Saturday, February 28, 2009Contact: John Cooney
(859) 224-2714
Publication of US 2009 Online Factbook

Statistics contained in The Jockey Club’s 2009 Online Fact Book, released today on the organization’s website at, reveal the extent to which the weakening global economy affected Thoroughbred breeding, racing and auction sales in North America in 2008.

The Jockey Club Fact Book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry; the 19th edition of the printed version will be published and distributed in early May.

Pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred racing in North America declined 7.2% to $14,331,781,748 in 2008, as the worsening economy and continued discord concerning rights fees for advance deposit wagering contributed to the decrease. A more modest decline of 1.3% in North American gross purses to $1,310,838,852 is indicative of the positive impact of alternative gaming recently implemented at racetracks in several states. Pennsylvania, for example, offered nearly $34 million more in purse money in 2008 than in 2007.

In the Sales section, total auction receipts in 2008 fell 21.2% to $972,889,922 as turmoil in credit and equity markets in the fall particularly affected gross sales of broodmares and weanlings, which were down 40.1% and 34.1%, respectively.

In the Breeding section, the decline in mares bred in recent years is expected to result in moderate decreases in the annual registered Thoroughbred foal crop in 2008 and 2009. Among the top 10 foal-producing states in 2007, New Mexico and Louisiana have more than doubled the size of their annual registered foal crop since 1997. Four others — Kentucky, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania — also experienced gains.

In the Online Fact Book, some tables have been expanded to include multi-year reports; others include state-by-state analysis. Statistics in the Breeding section, which by their very nature change constantly, are updated regularly. In addition, the Online Fact Book now features a printer-friendly page option on all pages in the Breeding, Racing and Sales sections. This option condenses the width of the online page so that it

can be printed in a “portrait” format. The following sections of the Online Fact Book have also been updated: Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Worldwide in 2007; Breed Registration Figures; the International Calendar of Events, which includes all Grade 1 races for which dates are known; and the Directory of National, State, Canadian and International organizations, which includes phone numbers for all organizations and website links for organizations that have them.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. The Jockey Club fulfills that longstanding commitment by serving the information and technology needs of the industry and by providing support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives.