Wagering down, purses up in June, first half of 2019

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: July 4, 2019

Commingled pari-mutuel handle on United States Thoroughbred racing fell 6.99% in June versus the same month in 2018, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released July 4 by Equibase.

For the first six months of 2019, total wagering was down 3.22% compared with the January-to-June period in 2018.

Total handle was reported at $991,001,055 for June versus $1,065,526,949 in June 2018. Average wagering per race was $253,777, down 5.73% from $269,208 last June, based on the statistics.

The June stats list the number of U.S. race days at 499—the same amount as the previous June. The number of races was 3,905, down 53 (1.34%) from June 2018. Average field size dropped 3.12% from 7.33 a year ago to 7.10.

Meanwhile, U.S. purses in June increased 4.67%, from $110,050,928 last year to $115,188,334 this year.

Handle for the first six months of 2019 totaled $5,675,700,071 compared with $5,864,821,854 for the same period in 2018. The number of race days was 2,104, up 1.11% from 2.081 in 2018; the number of races was up 0.35% from 17,396 to 17,457.

Purses for January through June came in at $543,979,337, up 5.51% from $515,570,620 for the first six months of 2018. Average field size fell 2.23% from 7.63 in 2018 to 7.46 in 2019.