Wagering on U.S. races in the third quarter of 2018 was up an anemic 1 percent, despite substantial gains in September of this year, according to figures released Friday by Equibase.The third&#45;quarter numbers can be viewed in a more positive light when accounting for a decline in the number of races during the three&#45;month period. Races declined 3.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2017, and, using that figure, average wagering per race in the third quarter was up 4.9 percent, from $252,125 in the third quarter of last year to $264,478.Several other relevant figures were negative for the quarter, including the number of starts, which fell 5.63 percent, contributing to a 2.0 percent decline in field size, to 7.39 horses per race. Field size is a strong determinant of per&#45;race wagering figures.The modest gain in the third&#45;quarter numbers occurred despite strong growth in September, which had 10 weekend dates this year, compared to nine last year. In September, total wagering on U.S. races rose 5.3 percent, despite a 3.7 percent decline in races, working out to a 9.3 percent increase in per&#45;race betting for the month.Through the first nine months of the year, total wagering on U.S. races is up 4.0 percent, according to the figures, with the number of races down 3.1 percent. On a per&#45;race basis, wagering is up 7.2 percent.Wagering trends in the United States have been on a decent upward slope for the most part of the last year, due in part to changes in the tax treatment of parimutuel winnings enacted late last year that are favorable to horseplayers. For the year, total purses are up 3.1 percent, with the per&#45;race purse figure establishing a record at $29,636. Purses at U.S. racetracks are heavily subsidized by casino operations on many circuits.