07/04/2014 4:02PM

Race days down sharply from June 2013 to June 2014

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Wagering on U.S. races during the month of June was down slightly while race days fell nearly 8 percent compared with the same month last year, according to figures released by Equibase on Friday.

Wagering fell 0.4 percent, from $931.8 million last year to $927.7 million this year. Race days fell from 571 during the month of June last year to 528 this June, a decline of 7.5 percent. June this year had nine weekend days, compared with 10 weekend days last year.

With the sharp decline in race days, average wagering per race day in June was $1.76 million, up 8 percent compared with average wagering of $1.63 million last June. The June figures this year benefited from record-setting betting on the Belmont Stakes and its undercard in early June, and they held steady despite significant drops in wagering on races at Churchill Downs in Kentucky during the month.

Racetracks are under pressure to cut races because of sharp declines in the foal crop from 2010 to 2012. The drop in race days is a result of that impact, as racetracks pare back their racing schedules in the hopes of maintaining field sizes attractive to bettors.

Though purses distributed during the month fell 4.4 percent, because of the decline in race days, the average purses per race day rose 3.4 percent, from $191,418 last June to $197,916 this June. Purses at U.S. racetracks are heavily subsidized by casino revenues.

Through the first six months of the year, wagering on U.S. races is down 1.7 percent, purses are down 0.4 percent, and race days are down 1.9 percent, according to the figures.

Robin Dawson 10 months ago
Ha! Ha!...two days go by and the powers that be fiddle, while Rome burns!
Robin Dawson 10 months ago
For anyone in the industry/sport this a sobering reminder of the state of thoroughbred racing in North America. Yet I would wager that, when this article is consigned to the archives, there will be minimal comments in this space...maybe less than 10? Meanwhile Justin Beiber pees in public and 500,000 people respond. How tragic is this?
ken n 10 months ago
I go to fort piece fl off track,95% of the people attending are 60 years old or better.do the math.
Russell Rieckenberg 10 months ago
Hmm. That means the young folk are playing from home, or playing live on track? Or maybe Fort Pierce Florida is a popular retirerment/vacation spot for the older crowd? Or maybe you go during weekdays when most young folks are working? I never was too good at math.