Betting on U.S. Thoroughbred races dropped slightly in March compared to the month's total in 2021, while remaining narrowly ahead through 2022's first three months compared to its pace from the first quarter of 2021, according to Equibase's report of economic indicators released Tuesday.
Overall, $942,589,741 was wagered in March, a 2.37% decline from $965,453,678 in March of 2021. The number of race days conducted was nearly identical, with 291 being run this March compared to 292 last year, making the average wagering per race day $3,239,140, down 2.03% from last March's average of $3,306,348. Purses rose 6.15% to $86,833,249 this March compared to $81,798,689 from last year. Average field size dropped 3.03% from 7.59 horses per race to 7.36.
Through the first quarter of 2022, a total of $2,796,360,290 has been bet, a 1.09% increase from $2,766,166,337 in 2021. However, with 807 race days having been run through March this year compared to 766 by the same point in 2021, average wagering per race day is down 4.04% at $3,465,130 compared to $3,611,183. Purses are clearly outpacing last year's numbers at $244,753,188, a 13.84% increase from 2021's first quarter total of $214,998,157, while field size for the first quarter averaged 7.56, a 3% decrease from 7.79 in 2021.