Known as the "sport of kings," horse racing is a centuries' old competition that is just as exciting for those watching as those actually involved with the horses. You need not travel to a horse track to capture the excitement of a day at the races, though; most sports bars can broadcast horse racing. If you have yet to watch this exciting sporting event, here are the basics that you and your sports bar friends need to know about the sport and how you can make the most of your social outing.
A Brief Introduction to Horse Racing
Modern horse racing typically involves either Quarter Horses, which are bred for sprinting, and Thoroughbreds, which are bred for longer distances. Horse tracks do not simply host one or two races, but instead sponsor races of varying distances and classes divided by gender or age. These tracks will often have a premier race at the end of the day, but every race preceding the main event will also showcase a field of horses with different odds and talents.
Behind every race horse is a team of experts. The owner may or may not be involved at all; often, race horse owners get involved either because they love the horses and the races, or look to horse racing as an investment opportunity. The trainer actually prepares the horse for the race and develops a strategy specific to that horse's strengths. Finally, the jockey rides the horse in the race and, with the trainer's instructions, guides the horse to the finish line.
Sports Bar Tips
For each race, horses will be given betting odds. If a horse boasts low odds, like 3-1 or 5-1, that horse is allegedly more likely to win than a horse with higher odds, like 20-1 or even 50-1. This does not necessarily mean that the horses with lower odds will always win, so choose the horses that you like, even for irrational reasons, like silly names. If you and your friends start regularly watching horse racing at your sports bar, you will likely grow more knowledgeable about winning trainers and jockeys and make your picks accordingly.
Even though the sport of horse racing and betting go hand in hand, you and your friends do not need to gamble to still enjoy the races. Even without wagering money, you can still pick favorites and compete to see who most accurately predicts the winners. There is also enough down time in between individual races for you and your friends to socialize and catch up on non-horse racing conversation. Naturally, getting a group together to watch horse racing at your favorite sports bar is also a fantastic excuse to eat pub fare, drink cold beer, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon.
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