Michael Burns

U.S. Standardbred Handle Up Slightly in 2015

Increase similar to that for Thoroughbred racing last year.

Total wagering on Standardbred races in the United States was, like betting on Thoroughbred racing, up slightly in 2015 compared with the previous year.

According to statistics compiled by United Tote and released by the United States Trotting Association, total pari-mutuel handle on U.S. harness racing was $1,512,300,328, up 1.02% from $1,497,004,583 in 2014. The figure includes U.S. and Canadian common and separate pool wagers.

The USTA said total U.S. purses of $423,599,755 increased 3.79% from $408,135,386 in 2014. Unlike Thoroughbred racing, which offered 219 fewer race days in 2015 compared with 2014, the number of harness race days increased by 53, or 1.43%, to 3,748.

Per-race average handle for harness races dropped 3.86% to $37,789 versus $39,306 in 2014.

Total commingled handle on U.S. Thoroughbred racing in 2015 was $10,676,223,640, up 1.18% from the previous year. With fewer races, average wagering per race increased 7.24%.