Day: March 6, 2024

What is a Horse Race?

The term horse race is often used loosely to describe a close political contest. In a time of mudslinging, name calling and attack ads the substance of the debate can easily get lost. The phrase is also used for any competition involving horses, including equestrian events, such as barrel racing or steeplechases.

In the world of flat horse racing, which covers most races in the United States and Ireland (except steeplechases), horse pedigree is one of the main requirements that allow a horse to race. The sire and dam of a racehorse must be purebred in order to compete. The racehorse may be a Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, or Standardbred.

A racehorse’s career is not short, but it can be very arduous. It is not uncommon for a horse to be injured or even killed during a race. Those who support the sport of horse racing and place money on the outcomes of races must understand that behind the romanticized facade of thoroughbred horse racing is a world of injuries, drugs abuse, gruesome breakdowns, and, ultimately, slaughter.

Spectators, wearing their best suits and sipping mint juleps, watched a pack of eleven horses break from the gate and charge into the last light of day on the backstretch at Santa Anita racetrack in California. War of Will, that year’s Preakness winner, held the lead around the clubhouse turn, with Mongolian Groom and McKinzie a length and a half behind him.

As the field drew closer, the jockeys on each horse began to apply the whip in earnest, trying to get their mounts up to speed. But as the horses approached the finish line they seemed to slow down, perhaps exhausted from running at such a pace for such an extended period of time. When the race was over, the stewards had to decide which horse was first.

Besides pushing their animals to the limits of endurance, racehorse owners and trainers also use cocktails of legal and illegal substances designed to mask injuries and enhance performance. The most common of these drugs is Lasix, a diuretic that is injected into horses the morning of each race and noted on the racing form with a boldface “L.” The drug helps prevent pulmonary bleeding, a condition caused by hard running, in which the horses bleed from their lungs. But Lasix has other, more serious effects, too. It causes the horses to unload massive amounts of urine, up to twenty or thirty pounds worth at a time.

No widgets found. Go to Widget page and add the widget in Offcanvas Sidebar Widget Area.