The 20th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing came to a close Nov. 23 with a healthy outlook on the 123-day racing season.
While Horseshoe Indianapolis is waiting on final information from some non-commingled locations it is estimated that the total handle will be nearly $235 million in all sources signal sales, showing an increase of 5.2 percent over figures in 2021. This is despite running 27 fewer races than in 2021 which results in a per race increase of over 9%.
“Despite difficult weather conditions with rain in most of May and a string of 100-plus heat index days that forced us to either cancel or move post times away from the heat in June, we ended up showing a solid season of business in 2022,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager. “We have to thank the horsemen’s organizations and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for their partnership in achieving these numbers over last season, which was strong to begin with. It’s definitely a group effort in moving the business levels forward in racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis.”
Included in the $235 million in all sources handle was a 6.2% increase in on-track wagering. Halstrom noted Horseshoe Indianapolis is still waiting on several handle sources from international locations that took our signal this year and those numbers should be in within the next month.
“If you look at our estimated handle of $235 million that number is one of the strongest in the nation right now,” said Joe Morris, Senior Vice President of Racing for Caesars Entertainment. “And it also shows a fourth straight year of achieving a record handle. I applaud our horsemen and our racing team led by Eric (Halstrom) for a job well done and for their hard work throughout the season.”
A total of 1,192 races were held with an average field size of 8.06 horses per race, which was a marked improvement over 2021 when the average starters per race was 7.35. The 2022 Quarter Horse starters per race was a robust 9.0 while the Thoroughbred figure was 7.83.
“This is a great way to conclude our racing season,” added Halstrom. “It sure gives us incentive and momentum to head into 2023 with a strong racing product that has shown it is growing each year. We are already working on next season. We are excited to return to racing in April, pending IHRC approvals.”
The 21st season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is expected to resume April 18 for a 123-day meet. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission is set to review the proposal for 2023 at its meeting Thursday at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.