The Jockey Club’s 2009 Online Fact Book, published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry, is now available on The Jockey Club’s Web site

Statistics contained in the Online Fact Book reveal the extent to which the weakening global economy affected Thoroughbred breeding, racing and auction sales in North
America in 2008.

Pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred racing in North America declined 7.2 percent to $14,331,781,748 in 2008, as the worsening economy and continued discord concerning
rights fees for advance deposit wagering contributed to the decrease. A more modest decline of 1.3 percent in North American gross purses to $1,310,838,852 is indicative of the positive impact of alternative gaming recently implemented at racetracks in several states. Pennsylvania, for example, offered nearly $34 million more in purse money in 2008 than in 2007.

In the Sales section, total auction receipts in 2008 fell 21.2 percent to $972,889,922 as turmoil in credit and equity markets in the fall particularly affected gross sales of
broodmares and weanlings, which were down 40.1 percent and 34.1 percent, respectively.

In the Breeding section, the decline in mares bred in recent years is expected to result in moderate decreases in the annual registered Thoroughbred foal crop in 2008 and 2009.