There are many reasons to cover a horse race, from political intrigue to the opportunity to gauge the temperament and skill of the jockeys. Horse races provide a window into insider politics, while providing the reader with a focused look at specific races. Without election handicappers, political coverage would look more like endless policy white papers, and they don’t have much time to do so. Nonetheless, horse-race coverage is essential to an informed public, and for this reason, it should be given more attention than ever.
In North America, organized racing began during the British occupation of New Amsterdam. In 1664, Col. Richard Nicolls established organized racing in the colonies and laid out a two-mile course on Long Island. This course, modeled after the British racecourse, was known as Newmarket. The racecourse offered the prize of a silver cup to the winner, and this became the hallmark of the American Thoroughbred. In the years that followed, speed became the goal. However, after the Civil War, the racing system began to shift.
The era of thoroughbred racing began in England. Initially, horses were raced on smaller circuits, which allowed them to conserve energy for the big race. Later, the rules were altered to allow only horses bred in England or Ireland. This largely eliminated horses with ancestry from France. The Jersey Act was repealed in 1949, but not before a century’s worth of history can be found.
Today, the horse racing industry in the United Kingdom is a billion-dollar business. Governments across the country have entered the wagering business, and offtrack betting has become popular in several countries. In New Zealand, France, England, and the United States, off-track betting was a boon for racing. Off-track betting largely became the province of organized crime, but legal off-track betting parlors sprang up across the country.
In the United States, the Derby and the Kentucky Derby are among the oldest and most prestigious. Today, the Triple Crown is centered around the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and the New York races are largely regarded as the most prestigious in the world. However, some races are unique to their locations. Despite being held in two different locations, the Derby was the first quarter-mile race, and the Preakness was a mile-long event.
Tasker’s decision to enter Selima was controversial. It ignited passionate debates in Maryland. While Maryland horse owners believed that their racing was superior to Virginia’s, his attitude toward the race caused resentment among his neighbors. In addition, the two states had previously battled over several issues, including Chesapeake Bay rights, so the entry of Selima assumed symbolic significance. The horse race, however, remains a highly symbolic event.
Other horse races include the Monaco, Australian Derby, and New Zealand Oaks. Some of the richest events in horse racing are sponsored by the owner. Sponsorships in these races are one way to raise the stakes and reward jockeys. Depending on the region, there are different races in each country. If you are looking for a major race, make sure you are aware of the winners and bet accordingly. Just remember to choose a race that suits you best.