October betting on Thoroughbred races in the United States was down more than 17 percent, according to figures released Wednesday by Equibase.
But those numbers are skewed by more than $150 million in wagering on the Breeders' Cup, which was run last year in October. This year's championships are this weekend, so that two-day wagering bonanza will show up in November numbers.
Almost $933 million was wagered in October 2009, compared to $1.126 billion in 2008. Year to date, $10.6 billion has been wagered, compared to $11.9 billion in 2008, a 10.88 percent drop. Purses in October 2009 topped $105 million over 530 racing days, compared to $125 million over 513 racing days last year.
More than $27 million of 2008's total was paid out at the Breeders' Cup.