March Economic Indicators; Wagering And Purses Rise While Number Of Races Decline

Starting gate | Sarah Andrew

Wagering on U.S. races, available and paid purses and the average field size, all saw increases to varying degrees, while the number of races declined during the month of March, according to information released by Equibase on Friday.

Total wagering of over $972 million on races during the month represented a 0.99% increase over the same period from 2022, while available purses of $102.8 million were up by 8.41%. The figure of over $98 million for paid purses in March was up 7.55%. However, the total number of race days dropped from 294 to 284 (3.40%) and the number of U.S. races was down from 2,469 in March 2023 to last month's tally of 2,398.

Average field size in March was up over a year ago, however, and checked in at an average of 7.54 runners, an increase of 0.82%. Average daily wagering was up by 4.54% to $3,422,734 and the average available purse number per race day was up 16.79% to $362,067 from the figure of $310,014 in 2022.

For the first quarter of 2024, wagering on U.S. races declined 4.04% to $2.590 billion. Available purse money was up 0.41%, while the paid purse money was down 0.53%. Average daily wagering of $3.44 million was up by 4.75% while the average available purses per race day increased by 14.11% to $354,826.


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