Handle, purses grow year over year for first quarter of 2018

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: April 5, 2018

Thoroughbred pari-mutuel handle and purses both increased in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase April 5.

The quarterly numbers were aided by a strong March in which commingled wagering on United States Thoroughbred races increased 11.35% and purses jumped 13.95% compared with March 2017.

Through the first three months of this year, handled totaled $2.627 billion, up 6.22% from $2.473 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Purses increased 5.78% to $224,977,709 from $212,676,463, while race days were down 3.64% to 847 from 879, according to the statistics.

Average wagering per race day was $3.101 million from January through March, up 10.24% from $2.813 million for the same period last year.

Total handle in March was $972,396,989 versus $873,283,656 a year earlier. Purses totaled $81,455,057 compared with $71,483,359, and race days were down two, from 318 last March to 316 this year.

(Photo by Tom LaMarra)