In terms of handle, United States horse racing enjoyed a steady second quarter, an important metric as it includes the three Triple Crown races.
Gulfstream Park registered record daily average all-sources handle of just under $10 million a day for its 2016-2017 championship meet that concluded April 2.
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.
While Breeders' Cup scheduling accounts for most of the wagering declines in October 2016 compared with last year, handle still declined even when last year's Breeders' Cup is not considered.
Through the first nine months of 2016, pari-mutuel wagering is slightly up and purses are slightly down compared with the same nine months of 2015.
Ellis Park, which closed its 30-day meet Sept. 5, reported a rise in all-sources handle and a slight drop in on-track wagering. Purses were up 25% due to an influx of funding from Kentucky Downs and historical race wagering.
Through the first two-thirds of 2016, total handle is up slightly and total purses are down slightly according to Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released Sept. 5 by Equibase.
Racing took full advantage of a five-weekend month of July but the gains in pari-mutuel handle and purses appear to go beyond kindness of the calendar.
Despite declines in race days and number of races during January, wagering on U.S. racing rose 2.2% to $830,526,891 when compared with the $812,581,024 total handle during January 2015.
Total wagering on Standardbred races in the United States was, like betting on Thoroughbred racing, up slightly in 2015 compared with the previous year.
Mike Maker, who scored in three consecutive races Sept. 19, was named top trainer of the 2015 Kentucky Downs meet while jockey Florent Geroux was the leading rider with 12 victories for the five-day season.
Del Mar raced to a close of its 76th summer season on Labor Day, completing a 40-day meet that saw total handle figures rise by nearly 10% thanks to four additional race days.
Perhaps helped a bit by added attention for horse racing following American Pharoah's Triple Crown sweep, wagering on U.S. races improved 1.41% in July to $903,673,455 when compared with July 2014.
United States Thoroughbred racing's economic indicators for June 2015, released July 4 by Equibase Co., showed declines in pari-mutuel handle, purses, race days, races, and starts compared with the same month in 2014.
- By Frank Angst
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Triple Crown, Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky, Mid-Atlantic Region
With pari-mutuel wagering up for the Kentucky Oaks day card, the Kentucky Derby day card, and the Preakness day card, racing enjoyed a 4.82% increase in wagering in the all-important month of May.
Key U.S. racing economic indicators fell in March, according to an April 4 report from Equibase Co., as inclement weather led to numerous cancellations during the month.
After an encouraging start in terms of pari-mutuel wagering in January, handle on U.S. races plummeted in February compared with the same month in 2014, a decline that dropped 2015's handle behind last year's pace
The opening weekend at Keeneland, which marked a return to a dirt racing main track for the first time since the spring of 2006, saw steady attendance and on-track wagering but total handle declined 5.7%.
With sporadic rain showers throughout the day for Keeneland's fall meet opener Friday, which also marked the return to dirt for the Lexington track, attendance and handle figures were down compared with last year.
While it already has faced many hurdles, if the declining North American foal crop is not turned around soon, North American racing will require creative solutions from racetracks and horsemen or face further contraction.
According to a Thoroughbred Racing Associations study, money from added-gaming sources now accounts for more than one-third of the purse money awarded in U.S. Thoroughbred racing.
With the harsh winter of 2014 finally abating, Thoroughbred racing's key economic indicators of wagering and purses declined only slightly in March, according to figures released by Equibase Co.
A 5.07% decline in race days due to weather-related cancellations resulted in a 4.09% decrease in total wagering on U.S. races in February.
Despite an increase in race days, wagering on U.S. races in January of 2014 was similar to the amount of handle on U.S. races in January 2013.
United States race dates declined by 3.15% in 2013 when compared to the previous year, yet total wagering and purses held steady, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Jan. 5.
Buoyed by an 11% increase in total commingled pari-mutul handle for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, wagering on U.S. races improved 4.37% in November compared with the same month last year.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on United States races was strong in August, with a 4.69% increase from the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Sept. 4.
Compared with 2012, average all-sources handle declined 17% at the recently completed Ellis Park summer meet, a decrease the track attributes to new competition and fewer off-track outlets in the state.
Wagering on United States Thoroughbred racing experienced an incremental uptick during July 2013 compared to the same month last year, according to statistics from Equibase Company.
With a decline of 21 race days when compared with the same month a year ago, total wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing fell 1.57% during June, according to statistics from Equibase Company.
Considering a Triple Crown was not on the line, the New York Racing Association reported some solid numbers for the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day card.
The Arcadia, Calif., track received final handle figures for its winter-spring meeting April 25. Handle improved 3% to $710,813,700. That increase came during a first quarter that saw U.S. handle decline 2.81%.
In its first full year receiving added money for purses from the Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack, the New York Racing Association registered strong pari-mutuel handle in 2012.
Considering there were 13 fewer race days during the month of November compared to 2011 due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, pari-mutuel handle was down only slightly while purses showed a small increase.
With the number of U.S. race days in October down 7.86% from the comparable month a year ago, wagering on U.S. races fell 8.79%, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators from Equibase Company.
Racing continues to show some growth in 2012. In September, handle on U.S. races improved 2.6% and purses were up 13.77%.
Impacted partly by the decision of Gulfstream Park to alter its 2011-12 schedule, wagering on United States racing fell 7% in April, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.
- By Tom LaMarra
Purses and pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred races continued a solid rebound in March with a slight increase in race days, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase.
After posting a rare gain in December, wagering on North American racing took a small step backward in January, with total handle from all sources down 1.1% from January 2011.
Bolstered partly by Gulfstream Park's decision to begin its meet earlier than in the past, wagering on North American racing in December 2011 grew 17.88% when compared with the same month in 2010.
Wagering on United States races declined slightly to 2.86% during the month of July, according to figures released Aug. 4 by the Equibase Company.
Key economic indicators for the U.S. horse racing industry maintained the status quo in June, with declines in total wagering, purses, and race days.
Wagering on U.S. races fell 7.8% during the month of May as the declines in Thoroughbred racing continue, according to figures released June 4 by the Equibase Company.
Consistent with recent trends, pari-mutuel handle on U.S. racing fell and purses rose during the month of April and for the year to date.
Key economic indicators for North American racing in March and the first three months of 2011 reflected a continuation of the trend in which wagering is down but purses are up.
There was good news and bad news March 4 when Equibase released its monthly report on Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.
- By Tom LaMarra
United States purses increased slightly in January year-over-year despite a reduction in racing days, but pari-mutuel handle on U.S. races dropped almost 10%.
Wagering on Thoroughbred racing in the United States fell 7.3% and purses declined 6% in 2010, continuing the trends seen in recent years as the industry remains mired in recession.
Wagering, purses and race days in United States Thoroughbred racing continued a downward spiral in November compared to one year ago, according to the latest available data.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering and purses for Thoroughbred racing declined again in October, in part because of a decrease of 61 race days from the same month in 2009.
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