Portal:Horse racing

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Horse racing

Horse racing at Arlington Park, 2007

Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has been practiced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times are an early example, as is the contest of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was often dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panhellenic Games, the sport was one of the most important equestrian events.

Historically, equestrians honed their skills through games and races. Equestrian sports provided entertainment for crowds and honed the excellent horsemanship that was needed in battle. Many sports, such as dressage, eventing and show jumping, have origins in military training, which were focused on control and balance of both horse and rider. Other sports, such as rodeo, developed from practical skills such as those needed on working ranches and stations. Sport hunting from horseback evolved from earlier practical hunting techniques. Horse racing of all types evolved from impromptu competitions between riders or drivers. All forms of competition, requiring demanding and specialized skills from both horse and rider, resulted in the systematic development of specialized breeds and equipment for each sport, the popularity of equestrian sports through the centuries has resulted in the preservation of skills that would otherwise have disappeared after horses stopped being used in combat.

Horse racing is an equestrian sport and major international industry, watched in almost every nation of the world. There are three types: "flat" racing; steeplechasing, i.e. racing over jumps; and harness racing, where horses trot or pace while pulling a driver in a small, light cart known as a sulky. A major part of horse racing's economic importance lies in the gambling associated with it, an activity that in 2008 generated a world-wide market worth around US$115 billion

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Steeple-Chase on Deauville-Clairefontaine racecourse
The steeplechase is a form of horse racing that derives its name from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside. In the UK and Ireland the official term now used for the sport is National Hunt racing.

The steeplechase originated in Ireland in the 18th century as an analogue to cross-country thoroughbred horse races which went from church steeple to church steeple, hence "steeplechase", the first steeplechase is said to have been the result of a wager in 1752 between Cornelius O'Callaghan and Edmund Blake, racing four miles (6 km) cross-country from Buttevant Church to St. Leger Church in Doneraile, in Cork, Ireland.

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Mine That Bird is ponied on the track at Santa Anita Park

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Entrance to Santa Anita Park grandstands
Santa Anita Park is a thoroughbred racetrack in Arcadia, California, United States. It offers some of the prominent racing events in the United States during the autumn and winter, including both the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap. Lucky Baldwin initially founded a racetrack on the present site in what is today, Arcadia, outside of the city of Los Angeles in the 1800s but it later closed. The newly-formed Los Angeles Turf Club reopened the track on Christmas Day in 1934; in February 1935, the first Santa Anita Handicap was run. The race's $100,000 purse, the largest of any race ever in the United States until that time, produced its nickname the Big 'Cap.

Santa Anita Park was opened on December 25, 1934 and is the oldest racetrack in Southern California, it was designed in the art deco style by architect Gordon B. Kaufman. Santa Anita has a one-mile (1,609 m) synthetic "cushion" main track which rings a turf course measuring 9/10 of a mile, or 7 furlongs plus 132 feet (1,448 m); in addition, it has an unusual hillside turf course which crosses the dirt and is used mainly to run turf races at a distance of "about" 6½ furlongs (exact distance 64½ feet less than same). This type of track is one of the few of its kind in America.

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The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg).

The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner, it is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is followed by the Preakness Stakes then the Belmont Stakes. The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup.

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John Edward Madden
John Edward Madden (1856–1929) was an American businessman and was a prominent Thoroughbred and Standardbred owner, breeder and trainer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He owned Hamburg Place Stud in Lexington, Kentucky and bred five Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winners. He was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame posthumously in 1983.

He was also inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport as a trainer, breeder and owner, he is the only person to be inducted into both the Harness and Thoroughbred Halls of Fame.

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History HorseEvolution of the horseDomestication of the horseDarley ArabianGodolphin ArabianByerley Turk
Governing bodies Australian Racing BoardBritish Horseracing AuthorityFrance GalopHong Kong Jockey ClubHorse Racing IrelandInternational Cataloguing Standards CommitteeJapan Racing AssociationJockey Club of CanadaMacau Jockey ClubNational Association of RacingNational Steeplechase AssociationThe Jockey ClubWeatherbys
Terminology Glossary of Australian and New Zealand puntingBackstretchBlindersChute (racecourse)FurlongGoingHandicappingHorse lengthPhoto finishPurse distributionRacecardRing bitStarting barrierStarting gateStirrup
Types of racing Chariot racingEndurance ridingFlat racingHarness racingHurdling (horse race)SteeplechaseThoroughbredQuarter Horse
Race classes Claiming raceConditions racesGraded stakes raceGroup racesHandicap raceHurdling (horse race)Maiden race horseWeight for Age
Professions BookmakerGroomHorse trainerJockeyOdds compilerRace callerStud MasterStrapper
Awards Cartier Racing AwardEclipse AwardJRA AwardLester AwardScobie Breasley MedalSovereign Award
Breeding Breed registryEquine anatomyEquine conformationFoalHorse breedingHorse careInbreedingLive foal guaranteeMareStallionStud farmStud feeThoroughbred breeding theories
Graded races AustraliaBarbadosCanadaFranceGermanyGreat BritainGreat Britain (NH)IrelandIreland (NH)ItalyPeruSingaporeUnited States
Hall of Fame inductees AustraliaCanadaFranceJapanNew ZealandUnited States
Wagering Arbitrage bettingBetting exchangeBookmakingParimutuel betting

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