A horse race is a sporting event in which horses compete on a designated course for a specified amount of money. It is a popular sport in many countries, and is commonly seen on television. It is also a popular form of gambling, and it can be very lucrative for those who are skilled at handicapping the horses. During the race, bettors place wagers on which horse will come in first, second, or third. Some bettors even place accumulator bets, which involve multiple bets that pay out depending on the outcome of the race.
The most prestigious horse races are called Classics, and they include the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. A win in any of these events can make a horse the favorite for a Triple Crown, which is a feat that has only been accomplished twice in history. The Triple Crown series has inspired scores of other horse races around the world to institute their own versions of elite contests.
In early racing, most prize money was awarded to the winner only. Over time, a second and occasionally third prize became more common. The most lucrative events now offer purses in the millions of dollars. The majority of these prize funds are donated by commercial firms, while a smaller portion comes from the winning horses’ stakes fees.
Despite their popularity, there are many concerns surrounding horse racing. These issues range from safety, betting, and attendance costs. However, a growing number of people are starting to see the positive impact that the sport can have on their lives. Those who are not yet fans of the sport should consider attending a local racetrack to experience it for themselves.
Some of the most famous horse races in the world take place at the renowned Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia. The richest race is known as the Everest, and it has an impressive $15 million prize purse. This race is difficult to win because it requires a great deal of stamina and jumping ability. Moreover, the horses must cross hurdles at various points on the course.
The history of horse racing is full of unexpected outcomes and dramatic finishes. One such race was the 2002 Belmont Stakes, in which the long shot Sarava upset the favorite and won the race. It is considered to be the greatest upset in horse racing history.
Few details of this historic race survive, but historians have pieced together what was likely a tense affair. The two competing jockeys were probably young male slaves, and the race took place on a track that was probably a pear-shaped, or U-shaped, oval. Typically, horses in this era carried 140 pounds of weight, 10 to 15 more than the best American Thoroughbreds carry today. The soaring cost of breeding, training, and sale prices have made it impractical to run older horses, but there are some notable exceptions, such as the upcoming 2017 edition of the Aintree Grand National.