Across America, Thoroughbred racehorses run for their lives on hard-packed dirt tracks. While spectators sport fancy outfits and sip mint juleps, they are not watching an elegant sport but rather an industry that is rife with drug abuse, injuries, gruesome breakdowns, and slaughterhouses. The multibillion-dollar business is infested with fraud, illegal practices, and cruelty, and horses that do not make the grade are forced into a life of misery from which they often do not recover.
The Horse Race Game is a parimutuel game where players pay an entry fee and are dealt cards with racehorses on them. The goal of the game is to bet on the winning horse in each race. Players who place a bet on the winner earn a payout equal to their initial bet plus a percentage of the total money wagered by all other bettors. The game also offers additional wagering options including an exotic wager and a pick 3.
A horse’s race history is recorded on its racing form. This information is used by handicappers to assess a horse’s current condition and potential for winning a particular race. Various factors such as a horse’s performance in the past, its current fitness level, the weather, and its odds of victory are taken into consideration by handicappers when making their selections.
As part of their responsibilities, trainers must provide horses with proper care and attention in order to ensure their health and safety. This includes feeding them the correct diet and ensuring that they receive adequate exercise. Jockeys must also keep the horses healthy by monitoring them and addressing any injuries they may sustain during a race.
The for-profit nature of the horse racing industry has always created tension between the business interests of owners and racetrack operators and the best interest of the horses. Despite this, the sport has never fully embraced its responsibility to prioritize horse welfare throughout every aspect of its operations from breeding sheds to trackside, and even at an ideological level within the minds of many men and women who work in the sport.
This lack of commitment by the industry to protect the horses has pushed new would-be fans away from the sport. Many people who have heard of the plight of Eight Belles, Medina Spirit, Keepthename, Creative Plan, and Laoban will never see racing in the same light again, and as a result equine welfare is at a critical crossroads.
The only way for horse racing to thrive is to address its inexcusable neglect of equine welfare by implementing radical change on a large scale. It will take a revolution in the industry’s culture, an overhaul of its business model, and the willingness to put the horse’s best interest before profit. The time to start is now. If not, the legacy of Eight Belles, Medina Spirit, Creative Plan and countless others will be lost. A better future for these magnificent creatures awaits them. A much better future that these horses, and the thousands of young ones yet to come, deserve.