Powered in part by having day one of the Breeders’ Cup on October 31, two of Thoroughbred racing’s key economic indicators — wagering and handle — showed solid gains for October 2014 versus the same month a year ago, according to Equibase figures.

For the year to date, however, all of the economic indicators continued to lag behind those of 2013.

October wagering rose nearly $22 million, or about 2.7 percent, to $824,523,157.  Wagering handle on Breeders’ Cup Friday, however, was more than $45 million, suggesting that, without that card, racing might have experienced another down month.

Purses also rose during October, by more than 11 percent, to $104,767,862.  That brought purses for the year to within one-half percent of those for the year-to-date 2013.

For the year to date, wagering on US races continues to lag behind that of last year by a shade more than two percent.  That gap may grow in November, since both days of the Breeders’ Cup last year took place in November versus just one this year.

Other indicators — such as race days, races run, and starts all trail those from a year ago by between two and six percent.  And the number of starters per race thus far in 2014 has dropped from about 7.8 in 2013 to 7.61.

[table id=108 /] [table id=107 /]