07/23/2006 11:00PM

Handle rises in second quarter

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All-sources handle on North American Thoroughbred races in the second quarter of 2006 was up marginally compared with the second quarter last year, while purses in the quarter increased 3.6 percent, according to statistics released Monday by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase.

Handle in the quarter was $4,013,729,721, up 0.56 percent from the second quarter of 2005. It was the second quarter in a row in which betting on North American races has increased.

Purses distributed in the quarter were $303,962,900, compared with $293,289,086 last year.

The number of racing days in the quarter nearly matched the rise in handle, increasing 0.57 percent, from 1,766 to 1,776.