Record national purses and auction sale prices, as well as a reversal of a two-year decline in national handle are among the statistical highlights contained in The Jockey Club’s 2007 Online Fact Book, which was released today on the organization’s website at http://www.jockeyclub.com.
The Jockey Club Fact Book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry; the 17th edition of the printed version will be published and distributed in early May.
Available purse money in the U.S. in 2006 increased 3.3% to a record $1,120,350,012, buoyed by the significant contribution to purses from alternative gaming at racetracks in a number of states. Of the 10 states that offered at least $1 million more in purse money in 2006 than in 2005, half were racino states, including Oklahoma, where gross purses more than doubled to over $18 million in 2006 following installation of slot machines at its tracks during the fourth quarter of 2005.
Meanwhile, total handle on U.S. Thoroughbred races in 2006 increased 1.5% to $14,785,222,550, snapping a two-year decline that coincided with the well-documented growth of off-shore wagering through unregulated outlets, whereby wagers do not reach host track pools.
Statistics in the “Breeding” section illustrate the expanding breeding industries in the racino states of New Mexico, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. While the national registered foal crop increased 5.4% from 1995 to 2005, the number of registered foals born in New Mexico and Louisiana increased 61.4% and 52.0%, respectively. During the same time, the number born in Pennsylvania increased 54.7% in anticipation of the integration of slot machines at the state’s tracks, which began in late 2006.
Statistics in the “Sales” section reflect the continuation of favorable auction sales market conditions, as total Thoroughbred sales increased 11.2% to $1,266,684,292. The average price per horse sold in each of the four major categories of sales all reached record levels, paced by a 14.8% increase in the average price per two-year-old. The average price per weanling and broodmare gained 13.9% and 12.2%, respectively, while the yearling average advanced 4.0%.
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, are updated regularly.
The following sections of the Online Fact Book have also been updated: Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Worldwide in 2005; the International Calendar of Events, which includes all Grade 1 races for which dates are known; and the Directory of National, State, Canadian and International organizations, which includes phone numbers for all organizations and website links where known.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds.