07/16/2007 11:00PM

Bets, purses up in quarter

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Total parimutuel betting and distributed purses in the United States and Canada rose marginally in the second quarter of 2007 compared with the same quarter last year, according to figures released by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase on Tuesday.

All-sources wagering climbed 0.87 percent, from $4,008,351,436 to $4,043,258,943, while distributed purses rose 0.82 percent, from $303,725,964 to $306,210,835. Racing days in the quarter were down 1.36 percent, from 1,764 to 1,740.

The second-quarter handle gain reversed a small decline in wagering for the first quarter of this year. The slight gain in handle occurred despite declines in wagering on all three of the quarter's largest events, the three races of the Triple Crown. Betting declined on all three races for the first time in 16 years.