Wagering up nearly 3% so far in 2016.

Wagering up nearly 3% so far in 2016.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Strong Month of July for Wagering, Purses

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators point to strong month.

Racing took full advantage of a five-weekend month of July as the double-digit percentage gains in pari-mutuel handle and purses appear to go beyond kindness of the calendar.

According to Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released Aug. 4 by Equibase, wagering on U.S. races in July spiked 12% to $1,014,330,265, compared with the same month last year. Purses were up 11.87% to $115,976,688.

A 5.7% increase in race days to 573, likely in part reflecting a month that offered five Saturdays and five Sundays this year compared with four weekends last year, contributed to the gains.

Those extra weekends included race dates at Saratoga Race Course (one July weekend in 2015, two this year) and Del Mar (two July weekends last year, three this year). Also, the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) fell in July this year after being contested in August last year.

While the calendar helped, comparing the year-to-date totals shows racing appears to be making gains. Through the first seven months last year, wagering was down 0.25% and purses were off 3.08%. Through the first seven months of 2016, wagering is up 2.8% to $6,559,098,296 and purses have improved 1.45% to $606,699,123.

Those 2016 improvements have come despite a 2.26% reduction in races to 22,539 through July 31. Average wagering per race day is up 5.6% to $2,385,994.

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators For July 2016

July 2016 vs. July 2015

 

Indicator

July 2016

July 2015

% Change

Wagering on U.S. Races

$1,014,330,265

$903,366,169

+12.28%

U.S. Purses

$115,976,688

$103,673,538

+11.87%

U.S. Race Days

573

542

+5.72%

U.S. Races

4,460

4,257

+4.77%

U.S. Starts

32,968

32,158

+2.52%

Average Field Size

7.39

7.55

-2.15%

Average Wagering Per Race Day

$1,770,210

$1,666,727

+6.21%

Average Purses Per Race Day

$202,403

$191,280

+5.82%

 

 

YTD 2016 vs. YTD 2015

 

Indicator

YTD 2016

YTD 2015

% Change

Wagering on U.S. Races

$6,559,098,286

$6,380,386,730

+2.80%

U.S. Purses

$606,699,123

$598,030,034

+1.45%

U.S. Race Days

2,749

2,825

-2.69%

U.S. Races

22,539

23,061

-2.26%

U.S. Starts

173,795

176,850

-1.73%

Average Field Size

7.71

7.67

+0.55%

Average Wagering Per Race Day

$2,385,994

$2,258,544

+5.64%

Average Purses Per Race Day

$220,698

$211,692

+4.25%

Notes:
Wagering includes worldwide commingled wagering on U.S. races.
Average Field Size = Starts/Races.   
Average Wagering Per Race Day = Wagering/Race Days. 
Average Purses Per Race Day = Purses/Race Days