Sunday, February 05, 2006Contact: Peggy Hendershot, NTRA
+1 (859) 422-2648
Publication of US "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators"

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company LLC today released the year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing in 2005, as well as for U.S. purses and race days, with prior-year comparisons.

Severe weather in several major racing states had a clear and direct impact on pari-mutuel wagering in 2005. In a year that included record rains in California, hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and tornadoes in the Midwest, the pari-mutuel industry lost 147 days of racing from the previous year.

As a result, the industry experienced a slight decline in aggregate purses, with the number of race days and pari-mutuel handle showing declines of 2.29 and 3.43 percent, respectively, compared to 2004.

"It is encouraging to note that even with decreases in pari-mutuel handle, U.S. purses have topped $1 billion for six consecutive years," said NTRA Commissioner D.G. Van Clief, Jr.. "This trend correlates to the growth in alternative gaming, which plays a larger role in supporting our purse structure, and has helped fuel the extraordinary growth that we have seen in the bloodstock market in recent years."

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators (2005 versus 2004)

Indicator * 2005 * 2004 * % Change

  • Wagering on U.S. Races * $14,580,757,317 * $15,099,011,926 * -3.43
  • U.S. Purses * $1,080,742,875 * $1,092,565,395 * -1.08
  • U.S. Race Days * 6,276 * 6,423 * -2.29