A horse race is a thrilling spectator sport with centuries of history, but it’s also an industry filled with corruption and scandal. Some of the biggest races are a part of the Triple Crown series in America, and other races take place across the globe. The defining characteristics of a great race are prestigious settings and spectacular performances by the horses themselves. A great performance can lift a race from simple greatness to immortality, as was the case with Secretariat’s Belmont Stakes victory or Arkle’s stunning six-length win in the 1964 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
In order to get a horse ready for the track, trainers put them through grueling workouts. They often inject them with cocktails of legal and illegal drugs that mask injuries and artificially enhance performance. For instance, a horse that is bleeding from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage is given Lasix, a diuretic drug with performance-enhancing properties. Despite these efforts, many horses will still die while running or suffer significant injuries. A recent video released by PETA shows what it says is abuse at two of the nation’s top horse racing training facilities–Churchill Downs in Kentucky and Saratoga in upstate New York. The images confirm what animal activists have long alleged: World-class thoroughbreds are routinely mistreated and abused by their trainers in the name of winning.
While there are some crooks in horse racing who knowingly use dangerously strong drugs on their animals, most of the industry’s participants are honest people. Some have an in-depth understanding of the sport’s mechanics and use that knowledge to operate within the law. Others have more of a dupe mentality and work under the illusion that horse racing is broadly fair and honest. And then there are those in the middle, neither crooks nor dupes but honorable souls who know that horse racing is more crooked than it ought to be and yet do not do all they can to fix it.
The Triple Crown series is comprised of three American horse races that are considered to be among the most prestigious in the world. The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes are run in a calendar year and are each worth a large cash prize to winning bettors. Each race has its own unique traditions and is held in a different city each year.
There are many ways to bet on a horse race, but one of the most popular options is a straight bet. This wager combines money placed on individual horses and requires the player to select the winner of each race. A parimutuel bet is another option and involves predicting the winner of each race. This type of bet pays winning bettors the amount they wagered, minus a percentage taken out by the racetrack.
There are other forms of betting on a horse race, including exotic bets and handicapping. A player can make a Daily Double or a Pick 3 by selecting the winners of two consecutive horse races on a single ticket. A player can also place a Pick 6 by selecting the winners of all six horse races. In both cases, a player will receive a payout, though it is usually less than the full amount of a win.