2001 U.S. Purses and Handle Set Records

Gross purses and pari-mutuel handle for Thoroughbred racing in the United States in 2001 again reached record levels, according to the 12th edition of "The Jockey Club Fact Book," released online today.

U.S. purses reached $1,067,490,193 last year, an increase of 3.6% compared with 2000. Most of the increase came from just a couple of states, including West Virginia where expansion of video lottery terminals (VLT) at Mountaineer Park and Charles Town Race helped boost their combined purses by $21.6 million.

Meanwhile, U.S. handle increased 1.6% to $14,550,065,505 including
separate pools first reported in 2000. Since last declining in 1993, pari-mutuel handle on U.S. racing has grown at a 6.4% annualized rate.

Statistics in the Breeding and Sales Sections demonstrate the impact of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, which terminated the pregnancies of a significant portion of the mare population in Kentucky during the spring of 2001 and was also responsible for several hundred stillborn foals. MRLS was a primary cause for the projected decline in foal crop size for 2002, and was a major contributing factor to last year's precipitous declines in auction sales results for broodmares and weanlings.

Gross sales for broodmares fell 40.7% in 2001 while weanlings dropped 37.3%. The average price for broodmares and weanlings declined 34.7% and 23.9% respectively.

The Fact Book, published annually as a statistical guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry, summarizes national statistics for the previous year. In the online Fact Book, some tables have been expanded to include multi-year reports; others include state-by-state analysis. The charts are accessible through the "Statistics and Resources" icon on The Jockey Club home page, located at http://home.jockeyclub.com. The printed version of the Fact Book will be published in late April/early May.