Despite near-record crowds and increases in handle on its marquee weekend of racing, average purses and field sizes declined during the recently concluded spring meet at Churchill Downs, according to a report in the Blood-Horse.
The publication reported that purses averaged $532,903 during the meet, compared with $534,942 over the same period in 2013. There were 24 fewer races run this year, dropping total purses paid to $20,250,300, compared with $20,327,798 paid a year earlier.
Average field size during the 2014 meet was 7.29, compared to 7.78 in 2013.
“The smaller field sizes are the results of a combination of factors that include years of substantial decline in the North American foal crop and increased regional competition for horses from racetracks in Indiana and Ohio with purses fed by casino revenues,” Churchill Downs president Kevin Flanery told the publication.
Read more in the Blood-Horse
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