Horse Racing

Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has been experienced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times are an early example, as is the competition of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology.

It is inextricably connected with gambling. The common sobriquet for Thoroughbred horse racing is The Sport of Kings. Gambling on horse races is an bustle that in 2008 generated a world-wide market worth around US$115 billion. Horse racing in the United States and on the North American continent dates back to the establishment of the Newmarket course on the Salisbury Plains section of what is now identified as the Hempstead Plains of Long Island, New York in 1665.

This first racing meet in North America was supervised by New York's colonial governor, Richard Nicolls. The area is now engaged by the present Nassau County, New York region of Greater Westbury and East Garden City.

The South Westbury section is also (appropriately) identified as Salisbury. In 1665, the first racetrack was construct on Long Island. It is the oldest pure-bred race in North America. The American Stud Book was started in 1868, which prompted the beginning of organized horse racing in the United States. There were 314 tracks in commission in the United States by 1890 and in 1894, the American Jockey Club was formed. The anti-gambling sentiment rampant in the early 1900s led almost all states to ban bookmaking.

Bookmaking is the procedure of taking bets, calculating odds, and paying out winnings. This nearly eliminated horse racing altogether. When pari-mutuel betting was introduced in 1908, the racing production turned around. Horse racing flourished until World War II. The sport did not regain attractiveness in the United States until horses began to win the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is a succession of three races, consisting of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes.