Horse racing is a competitive, exciting pastime that is watched around the world. How much do you really know about this popular sport? Whether you want to watch your first race or even place a bet on the competition, here are some facts to get you started.
What is Horse Racing?
Horse racing is a sport that involves multiple horses racing over a pre-arranged course. These horses are sometimes ridden by riders, called jockeys, but can race without riders as well. Horse racing has a long history all over the world and there are multiple variations on the basic horse race. Some races involve obstacle courses, differences in distance and breed-specific races.
What Are the Different Types of Horse Racing?
The best-known type of horse racing is called “flat racing,” where two or more horses run a set distance on a flat or circular track. This is the classic type of racing that occurs in world-famous racing events, such as the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. There are other, lesser-known types of racing, though. These include the jump racing, harness racing, and endurance racing. Jump racing involves jumping and maneuvering over an obstacle course. In harness racing, the rider or jockey is pulled by the horse in a two-wheeled cart known as a “sulky.” Endurance racing is a long-distance race that can take place over hundreds of miles.
What Are the Breeds of Horses Used in Horse Racing?
Horse breeding is complex and horses must meet multiple criteria to ensure they are pedigreed. While there are many different breeds of horses, there are four breeds most often used in horse racing: thoroughbred, quarter horse, Arabian horse, and standardbred. Thoroughbred and quarter horses are generally used for flat racing, while Arabian horses are better suited to endurance competitions. Standardbred horses are usually utilized in harness racing competitions.
Where Can I Go to See Horse Racing?
Horse racing is generally held at racing tracks, which can be found all over the world. Some of the better-known tracks in the United States are Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, Belmont Park in Elmont, New York and Pimlico Park in Baltimore, Maryland. To find horse races near you, look for a list of race tracks wherever you get your horse racing news.
What Do I Need to Know About Betting in Horse Racing?
Betting on horse races is a highly popular form of gambling. It is allowed at most race tracks, with a few exceptions. You can bet on horse races at the race track, but there is also off-track betting. Gambling on horse racing can start out simple, but become more complicated, depending on what type of bet you place. The three basic types of bets that are best for newbies are “win, “place” and “show.” The “win” bet is placed upon the horse that you believe will win the race. If that horse finishes in first place, you have won the bet. The “place” bet depends upon your selection winning first or second place in the race. You win the “show” bet if your favored horse wins either first, second or third place. These bets can have varying payouts, depending on which one you choose. While there are more complicated wagers, known as “exotic bets,” it is best to stick with a simple bet if it is your first time at the race track.
With this information, you hopefully have a better understanding of the basics of horse racing, and the ways in which you can watch and bet on this exciting sport.