A horse race is a competitive sports event in which horses race against each other for prize money. The goal is to finish first, second, or third. There are many types of races, including classic races and stakes races.
Classic races are regarded as important events in the sport of racing. They include the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Some other notable races are the Belmont Stakes, the Caulfield Cup, and the Sydney Cup. In Japan, there are also classic races.
A race is typically a series of turns, followed by a straight stretch. Horses race on a track that is about eight feet wide. They are ridden by jockeys. Before the start, the horses are weighed. It is then timed by a clocker. During the race, the stewards watch the horses and make decisions. For example, when a horse crosses the line with another, the stewards determine the winner. If two horses cross the line together, they are considered dead heat.
The earliest races were mounted bareback races. These races included Turk and Barb horses, as well as Arabian horses. Later, race courses were laid out on the plains of Long Island.
After the Civil War, speed became the goal. Dash racing required a skilled rider and judgment. Since then, the Triple Crown has been instituted by scores of countries.
The classic age for a horse is three years. This has lowered the number of races that have horses that are older than four. However, some notable exceptions exist. Also, many states have special racing rules.
One of the most common types of Thoroughbred horse races is the handicap race. Weights are adjusted based on the age of the horse and the performance of the horse in the past. Generally, a two-year-old horse has a lower weight than an older horse. Similarly, the allowances are reduced when female riders are in the mix.
Other forms of racing include listed and prep races. Listed races are usually created with a specific claiming price in mind. An entry list is a list of horses owned by the same stable that are eligible to enter a race. Entry lists can be either preferred or non-preferred. Usually, an owner pays a fee to enter a preferred entry.
There are several different wagering options on horse races. Each option is designed for a particular purpose. For example, an EXACTA wager requires the exact order of finish for all the horses involved. Another is the QUINELLA. This wager allows for a bet on all included races. Even if a certain winner finishes in the wrong order, QUINELLA will pay the win prize.
In addition, there are wagers on intertrack races, such as the Australian Durban July and the Gran Premio Sao Paulo Internacional in Brazil. Typically, the money is divided among the first, second, and third finishers.
There are also a few special races for state-bred horses. For example, the Coaching Club American Oaks is for fillies.