Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Horse Racing- Still a Fun Bet

Written by Tyler Hunt

Horse racing is a sport that relies and survives on gambling more so than any other sport. The percentages of people who watch horse racing, but yet don’t place bets are few and far between. The sport thrives on events such as the Kentucky Derby, which in 2009 $104,563,501 was wagered both on track site as well as off track wagers. Due to the level of difficulty to keep up with the ever changing horses, it is almost impossible to stay educated. This leads to horse betting having more misinformed money wagered on it than any other sport.

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In the day of million dollar horses being flown into the races on private jets, the 2009 Kentucky Derby was a breath of fresh air to the average sports fan. The winner of the race was a horse named Mine That Bird, which was purchased for a mere 9,500. It was a 50-1 underdog and by winning provided the second largest upset in the history of the race. If you bet a 2.00 exacta correctly the payoff was 2074.80. A 2.00 trifecta paid 41,500 and a superfecta paid 557,006 on a simple two dollar bet. This has generated interest in a sport which has been struggling to be become mainstream. The image of a wealthy woman wearing a large hat and cheering on her rich husband’s million dollar horse does not relate to the average sports fan.

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I am a sports fan in general and would not consider myself an expert on horse racing by any means. The reason I am interested in the sport is because every year the thought of the possibility of a Triple Crown winning horse is exciting. Everybody remembers the excitement followed by the let down of Big Brown leading up to the 2008 Belmont. The build up to a three minute race is unlike any other sport when it comes to training and preparation.

The money involved in the sport will always keep it interesting; however it is a sport which is also marred by scandal. Animal rights activists have been raising concerns following Eight Belles having to be euthanized on the track after collapsing following the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Steroids are just as prevent in horse racing as any other sport and this is something which comes with the territory of the sport. Horse racing is really walking a tight rope, because if another horse collapses and needs to be euthanized on the track again it could lead to negativity which the sport may never be able to overcome.

Written by Tyler Hunt

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