Horse Racing 2011: NTRA Chief Alex Waldrop Weighs In
Breeding: down. Ownership: down. The betting handle for racing: substantially down. According to Waldrop the closure of the New York City Off-Track Betting (NYC OTB) outlets has had a huge impact on the amount of money wagered nationally this year. The overall decrease in handle is one of the forces that resulted in a significant contraction in the number of race days at tracks throughout the country.
All is not lost.
“We are seeing positive trends,” Waldrop contends. “Watching carefully, we see upticks in the major yearling sales this year — these are important early-indicators that there is demand returning for horses. There was strong business at boutique meets this year. Saratoga (NY) was strongest ever, and Del Mar (CA) had a big meet; Churchill Downs and Keeneland have been good too. It looks like we are stabilized as an industry and are going start seeing some positives.”