History and Types of Horse Racing

horse racing

Horse Racing: The Sport of Kings

Most horse races last about two minutes, but horse racing fans will tell you there’s more excitement in those two minutes than in an entire football or baseball game. This Web guide explains how horse racing has evolved to its current form, directs you to the best news and handicapping sources, shows you how and where you can wager, and helps you become involved in the sport.

History and Types of Horse Racing

Horse racing dates back to 4500 B.C.; today, it is one of the most ubiquitous sports, contested on six continents in many forms. The sites in this section address the evolution of horse racing from ancient times to today.

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  • There are many forms of horse racing, including steeplechase racing, harness racing and quarter horse racing. This section includes information on horse racing in general, but the rest of the Web Guide focuses on thoroughbred racing.

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Basics of Thoroughbred Horse Racing

This section helps you understand the different types of horses and races, and teaches you important horse racing terminology.

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  • Horse racing beginners should also check out the introduction to handicapping in the “Betting on Horse Racing” section of this Web guide.
  • A thoroughbred is a breed of horse whose ancestry traces to three foundation sires—the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerly Turk. These three stallions were brought to England from the Middle East during the 17th century and bred with English horses. The result was an animal that could carry weight with sustained speed over extended distances.
  • The Jockey Club is the official registrar of thoroughbreds in the United States. There are similar authorities in other countries.

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Horse Racing Associations, Tracks and Famous Races

Professional horse races are operated by track owners under the observation of national associations. This section links to the official Web sites of prominent associations, tracks and races.

Insights for Horse Racing Associations, Tracks and Famous Races

  • The Web sites of the tracks listed below all feature visitor information, ticket sales, race schedules and daily entrants, live odds and results.
  • For more links to tracks across the country, see the directories on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Thoroughbred Racing Associations Web sites.

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Horse Racing News and Handicapping Information

This section features the best sources for news on racing and breeding, as well as valuable handicapping information.

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  • The following sites all focus exclusively on horse racing. You can also find horse racing sections on the do-it-all sports sites found in the findingDulcinea Sports Web Guide.
  • Serious horse racing bettors make their selections by analyzing data about the previous races run by each horse; this trove of data, known as “past performances,” is most definitely indicative of future performance.

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Betting on Horse Racing

This section teaches you how to handicap and shows you the best Web sites to place online bets.

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  • Online wagering is not available in all states. Be sure to read an online betting site’s Terms and Conditions or FAQs before signing up.

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Buying a Racehorse

Many premier horses are owned by wealthy breeders who have been in the game for decades. But just as often a horse crowned champion at the end of the year is a bargain-bin horse owned by a small group of friends who pooled their money. If you want to chase your own Derby dream, use this section to find information on buying horses.

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