Horse Racing in the United States
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Horse Racing in the United States

Horse racing in the United States dates back to 1665, which saw the establishment of the Newmarket course in Salisbury, New York, a section of what is now known as the Hempstead Plains of Long Island, New York.[1] This first racing meet in North America was supervised by New York's colonial governor, Richard Nicolls. The area is now occupied by the present Nassau County, New York, region of Greater Westbury and East Garden City.

Horse racing remains a popular sport throughout the United States.

Thoroughbred racing in the United States

In 1665, the first racetrack was constructed on Long Island. It is the oldest Thoroughbred race in North America. The American Stud Book was started in 1868, prompting the beginning of organized horse racing in the United States. There were 314 tracks operating in the United States by 1890; and in 1894, the American Jockey Club was formed.[2] The anti-gambling sentiment prevalent in the early 20th century led almost all states to ban bookmaking. Bookmaking is the process of taking bets, calculating odds, and paying out winnings. This nearly eliminated horse racing altogether. When parimutuel betting was introduced in 1908, the racing industry turned around.[3] Horse racing flourished until World War II. The sport did not regain popularity in the United States until horses began to win the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is a series of three races, consisting of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.[2]

Endurance racing

Contemporary organized Endurance racing began in California around 1955, and the first race marked the beginning of the Tevis Cup[4] This race was a one-hundred-mile, one-day-long ride starting in Squaw Valley, Placer County, and ending in Auburn. Founded in 1972, the American Endurance Ride Conference was the United States' first national endurance riding association.[5]

Quarter horse racing

Horse racing at Jacksonville, Alabama, 1841

The first record of quarter mile length races dated back to 1674 in Henrico County, Virginia. Each race consisted of only two horses and they raced down the village streets and lanes. The Quarter Horse received its name due to the length of the race. The races were indeed "a quarter" of a mile, or 400 meters. The breed of horse was developed so they could get off to a quick start, and win the race.

Major racetracks

Belmont Park is part of the western edge of the Hempstead Plains. Its mile-and-a-half main track is the largest dirt Thoroughbred race course in the world, and it has the sport's largest grandstand.

One of the latest major horse track opened in the United States was the Meadowlands Racetrack opened in 1977 for Thoroughbred racing. It is the home of the Meadowlands Cup. Other more recently opened tracks include Remington Park, Oklahoma City, opened in 1988, and Lone Star Park in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, opened in 1997; the latter track hosted the prestigious Breeders' Cup series of races in 2004.

Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States has its own Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. The Hall of Fame honors remarkable horses, jockeys, owners, and trainers.

In North America, most racehorses are stabled in the backstretch of the racetrack at which their trainers are based. The backstretch has extensive facilities to house the horses and workers.[6]

Types of racing

A horse race at Del Mar

In the United States, Thoroughbred flat races are run on either dirt, synthetic or turf surfaces. Other tracks offer Quarter Horse racing and Standardbred horse racing, or combinations of these three types of racing surfaces. Racing with other breeds, such as Arabian horse racing, is found on a limited basis. American Thoroughbred races are run at a wide variety of distances, most commonly from 5 to 12 furlongs (0.63 to 1.50 mi; 1.0 to 2.4 km). The shorter distances are more common but the mid-to-long distance races tend to be higher in prestige. With this in mind, breeders of Thoroughbred race horses attempt to breed horses that excel at a particular distance (see Dosage Index).

The Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack at the Alameda County Fairgrounds is the oldest horse racing track in America[], dating back to 1858, when it was founded by the sons of the Spaniard Don Agustin Bernal.

Flat racing

In 1665, the first racetrack was constructed on Long Island. It is the oldest Thoroughbred race in North America. The American Stud Book was started in 1868, prompting the beginning of organized horse racing in the United States. There were 314 tracks operating in the United States by 1890; and in 1894, the American Jockey Club was formed.[2]

Horse racing at Jacksonville, Alabama, 1841

The first record of quarter mile length races dated back to 1674 in Henrico County, Virginia. Each race consisted of only two horses and they raced down the village streets and lanes. The Quarter Horse received its name due to the length of the race. The races were indeed "a quarter" of a mile, or 400 meters. The breed of horse was developed so they could get off to a quick start, and win the race.

Belmont Park is part of the western edge of the Hempstead Plains. Its mile-and-a-half main track is the largest dirt Thoroughbred race course in the world, and it has the sport's largest grandstand.

One of the latest major horse track opened in the United States was the Meadowlands Racetrack opened in 1977 for Thoroughbred racing. It is the home of the Meadowlands Cup. Other more recently opened tracks include Remington Park, Oklahoma City, opened in 1988, and Lone Star Park in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, opened in 1997; the latter track hosted the prestigious Breeders' Cup series of races in 2004.

Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States has its own Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. The Hall of Fame honors remarkable horses, jockeys, owners, and trainers.

Endurance racing

The length of an endurance race varies greatly. Some are very short, only ten miles, while others can be up to one hundred miles. There are a few races that are even longer than one hundred miles and last multiple days.[7] These different lengths of races are divided into five categories: pleasure rides (10-20 miles), non-competitive trail rides (21-27 miles), competitive trail rides (20-45 miles), progressive trail rides (25-60 miles), and endurance rides (40-100 miles in one day, up to 250 miles (400 km) in multiple days).[5] Because each race is very long, trails of natural terrain are generally used.

The longest endurance race in the world is the Mongol Derby, which is 620 miles (1000 km) long.[8]

Arabian horse

The Arabian horse was developed by the Bedouin people of the Middle East specifically for stamina over long distances, so they could outrun their enemies. It was not until 1725 that the Arabian was introduced into the United States.[9] Arabians appeared in the United States in colonial times, though were not bred as purebreds until about the time of the Civil War. Until the formation of the Arabian Horse Registry of America in 1908, Arabians were recorded with the Jockey Club in a separate subsection from Thoroughbreds.

