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Goldikova Santa Anita - 07.11.2009US racing officials are hopeful the downturn has bottomed out  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Wagering in US falls by ten per cent in 2009

WAGERING on US racing in 2009 took a near ten per cent dip from the previous year as players staked $12,319,129,673,  compared with $13,669,477,234 the previous season.

Purses also took a dip on the year, from $1,158,616,930 in 2008 to $1,093,875,799 in 2009 - a fall of 5.6 per cent.

US racing has been hit by the recession, while several tracks have been plagued with short fields and fewer racing days.

National Thoroughbred Racing Association president Alex Waldrop saw better days ahead for the industry.

He said:  "A decline of this magnitude is nothing to celebrate, but it does  compare favourably with that of many other industries in 2009, especially when considering the overall decline in the number of race dates.

"The decrease in the rate of decline over the final two quarters may indicate that the worst is behind us. I believe horseracing will reverse these trends in the years ahead, especially as we develop new ways to capitalise our unique right to conduct legal, online wagering."

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