The Pegasus statue at Gulfstream Park; the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) added a chunk of purse money in the first quarter of 2017

The Pegasus statue at Gulfstream Park; the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) added a chunk of purse money in the first quarter of 2017

Gulfstream Park

Purses Spike in First Quarter of 2017

Equibase releases Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators for first quarter of 2017.

The first edition of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) and some additional race days in the first quarter of 2017 helped purses surge nearly 8% in the first three months of the year.

According to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released April 5 by Equibase, purses improved 7.76% to $212,670,977 in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same three months of 2016.

In January, Gulfstream Park hosted the inaugural $12 million Pegasus, which replaced the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) on the South Florida track's schedule--an $11.5 million purse increase. But that increase does not completely account for the $15.32 million increase in purses in the first quarter compared with 2016.

Purses in the first quarter also were helped by a 3.78% increase in race days to 879 and a 3.68% increase in races to 7,550. Average purses per race day improved 3.84% to $241,947.

While the addition of the Pegasus and added race days helped improve purses, wagering on U.S. races still declined in the quarter, off 1.04% to $2,472,799,741.
 

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators

1st QTR 2017 vs. 1st QTR 2016

Indicator

1st QTR 2017

1st QTR 2016

% Change

Wagering on U.S. Races*

$2,472,799,741

$2,498,809,887

-1.04%

U.S. Purses

$212,670,977

$197,348,259

+7.76%

U.S. Race Days

879

847

+3.78%

U.S. Races

7,550

7,282

+3.68%

U.S. Starts

59,261

59,628

-0.62%

Average Field Size

7.85

8.19

-4.14%

Average Wagering Per Race Day

$2,813,197

$2,950,189

-4.64%

Average Purses Per Race Day

$241,947

$232,997

+3.84%

* Includes worldwide commingled wagering on U.S. races.