Horse racing is a sport where horses compete with each other over a set course. The race is usually between two or more horses ridden by jockeys. In some races, jumps are also included. Generally, the horse with the fastest finish wins. Prize money is generally distributed among first, second, and third place finishers.
Despite its popularity for centuries, the sport has been subject to many changes over time. These include drug doping, racing safety, and the establishment of rules.
Doping is the use of drugs or chemicals to improve the performance of a horse. It can take the form of steroids, antipsychotics, growth hormones, and other drugs. Some of these medications are legal while others are illegal.
Other forms of doping include juicing. Racing officials had to be kept up-to-date with the new drugs that were coming on the market. But a lack of testing facilities made it difficult to detect the new drugs. As a result, a small minority of thoroughbreds are considered serious bleeders.
Race safety is another major change. With the advent of MRI scanners, endoscopes, and other technologies, racing officials can now scan the body for signs of a serious health condition. They can also detect minor conditions that might otherwise go unnoticed.
The number of horses involved in the race varies based on the size of the field. Each race is also differentiated by its name. For example, the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes is named after a California politician who supported the sport.
A racing official is usually called a steward. He or she is responsible for making sure that all rules are followed during the race. Sometimes a steward will also study a photo of the final finish to make sure that the winner has been declared.
Although the majority of the racing rules have remained the same, there have been some notable changes. One major change was the banning of wagering on racing in California. This was done in 1909 to stamp out the criminal element of the sport. Another significant change was the introduction of the Triple Crown. During the time period from 1969 to 2019, a horse had to win three consecutive races to complete the Triple Crown. There are also different distances, spacing, and orders that the three races must be completed in.
The Kentucky Derby is a popular racing event and the main draw for those attending the race. The race is watched on TV throughout the country and even internationally. However, there are some curses associated with the Derby. Those curses are particularly apparent during stretch runs. Many of the horses are slaughtered.
Unlike other sports, there is no true coach to lead the horse to the finish line. The horse’s owner or trainer is the one responsible for training and grooming the horse.
The horse is also given Lasix, a diuretic that causes the horse to release an epic amount of urine. This helps prevent pulmonary bleeding.