Pari-mutuel handle wagered on Thoroughbred racing in the United States in 2003 increased 0.8 percent to $15,180,107,634, marking the 10th consecutive year of growth, according to statistics contained in the online version of “The Jockey Club’s 2004 Fact Book,” released today on The Jockey Club’s web site at www.jockeyclub.com.
The Fact Book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry; the 14th edition of the printed version will be published and distributed in early May.
Despite the continued growth of handle, available purse money in the US slipped 1.7 percent to $1,055,496,849 in 2003 after increasing for nine consecutive years. Among states that countered the national decline by offering more purse money in 2003 were New Mexico and Louisiana, where expanded gaming options at the tracks helped drive available purse money increases of 29.3 percent and 18.4 percent respectively.
Statistics in the Breeding Section highlight the growing breeding industries in New York, Louisiana and New Mexico. Against 2001 returns, the number of mares bred to stallions in these states in 2003 increased 17.4 percent in New York and Louisiana each, and 14.3 percent in New Mexico. These three are also the only states among the top 12 foal producers to generate more registered foals in 2002 than in 2001.
Statistics in the Sales Section illustrate the effects of the improving economy, stock market gains and favorable tax law changes as gross sales in 2003 were up across the board, paced by a 38.7 percent gain in weanling sales receipts.
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, will be updated monthly.
The Breeding Section includes Annual Foal Crop and its Distribution by State; and Distribution of Stallions and Mares Bred by State.
The Racing Section includes Number of Races; Gross Purses; Pari-Mutuel Handle; Distribution of Races by Purses and Distance; Size of Field and Starts per Horse; Two-Year-Old Racing; and the Relationship of US Races, Purses and Foal Crops.
The Sales Section includes Gross Sales in All Categories; Average and Median Price per Yearling; and the Foal Crop/Auction Yearling Percentage.
Also updated are Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Worldwide in 2002; the International Calendar of Events which includes all Grade 1 races for which dates are known; and the Directory of National, State and International Organizations, which includes phone numbers for all organizations and web site links where known.