Gulfstream Boosts Spring/Summer Purses

Overnight purses for the upcoming Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream Park will be increased in all categories from open handicaps to $6,250 claiming races with conditions. Open handicap purses will rise from $60,000 last season to $74,000; $6,250 claiming races with conditions will jump from $17,000 to $20,000; open allowances will be $10,000 higher than 2023 levels, ranging from $61,000 to $63,000; entry-level allowances for Florida-breds will increase from $43,000 to $48,000; maiden special weight races will increase by $10,000 to $60,000; maiden special weight races for Florida-breds will go up...

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Weather Causes Drop In January Economic Indicators

Several days of cancelled races due to weather, especially along the East Coast, led to over a 10% dip in wagering from January compared to the same time last year according to statistics released by Equibase. Last month saw 217 race days with a total of 1,853 carded races and $779,860,113 wagered (-10.76%), down from 265 days, 2,280 races and $873,842,469 wagered in Jan. '23, leading to drops in purses paid (-14.94%) and totals starts (-17.36%). On the positive side, despite those cancellations, average wagering was up (+8.99%) as was...

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Fair Grounds Offers Across the Board Purse Increase

Strong handle during the first seven weeks of the 152nd racing season has prompted a 10% purse increase across the board, in addition to $25,000 added to the purses of 10 stakes, announced Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Tuesday. "We're extremely excited to announce a 10% increase to our daily purse structure along with the $25,000 boost to 10 stakes," Fair Grounds' racing secretary Scott Jones said. "Based on the strong early handle returns and continued support from our owners, horsemen, and horseplayers, we are in a position to...

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Handle Drops by 3.7% in 2023 as Purses Also Take a Slight Dip

According to data released Friday by Equibase, handle in 2023 fell by $447,759,362 for a decline of 3.7 percent. Had handle not rebounded in December, which saw a 6.62% increase, the figures would have looked much worse. Outside of the COVID year of 2020, this was the steepest decline based on percentage of handle since 2011. A total of $11,658,624,859 was wagered in 2023. "I think we got quite a blip coming out of the pandemic when we were the only game in town," said Marshall Gramm, an economics professor,...

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CHRB Vice-Chair: 1/ST Racing 'Doing Things That Are Detrimental to California Racing'

Although the recently reported purse cuts for the upcoming meets at Golden Gate Fields (25%) and Santa Anita Park (5%) were not on Thursday's official agenda for the monthly California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting, the commission's vice-chairman, Oscar Gonzales, made it clear that the owner of both tracks, 1/ST Racing and Gaming, was going to face some tough questioning on the topic when the CHRB next convenes in January. TDN's Dan Ross had reported Dec. 9 that Golden Gate is overpaid to the horsemen's account by some $3.1 million...

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Finger Lakes Reports Handle Growth at '23 Meet

Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (FLGR) reported growth in handle at the recently concluded 2023 race meet, according to a press release. Total handle increased by 18.7 percent to $120,541,745. On-track handle also bumped up by $4,024 to $1,973,368. The 2023 numbers built off of the increases from the previous year, when total wagering was up 16.5 percent, despite racing one fewer day (88 total). The total number of races dipped 2.9 percent from 730 to 714, but field size grew to an average of 6.88 starters per race compared...

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Yale Study of Racing Biz: Areas of “Surprising Strength” Amid Sharp Declines

Every summer, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) takes in a small gaggle of college-age interns--what for many of them proves a baptism of the turf. This year's batch--three Yale undergrads studying economics, electrical engineering and political science--were tasked with a data-driven analysis of the economics of the national horse racing biz over the past 20 years. Harboring no previous relationship with the industry, the three undergrads came in free of prejudice and preconceptions. The result is a 33-page paper weaving piercing and worrying insights into the state of...

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Stakes Purses Raised by $1.2 Million at Fair Grounds

Louisiana's Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will host 73 black-type races worth a combined $9.7 million during the upcoming 76-day 2023-24 Thoroughbred meet, officials at the New Orleans oval announced Wednesday. The amount is up $1.2 million from last year, but does include $1 million in base purses offered Dec. 2 as Fair Grounds hosts the 25th annual Claiming Crown. That event returns to Fair Grounds for the first time since 2011 with purses ranging from $75,000 to $200,000. Another $25,000 in each race will be available in purse...

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Turfway MSW Purses Projected to Hold Steady at $70,000

Turfway Park purses for maiden special weight (MSW) races are projected to stay level at $70,000, the same as last season. The dovetailed 2023-24 meets that run through March will open Nov. 29. Chip Bach, Turfway's general manager, reported that projection during the Oct. 3 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting. The overall purse structure, Bach said, will also be "similar" to the previous meet "even though we're adding days and races." Bach said Turfway plans on running Wednesdays through Saturdays with a 5:55 p.m. Eastern first post,...

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Wagering Up 4.3% at Kentucky Downs

Edited Press Release The key indicators to measure the success of a race meet were either up or maintained a lofty level at the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs, which came to a close Wednesday. Purses paid out to horse owners were a record for the 12th straight year. Money wagered was another record, increasing 4.3%. Field sizes remained among the highest in the country with an average of 10.42 starters per race. "Kentucky Downs' ownership led by Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone continually pushes us to present racing in...

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Fall MSW Purses At Churchill ($120k), Keeneland ($100k) To Be Level With '22 Money

Both Churchill Downs ($120,000) and Keeneland Race Course ($100,000) are projecting maiden special weight (MSW) purses this autumn to be level with the money paid out at the same meets in 2022. Those figures were revealed by representatives of the two tracks Thursday during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee. The Churchill MSW purses for this year's two fall meets (Sep. 14-Oct. 1 and Oct. 29-Nov. 26) have been unchanged since 2020. In 2020, Churchill offered split MSW purse values in September-$97,000 during the pandemic-rescheduled...

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Major Thoroughbred Economic Metrics Down in July

Wagering on U.S. races, available and paid purses and the total number of races days each saw declines to varying degrees during the month of July, according to information released by Equibase Sunday. Total wagering of $1.067 billion on races during the month represented a 6.68% decrease on the corresponding figure from 2022, while available purses of $123.3 million was off by just over 1% year over year. Paid purses of $117.6 million was down 2.48%, while the total number of race days dropped from 453 to 423 (6.62%). Average...

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