Wagering on U.S. races in June 2019 declined by 6.99%, leading to a 3.01% drop in the second quarter and a 3.22% slide for the first six months of the year compared to 2018.
Statistics released by Equibase show a decline of $74.5 million in June – from $1,065,526,949 in 2018 to $991,001,055 in 2019 – and a cumulative decline of $189.1 million for the first six months of the year.
Nearly half of June's decline can be attributed to the Belmont Stakes being run without a Triple Crown on the line, as there was in 2018 when Justify won the Triple Crown. Wagering on Belmont Stakes day dropped from nearly $138 million in 2018 to just over $102 million this year. Also contributing to the wagering decline for the first half of 2019 are the cancellations and shorter race weeks at Santa Anita resulting from the cluster of equine fatalities at the Southern California track earlier this year.
Despite the decline in handle, purses are up by 5.51% for the first half of the year. Total races and race days are also up marginally, even with Santa Anita's compacted schedule. Likely as a result of the slightly greater number of races, average field size is down by 2.23% year to date, from 7.63 to 7.46.
|June 2019 vs. June 2018|
|Indicator||June 2019||June 2018||% Change|
|Wagering on U.S. Races*||$991,001,055||$1,065,526,949||-6.99%|
|U.S. Race Days||499||499||0.00%|
|Average Field Size||7.10||7.33||-3.12%|
|Average Wagering Per Race Day||$1,985,974||$2,135,325||-6.99%|
|Average Purses Per Race Day||$230,838||$220,543||+4.67%|
|2nd QTR 2019
vs. 2nd QTR 2018
|Indicator||2nd QTR 2019||2nd QTR 2018||% Change|
|Wagering on U.S. Races*||$3,140,726,476||$3,238,194,342||-3.01%|
|U.S. Race Days||1,260||1,233||+2.19%|
|Average Field Size||7.22||7.42||-2.69%|
|Average Wagering Per Race Day||$2,492,640||$2,626,273||-5.09%|
|Average Purses Per Race Day||$251,476||$235,400||+6.83%|
|YTD 2019 vs. YTD 2018|
|Indicator||YTD 2019||YTD 2018||% Change|
|Wagering on U.S. Races*||$5,675,700,071||$5,864,821,854||-3.22%|
|U.S. Race Days||2,104||2,081||+1.11%|
|Average Field Size||7.46||7.63||-2.23%|
|Average Wagering Per Race Day||$2,697,576||$2,818,271||-4.28%|
|Average Purses Per Race Day||$258,545||$247,751||+4.36%|
* Includes worldwide commingled wagering on U.S. races.
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