Betting on a Horse Race

horse race

A horse race is a sport that involves a pack of horses, each assigned a weight to carry and a designated starting position. The goal is for each to cross the finish line before the others. Betting is popular at most horse races and can be done in a variety of ways. Many fans wager to win the race, while others place accumulator bets or exotic wagers like trifectas and superfectas.

In the last light of day at Santa Anita, a crowd of sixty-eight thousand humans was cheering and shrieking for their favorite horses. The horses were a beautiful sight, running into the fading sunlight with huge strides and hypnotic smoothness. War of Will hugged the inside rail, while McKinzie and Mongolian Groom sped up on the far turn.

The horses were running in a kind of handicap, which is one of the major categories of horse racing. The goal is to give all the competitors a fair chance of winning by assigning each horse a weight that is relative to its age and ability, with allowances for younger horses and females against males. The most prestigious races are known as conditions races and offer the largest purses.

The earliest horse races in history were not designed to identify the best horse, but to provide entertainment and profit for spectators. The earliest recorded instances of horses being illegally enhanced to improve their performance date back to the Romans, who used a drink called hydromel, and the British, who punished cheating by hanging a stable lad at Newmarket Heath in 1812.

Modern Thoroughbred horse racing is largely regulated to prevent abuses. Horses are subjected to routine blood tests and may be given a cocktail of legal and illegal drugs to mask injuries, reduce bleeding from exertion or to artificially enhance their speed or stamina. Horses are also pushed beyond their limits and often bleed from the lungs, a condition known as exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. They are given a drug called Lasix, which dilates the lungs and decreases blood flow to the lungs during exercise.

A common cause of injury among racehorses is the sesamoid fractures, which are two small bones on either side of the ankle joint. The most common types of sesamoid fractures are apical (along the top), abaxial (at the back of the bone), and basilar (through the bottom of the bone). The bone is susceptible to damage from trauma, such as a fall, or from repetitive stress on the foot from long exercise sessions. The injury can be complicated by infection, or a spiral fracture with multiple breaks. In most cases, the bone can be repaired surgically. In some severe cases, the bone needs to be removed. The injury is very painful for the horse and can have a devastating effect on its ability to race. Horses that cannot race are usually sent to slaughter. Some are exported to foreign markets where they are used for meat, and some are even shipped to China and Peru, where they are slaughtered in facilities that have been condemned by the American Horse Welfare Coalition as “factory farms.” Growing awareness of the dark side of horse racing is leading to increased transparency in the industry.

By archplusdesign
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