Wagering and purse indicators positive for June, second quarter

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: July 8, 2018

A 14.28% increase in wagering on Thoroughbred races in the United States in June contributed to a 5.02% hike in pari-mutuel handle for the second quarter of 2018, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase in early July.

Commingled wagering in June totaled $1,066,040,958 versus $932,870,144 in June 2017, according to the figures. Second-quarter handle was $3,238,712,367, up from $3,083,834,532 for the same period last year. For the first six months of 2018, handle was up 5.56%–from $5,557,206,392 in 2017 to $5,866,019,879.

U.S. purses in June totaled $110,058,088, up 11.58% from $98,639,597 for June 2017. For the second quarter, purses were up 2.19% ($290,246,387 versus $284,029,182), and for the first six months of this year, the total was up 5.56% compared with the same period in 2017 ($515,570,052 versus $496,705,645).

The statistics show that number of race days and races increased in June compared with last year; the monthly trend has been a decrease. For the second quarter and first six months, however, the number of race days and races are down less than 3%.

So far this year, average wagering per race day is up 8.70% to $2,818,847 from $2,593,190 for the six months of 2017, with average field size even at 7.63. Field size was down slightly in June and for the second quarter of this year.