Racing Handle Up Slightly in June with 36% Less Races

Racing Handle Up Slightly in June with 36% Less Races
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

US Thoroughbred Handle grew for the first time since February, before the Covid-19 pandemic started affecting racing schedules.  With most summer tracks resuming their racing schedules, albeit without spectators or with limited spectators on track, handle increased nearly 1% from June 2019.  

Thoroughbred Handle

Interestingly, the June 2020 increases were achieved with 36% less races, although field size growing from 7.1 to 8.1 horses per race certainly helped.  Overall, this was a much more efficient outcome, with $49,071 in handle being generated for each runner, a 39% increase over last year. 

Handle indicators

Looking at the top tracks in June 2020, Belmont Park led the way, followed by Gulfstream Park and Churchill Downs.  All three had average field sizes of 8.5 or higher.  In comparison to June 2019, Belmont Park's handle was similar the last two years ($276M vs. $280M), but Gulfstream Park's handle increased by $26 million ($136M vs. $110M) and Churchill Downs handle increased by $24 million ($112M vs. $88M).  

June 2020 - Top 10 Tracks

June 2020 Top racetracks

June 2019 featured the same three tracks at the top - Belmont, Gulfstream and Churchill Downs. All three ran less races in June 2020 compared to 2019. 

June 2019 - Top 10 Tracks

June 2019 Top Tracks

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