Press Release


Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Contact: Peggy Hendershot, NTRA (859) 422-2648
Rhonda Norby, Equibase (859) 224-2856

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company LLC today released the year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing in 2004, as well as for U.S. purses and race days, with prior-year comparisons.

With slight declines in the number of race days and pari-mutuel handle, total purses grew by 3.42 percent in 2004 compared to 2003.

"The increase in purses is good news for horse owners and breeders," said NTRA Commissioner and CEO D.G. Van Clief, Jr, "although it demonstrates the growing importance of alternative gaming within the pari-mutuel sector, where three of the four racetracks with significant average daily purse increases in 2004 - Charles Town, Finger Lakes and Evangeline Downs - feature alternative gaming."

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators (2004 versus 2003)
% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races
U.S. Purses
U.S. Race Days

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 $14 million in purses and awards and the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site,, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships,