News Releases

Friday, February 07, 2003Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
2003 Fact Book Available on The Jockey Club Web Site

Pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred racing in the United States topped $15 billion for the first time last year, according to statistics contained in the 13th edition of The Jockey Club Fact Book, released today on The Jockey Club's web site at

Handle on US races in 2002 reached $15,062,131,835 (including separate pools first reported in 2000), an increase of 3.5% against 2001. This marked the ninth consecutive year of growth in handle.

US purses, meanwhile, advanced 0.6 % in 2002 to $1,074,247,738. The bulk of the increase was derived from states whose tracks offer expanded forms of gaming, namely Delaware, Louisiana, New Mexico and West Virginia.

Gains in handle and purses were achieved despite a 1.5% decline in the number of races run in the US in 2002.

Statistics in the Breeding and Sales sections continue to illustrate the impact of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome which, during the spring of 2001, caused late term foal losses in more than 500 mares and early pregnancy loss in approximately 2,000 others. Its impact on the auction sales markets was most visible in the 18.5% decline in the number of weanlings sold in 2002. Despite the significantly reduced supply, gross receipts for sales weanlings dipped just 6.6%.

The Fact Book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry. 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 2001; 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, listing for which are hot-linked where known.

The printed version of the Fact Book will be published in its traditional late April/early May time period.