07/19/2004 12:00AM

Purses rise in second quarter


Purses in the second quarter of 2004 were up 2.86 percent compared with the same three months in 2003, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase announced on Monday.

The increase, from $284.8 million to $292.9 million, reversed a decline in the first quarter of 2004. The increase also came despite a slight decline in handle from last year and a 1.5 percent decline in live racing days, the NTRA said.

The second quarter included the three races of the Triple Crown, each of which set a betting record this year. Still, handle declined $3.2 million in the second quarter, to $4,110,657,732 from $4,113,889,920.

Purses declined in the first quarter of 2004 by 1 percent compared with the same period in 2003.