They must be able to withstand traveling long distances at a moderate pace. Arabians have an abundance of Type I fibers. Their muscles are able to work for extended periods of time. Also, the muscles of the Arabian are not nearly as massive as those of the Quarter Horse, which allow it to travel longer distances at quicker speeds. The Arabian is primarily used today in endurance racing, but is also raced over traditional race tracks in many countries.

Arabian Horse Racing is governed by IFAHR (The International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities).[10]

Quarter horse

The ancestors of the Quarter Horse were prevalent in America in the early 17th century. These horses were a blend of Colonial Spanish horses crossed English horses that were brought over in the 1700s. The native horse and the English horse were bred together, resulting in a compact muscular horse. At this time, they were mainly used for chores such as plowing and cattle work. The American Quarter Horse was not recognized as an official breed until the formation of the American Quarter Horse Association in 1940.[11] In order to be successful in racing, Quarter Horses need to be able to propel themselves forward at extremely fast sprinter speed. The Quarter Horse has much larger hind limb muscles than the Arabian, which make it much less suitable for endurance racing.[12] They also have more Type II-b fibers, which allow the Quarter Horse to accelerate rapidly.

When Quarter Horse racing began, it was very expensive to lay a full mile of track so it was agreed that a straight track of four hundred meters, or one quarter of a mile would be laid instead.[13] It became the standard racing distance for Quarter Horses and inspired their name. With the exception of the longer, 870-yard (800 m) distance contests, Quarter Horse races are run flat out, with the horses running at top speed for the duration. There is less jockeying for position, as turns are rare, and many races end with several contestants grouped together at the wire. The track surface is similar to that of Thoroughbred racing and usually consists of dirt.

Important races

The traditional high point of US horse racing is the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Together, the Derby; the Preakness Stakes, held two weeks later at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Belmont Stakes, held three weeks after the Preakness at Belmont Park on Long Island, form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing for three-year-olds. They are all held early in the year, throughout May and the beginning of June.

The Breeders' Cup event is held in late October or early November at different race tracks every year. It receives less attention than the Triple Crown series from the general public but is of great importance in determining the American Horse of the Year and annual Eclipse Award divisional winners. It is normally held at a different track every year, though some racetracks have held back-to-back renewals. It currently consists of thirteen races held over two days with total prize-money of $28 million.[14][15]

There are also a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers and a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters, as well as an Arabian Triple Crown consisting of Drinkers of the Wind Derby in California, the Texas Six Shooter Stakes, the Bob Magness Derby in Delaware. Also, the main Standardbred event is the Breeders Crown.

Thoroughbred and Arabian fillies have their own "Triple" series, commonly referred to as The Triple Tiara. While there is some disagreement over which three races make up the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing, the Arabian list is more formal and consists of Daughters of the Desert Oaks in California, the Texas Yellow Rose Stakes, and the Cre Run Oaks in Delaware.[16]

Betting

American betting on horse racing is sanctioned and regulated by the state the racetrack is located in. Simulcast betting almost always exist across state lines with no oversight except the companies involved through legalized parimutuel gambling. A takeout, or "take", is removed from each betting pool and distributed according to state law, among the state, race track and horsemen. On average, 17 percent is withheld from win, place and show pools, with 83 percent being returned to the winning players. A variety of factors affect takeout, namely location and the type of wager that is placed. For example, one regional track circuit in the United States has four different takeout rates for different types of bets with a total blended rate that exceeds 20 percent.[17]

Advanced deposit wagering

Advanced deposit wagering is a form of gambling on the outcome of horse races in which the bettor must fund his or her account before being allowed to place bets. ADW is often conducted online or by phone. In contrast to ADW, credit shops allow wagers without advance funding; accounts are settled at month-end. Racetrack owners, horse trainers and state governments sometimes receive a cut of ADW revenues.

It typically involves betting on horse or greyhound racing. Wagering may take place through parimutuel pools.

References

  1. ^ "Horse Racing History". Horseracing-hq.com. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ a b c "History of Horse Racing." WinningPonies.com. 7 April 2009.
  3. ^ Burton, Bill. "History of Pari-mutuel Betting". About.com. 7 April 2009
  4. ^ "Endurance Horse Racing". HorseRacing.com. The Horse Racing Channel. 8 April 2009
  5. ^ a b "Endurance Riding". Equiworld.net. 8 April 2009.
  6. ^ "An Ethnography of the Saratoga Racetrack". www.nyfolklore.org. Retrieved 2017. 
  7. ^ "Endurance Riding" Equiworld.net. 8 April 2009
  8. ^ "Longest multi-horse race". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ "History Of The Arabian Horse". Essortment.com. 1986-05-16. Archived from the original on December 25, 2010. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ "International Federation Of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities". Ifahr.net. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "Quarter Horse History" Essortment.com 8 April 2009 Archived December 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Crook, T.C., et al. "Comparative Anatomy and Muscle Architecture of Selected Hind Limb Muscles in the Quarter Horse and Arab. " Journal of Anatomy February 2008: 144-152. Academic Search Complete EBSCO. University of Arizona Library, Tucson, AZ. 4 March 2009
  13. ^ "Quarter Horse Racing" HorseRacing.com. The Horse Racing Channel. 13 March 2009
  14. ^ "Purses Increased for 2016 BC Classic, Turf". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  15. ^ "Learn the History Before You're Part Of It". www.breederscup.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  16. ^ "Arabianracincup.com". Arabianracingcup.com. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ "Thoroughbred racing". Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 2014. 

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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