Racing handle, field size down in first quarter

Apr 11, 2017 3:00 AM

Despite record-setting handle on the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup in late January, wagering on U.S. thoroughbred races dipped slightly in the first quarter of 2017. 

Figures released by Equibase, an industry data source, show that although more races were conducted, wagering in the first three months fell 1.1 percent.

Handle on the Pegasus World Cup card was $40.2 million, a single-day record for Gulfstream, far exceeding the previous record established on the 2016 Florida Derby card.

Field size, an important wagering indicator, fell 4.14 percent in the quarter, from 8.19 horses per race last year to 7.85 this year.