Horse Racing – Field Size and Betting

A recent research by Stats Jockey Club, which was established in 1894, shows that the horse racing field size has a direct impact on how people bet. The Jockey club is an organization that seeks to improve breeding and thoroughbred racing. Among all the other statistics, the field size statistics in connection to betting were alarming. Nowadays, the field size in the race tracks has considerably reduced. The fields no longer have as many horses, as it was some two decades ago. The average field size in 2010 had 8.19 horses as compared to 9.07 horses per field in 1950. The drop in field size may seem insignificant. However, for every extra horse that enters a horse racing field, there is a $100,000 increase in the average handle.

This is significant because the handle directly affects the purses in that, the purses increase with elevating handle. The purses have a direct connection to the urge of horse owners to breed more horses. Larger purses incur more thorough breeding. Consequently, more horses are bred hence a reflected increase in number of the field size. This is, therefore, a huge circle that is particularly vital to the horse racing industry. This is the circle within which betting is based on. For most people, betting is what makes this equestrian sport worthwhile. It simply wouldn’t be fun without betting. It has been proven, especially in Triple Crown and Breeder’s cup races, that the larger the field size, the more the betting. The more spread out the field is, the higher the chances that people will bet on some of the extra horses to make profits, which many end up losing.

The main reason for the fields decrease is the unwillingness of horse lovers to buy or breed and train horses. Even those who are already horse owners are reluctant in training their horses for distinct races. Moreover, horses have become more prone to health complications as compared to the past. In 1960 horses raced at 11.3 times per year, in 1980, it declined to 9.21 times per year and in 2010, it further declined to 6.11 times per year.

The reduction of horses that are being thoroughbred has been the major reason for reduction of field sizes. This has had a crucial, direct impact on the money that people wager in today’s races. The research outlined negative handle results, six years in a row, with there being a decline of 7.3% in 2010. Some enthusiastic bettors don’t find it exhilarating anymore. Many of them are yearning for races with larger field sizes. This even makes it relatively hard to choose a bet. So, chances are that you will bet on a number of horses. Now what happens when the field consists of six horses? One is most likely to bet on just one horse. It’s time to go back to the larger field races. Not only to improve the overall handle and purses but also to bring back the lost fun and excitement in the magnificent equestrian sport.

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