada.

Total wagering increased to $4,121,245,999, while second quarter purses dipped to $285,686,811. Compared with the second quarter of 2002, a total of 32 more racing days were held, a 1.73% increase.

"Given that some areas of the country experienced inclement spring weather, a 2.5% growth in pari-mutuel wagering indicates a strong rebound after a winter that produced a number of race day cancellations," said NTRA commissioner Tim Smith. "Purses, while down slightly against the comparable quarter of 2002, are actually up for the year, with a 1.13% rate of increase overall."