Press Release


Friday, April 4, 2003


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company LLC today released the first-quarter "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing in 2003, as well as for U.S. purses and race days, with prior-year comparisons.

Purses increased 4.3 percent over first-quarter 2002, to $208,840,231. Total wagering dipped 1.17 percent, in large measure due to a 1.82 percent drop in the number of racing days. Compared with first-quarter 2002, a total of 23 fewer racing days were run during first-quarter 2003.

"Pari-mutuel wagering is showing considerable resilience, given that overall, 92 scheduled racing days were cancelled in the first quarter due to weather," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "The figures for U.S. purses, with sustained growth over the first quarter of 2002, also are welcome and positive, especially under the circumstances."

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators (First-Quarter 2003 versus 2002)

Indicator 2003 2002 % Change
Wagering on U.S. Races $3,663,328,278 $3,706,610,193 -1.17
U.S. Purses $208,840,231 $200,213,290 +4.31
U.S. Race Days 1,242 1,265 -1.82

Equibase Company is a partnership between The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America (TRA) and serves as the Thoroughbred industry's Official database for racing information and statistics. Through its Web site,, the Company offers an ever-increasing menu of racing information, statistics and handicapping products for everyone from the casual fan to the most experienced handicapper.

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also administer the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site,