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Kentucky Horse Racing and Pari-mutuel

Brief Kentucky Derby History - Horse Racing History:
Kentucky has a history of horse breeding and racing of well over 100 years. One of the major reasons for this are its large grassy farms that are considered as best places to raise, breed and train horses. It was on horses only that frontiers came to Kentucky through Cumberland Gap. In the by gone era, many races were on straight paths and the first circular horseracing track was constructed way back in the era of 1780’s. Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous horse race in US and it has been held at Churchill Downs in Louisville every May since 1875.

Also, a very interesting fact about Kentucky’s racing is its Daily Racing Form, a premier daily newspaper, which is now more that 100 years old, that gives immense information about the horseracing industry of Kentucky. Currently, it publishes 20-30 regional editions each day that are on sale at retail outlets 24 hours before race day. Each edition contains regional and national editorial coverage, charts, past performances and other statistics, workouts and handicapping features.

Introduction to Kentucky Horse Tracks

Racing tracks are of foremost importance in horse racing industry and Kentucky, no doubt, has world’s most popular racetracks. They can be named as Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Keeneland, Turfway Park, which are thoroughbred tracks and Standardbred tracks such as Players Bluegrass Downs, The Red Mile and the Thunder Ridge. Horses, undoubtedly are mark of passion and speed all over the world, some of the great speedsters and star horses of the past can be named as Secretariat, Kelso, Man O'War, Personal Ensign, Seabiscuit, Smarty Jones, Seattle Slew, Spectacular Bid and not to forget The Magnificent Cripple.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority was created as an independent agency of state government. The Commission consists of eleven members appointed by the Governor. The appointments to the Commission are required to provide representation within the horse industry to include seven members broadly representative of the thoroughbred industry and three members to be broadly representative of the standardbred, quarter horse, Appaloosa or Arabian industries. This authority works for better coordination and organization of horse racing and regulation of betting in the state of Kentucky. It also performs functions such as providence of medication and testing policies to horses and also maintains all relevant financial and non- financial information about the horse racing industry. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority also provides medications and equine drugs that utilize modern therapeutic measures calculated to improve and protect the health and well being of horses. Administration to a horse in training is under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. Regulations regarding the health of the horse, nurturing formful racing, improving the breeds of horses and safety of the racing participant are strictly imposed in the interest of general public and horse racing industry. A horse may not race with any medication, drug or substance that is a narcotic, or serve as a local anesthetic, or tranquilizer. Additionally any medication, drug or substance that could stimulate or depress the circulatory, respiratory, or central nervous system of a horse is prohibited. Winning horses, and others directed by the Stewards, are ordered to have blood and urine samples extracted for post race testing.

Some Statistics on Horse Racing

Horses that win, and that too Derby are those which are most looked upon. So winners of Derby races for last 5 years on different tracks can be listed as: Firstly, On May 6, 2000 Fusaichi Pegasus won the race worth $1,038,400 by finishing the race in 2:01 min. Next year was the turn of Monarchos that won the race on May 5, 2001 worth $812,000 by setting a time of 1:59.97 min. Third year on May 4, 2002, it was War Emblem that won the race worth $1,875,000 by setting a time of 2:01.13 min. And in 2003, it was Funny Cide who won the race amounting $800,200 on May 3, 2003 setting the time as 2:01.19 and last but not the least was Smarty Jones who, on May 1, 2004 won the $5,854,800 Derby by getting a time of 2:04.06 min. Some other updates which can be provided regarding horse racing industry in Kentucky are that Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day announced his retirement on August 4, 2005, in an emotional press conference at his home track Churchill Downs. The Hall of Famer is No. 4 in wins (8,804) and No. 1 in earnings ($297,941,912). Secondly, has bought Majestic Prince's Derby trophy and will put it in the Derby Museum as part of an exhibit on the 1969 Kentucky Derby. This was the first public sale of a Derby trophy since 1937. Lastly, new inductees to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame for 2004 are trainer Shug McGaughey, jockey Kent Desormeaux, Skip Away, and Flawlessly.

Betting in Kentucky Horse Races

Betting is one of the essentials if one has to enjoy a horse race to its fullest. The major betting locations in Kentucky are Main Office, Corbin Office, Jamestown Office, Maysville Office and Pineville Office. There are many types of betting that can be done in horse races, some of them can be listed as firstly, the most popular Across the Board Betting where a bet on a horse to win, place and show is there. If the horse wins, the player collects three ways; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets. Secondly, Boxed Bet where betting is done in all possible combinations in a multi-horse wager such as exacta or trifecta. Bridge jumper is another way of betting in which the person who bets an unusually large sum on a single horse, like $100,000 to show. Quinella is a type of wager in which first two finishers must be picked, but payoff is made no matter which of the two wins and which runs second. Breakage, an other form of betting is done in pari-mutuel payoffs that are rounded out to a nickel or dime, those pennies that are left over. Breakage is generally split between the track and state and, in some cases, breeding or other funds, in varying proportions. Some other types of betting are Dead Heat, Daily Double, Lock, Objection, Parlay, Winbet and many others.

Other Kentucky Gambling Attractions

Some of the other betting attractions of primary nature are casinos for which Atlantic City, New Jersey is famous. It has over 12 casinos and gambling centers that are large attraction for tourists and that give boost to travel and tourism industry of the country. They also include slots, pari-mutuel, poker, video poker as part of entertainment facilities and tournaments are organized for the same and amongst secondary services are hotels, lodging and dining facilities.

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