The 2016 live racing season came to end on Sunday and its very good to report the 2016 season was a total success. The most important stat I believe is we have stabilized the industry over the last three years and 2016 we started to turn the corner and head back in the upward direction in just about all areas of the industry as a whole.
After suffering several years of down turn in the horse population for the last decade we seem to have bottomed out in 2014 at 558 horses that actually started during that season. Remarkably in 2015 that number was exactly the same at 558 and this 2016 the number went up to 560, that only being two horses more but at least its up by 2.
Those 560 horses started in 403 total races in 2016 for a total number of starts of 2803 which gave us a average of 6.96 horses per race which was up slightly over 2015.
The total of 560 consisted of 108 two year olds that started at least once, 176 three year olds that started at least once and 276 4 year olds and upward.
The number of younger horses being 2 & 3 year olds looks promising for 2017.
TOTAL HANDLE FOR 2016 UP OVER 2015
Even though the weather in 2016 wasn’t nearly as good as 2015 the mutual handle both on track and off track was up over 2015.
In 2015 we had only 7 days were the track was labeled off and this year we had 12 days were the track was labeled off.
The total on track handle was $6,826,042.00 compared to $6,707,707.00 in 2015 which is a slight increase of 2% but considering the weather at least its an increase.
The overall handle was up 6% over 2015 with a total wagering both on-track and off-track of $31,509,665.00. That 6% average is well above the national average of about 2%.
PURSE POOL UP 4% OVERALL IN 2016
The overall over night purse pool was up 8% over 2015 with totals of $5,662,290.00 for 2016 compared to $5,198,408.00 in 2015. The average race payout for overnight races was $15,642.00 in 2016 which was $1202.00 higher on average then in 2015. for an overall increase of 8%.
The racing associations are currently working on increasing that number again for 2017. That would make three years in a row we have been able to increase the purse pool.
The stake race pool was slightly less in 2016 compared to 2015. The total stake pool payout was $2,620,000.00 compared to $2,770,000.00 as the racing associations focused more funding on the overnight races to masses instead of the elite horses.
The associations have already announced an additional open 2 year old race for 2017 to assist those horses bought in CTHS Sale that are foreign bred and to enhance many of the incentive programs for younger horse purchases they are offering.
The average daily purse payout on a daily basis was $159,275.00 per day which was up from $150,347.00 in 2015.
That is with any doubt the highest daily payout of purses north of southern California and west of Ontario.
The associations are hoping to raise that daily average in 2017 and are already working on purse increases for 2017 but await their budget allocation for 2017 which should be released in early December.
Overall it was a very promising season for the future as we appear to be on our way up once again.