Is Horse Racing Dead? Not Yet

September Derby Brings Bettors, Handle Boost to Racing Economic Totals

Horseplayers wagered more than $3.2 billion in the third quarter. That represents a 12.73% bump from 2019’s figures of $2.92 billion.

At the same time, America’s most wagered race running the first Saturday in September instead of the first Saturday in May resulted in a 29.64% increase in September 2020 wagering. Bettors put down more than $1.039 billion in September, compared to $801.98 million in 2019. A September Derby was a big reason why.

That even came with a decline in Kentucky Derby day wagering, which Churchill Downs attributes to the lack of on-track wagering and a prohibitive favorite in Tiz the Law. The Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes champion lost a fierce stretch battle to Authentic…

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Is Horse Racing Dead? Handle Up on 3-Day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Belmont Park horse racingAll-source handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park was $124,740,193, eclipsing 2016’s all-source handle of $122,816,359.

All-source total on Saturday, which saw Tapwrit win the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, was $93,666,832. Saturday’s on-track handle was $11,594,599, virtually unchanged from 2016’s on-track handle of $11,694,897.

All-source wagering on the Belmont Stakes itself was $47,163,773.

This year’s Belmont Stakes also featured betting in Japan, in a non-commingled pool. The total Belmont Stakes handle from Japan, which is not included in the all-source handle figure, was $4,698,525.

Paid attendance for Belmont Stakes Day was 57,729.

 2017 Handle:

Thursday all-source handle = $10,309,891

Friday all-source handle = $20,763,469

Saturday all-source handle = $93,666,832

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-source handle = $124,790,193

Belmont Stakes all-source handle = $47,163,773

Belmont Stakes Japan handle = $4,698,525