Handle, purses still ahead of 2017 with three months remaining

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 7, 2018

Heading into the final three months of 2018, total wagering on United States Thoroughbred racing is up 3.95% from the same period in 2017, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Oct. 5.

Commingled pari-mutuel handle for the first nine months of this year totaled $8,843,244,840 compared with $8,506,820,131 for January through September last year. Handle was up 5.29% year over year for September, but increased only 0.94% for the third quarter of this year versus 2017.

Year-to-date purses totaled $849,157,835, an increase of 3.11% from $823,555,748 in 2017. Average purses per race day came in at $2,529,532, up 7.67% from $2,349,301. The number of races for the first nine months of this year totaled 28,653, a decline of 3.07% from 29,560, but average handle per race of $308,632 was up 7.24% from the same period in 2017.

Field size so far this year averaged 7.53, down from 7.59 last year, according to the statistics.