Gross purses in the United States topped $1 billion for the first time last year, according to statistics contained in the eleventh edition of "The Jockey Club Fact Book," released online Friday and accessible through the "Statistics and Resources" icon on The Jockey Club home page, located at http://home.jockeyclub.com.
In spite of slowing growth in handle, U.S. purses reached $1,030,839,223 in 2000, an increase of 7.0 per cent against 1999. Nearly two-thirds of the increase, however, came from Illinois, West Virginia and New Mexico, where the return of live racing to Arlington Park and legislative changes in all three states boosted combined purses by $42.7 million over 1999 levels.
U.S. handle (including separate pools not previously reported) increased to $14,211,803,755, up 3.6 per cent over 1999. The slowing overall rate of growth indicates a lack of the sort of expansion in racing signal distribution experienced since the advent of widespread simulcasting.
A notable trend in the breeding section is Kentucky's increasing share of the registered foal crop. Kentucky-registered foals account for 30.0 per cent of the 1999 US foal crop, up considerably from the state's 18.3 per cent share in 1990. During this time, the number of Kentucky- registered foals has increased 32.2 per cent compared to a 19.1 per cent decline in the US foal crop.
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. Incomplete or changing statistics will be updated monthly.
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 U.S. 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 the International Calendar of Events which includes all grade 1 races for which dates are known; and the Directory of National, State and International Organizations, listings for which are hot-linked where known.