Horce Racing in NYC New York City
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Horce Racing in NYC, New York, USA
Horse Racing in NY
Horse racing is an equestrian sport which 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. It is often inextricably associated with gambling. The common nickname for horse racing is The Sport of Kings.
In the United States, races can occur on flat surfaces of either dirt or grass, generally Thoroughbred racing; other tracks offer Quarter Horse racing and harness racing, or combinations of these three types of racing. Racing with other breeds, such as Arabian horse racing, is found on a limited basis. American Thoroughbred races are run at a wide variety of distances, most commonly from 5 furlongs to 1½ miles (2414 m); with this in mind, breeders of Thoroughbred race horses are able to breed horses excel at a particular distance (see Dosage Index).
The high point of US horse racing has traditionally been the Kentucky Derby which, together with the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing for three-year-olds. However, in recent years the Breeders’ Cup races, held at the end of the year, have been challenging the Triple Crown events, held early in the year, as determiners of the three-year-old Champion. The Breeders’ Cup is held at a different track every year; the most recent edition (2006) was held at Churchill Downs. It also has an important effect on the selection of other annual Champions. The corresponding Standardbred event is the Breeders’ Crown. There are also a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers and a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters.
American betting on horse racing is sanctioned and regulated by state governments, almost always through legalized parimutuel gambling. Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States has its own Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. The Hall of Fame honors remarkable horses, jockeys, owners and trainers.
The most famous horse from Canada is generally considered to be Northern Dancer, who after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness went on to become the most successful Thoroughbred sire of the 20th Century. The only challenger to his title of greatest Canadian horse would be his son Nijinsky II, who is the last horse to win the English Triple Crown, and was a better racehorse. Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, home of the Queen’s Plate, Canada’s premier Thoroughbred stakes race, and the North America Cup, Canada’s premier Standardbred stakes race, is the only race track in North America which stages Thoroughbred and Standardbred (harness) meetings on the same day. The Pattison Canadian International has the largest purse of any Canadian horse race.
Quarter Horse racing is popular in the western United States. Quarter Horses are faster than Thoroughbreds, but run shorter distances. While the average Thoroughbred race is roughly a mile, the average Quarter Horse race is about a quarter of a mile (hence the name of the breed). The classic distance of a Quarter Horse race is 440 yards, but races are run from anywhere between 220 and 870 yards.
American Quarter Horses are shorter and more muscular than their Thoroughbred cousins, and so are more suited to shorter, more explosive races. With the exception of the longer, 870-yard distance contests, Quarter Horse races are run flat out, with the horses running at top speed for the duration. There is less jockeying for position, as turns are rare, and many races end with several contestants grouped together at the wire.
Aqueduct Racetrack, known as the Big A, is a horse racetrack in the neighborhood of Ozone Park in the New York City borough of Queens.The racetrack opened in 1894 and rebuilt in 1959, with additional renovations made in 2001 and in 2006.
The track itself has three courses: The Main Track (dirt) has a circumference of 1 1/8 miles (1811 m); inside of this is the Inner Dirt Track (consisting of a special type of dirt over which races are run during the winter months), which is exactly one mile (1609 m) long; and the innermost course is a turf (grass) course, spanning 7 furlongs plus 43 feet (1421 m). The track has seating capacity of 17,000 but total capacity of 90,000.
The track has its own station-Aqueduct Racetrack station-on the New York City Subway, served by the IND Rockaway Line (A) train. It is only open from 11 am to 7 pm on days when the track is open. However, it is also the system’s only single direction station, with a single side platform on the Manhattan-bound side, requiring travelers to double back at Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station, which is a little over a city block south. NYRA also operates a free shuttle bus between the North Conduit Avenue station and the Clubhouse entrance.
Buses on the Q7, Q11, Q37 and B15 routes pass nearby.
Belmont Park is a major thoroughbred horse-racing facility located in the hamlet of Elmont, New York in Nassau County on Long Island (just outside of New York City). Its mile-and-a-half (2.4 km) main track is the largest dirt course in Thoroughbred racing. It first opened May 4, 1905.
The Belmont Stakes is the third and final leg of the triple crown of Thoroughbred horse racing and usually takes place in the 2nd week of June.
Saratoga Race Course
Saratoga Race Course is a famous horse-racing track in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States. It opened on August 3, 1863.
As is the case with the other two tracks operated by the New York Racing Association – Aqueduct and Belmont Park – there are three separate courses at Saratoga: a main (dirt) track, which, like that at Aqueduct, has a 1 1/8 mile (1,811 m) circumference; a 1 mile plus 98 feet long outer turf course known officially as the Mellon Turf Course, in honor of the Mellon family, whose members include prominent Thoroughbred owner/breeder Paul Mellon and his father Andrew Mellon, a former United States Treasury Secretary, the circumference of which is 26 feet (7.9 m) shorter than 7½ furlongs (1,509 m). Steeplechase races are also run at Saratoga and may take place on either of the aforementioned turf courses, depending on the distance of the race.
A former distinctive feature of Saratoga’s dirt track was the Wilson Mile chute, which branched off from the clubhouse (first) turn at a 90 degree angle. After the 1971 meeting, its use was suspended; following a brief resumption during the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was dismantled, leaving no distance available for dirt races at one mile. A similarly-designed chute is still in use at Ellis Park, a racetrack in Kentucky, and is the only such chute of its kind that can be found at any North American track today.
Saratoga Race Course is rich with tradition. A lake in the middle of the track contains a canoe that is painted annually in the colors of the winning stable for that year’s Travers Stakes winner. Also, prior to each race a bell is hand rung at exactly 17 minutes prior to scheduled post time for each race.