2009 not so good for business
While Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta carried the 2009 racing season into a special place in memory, the industry at large looks toward the new decade in well-founded fear. The year at our backs has opened a curtain on an uncertain future for racing. The good news during 2009 took place between white rails. The bad news was everywhere. If the stock market had mirrored the racing business, it would still be March.The U.S. financial markets rallied in the second half of the year, but the ripple effect failed to impact any aspect of the racing industry. In the waning days of 2009, betting handle is on pace to drop 10 percent year over year to about $12.3 billion, the second straight year in which handle has declined by more than $1 billion. Purses are on pace to decline about 5.8 percent to $1.09 billion, a figure comparable with 2005.
Optimists suggest that the market for horses may be improving with a revival of the general economy. For realists: Not so much.
MORE HORSE RACING HEADLINES
- Belle Gallantey upsets 'Princess' in Del 'Cap
- Hangover Kid rallies late to win Bowling Green
- Finnegans Wake wins tight finish in Arlington 'Cap
- Divine Oath closes fast to win American Derby