A horse race is a type of sports competition in which competitors ride horses to win a prize. The horse must travel over a course, which may contain hurdles or fences. The first horse to cross the finish line wins the race. In order to compete, a horse must be trained and conditioned to run fast enough to win. The horses are usually ridden by jockeys, who help guide them over the track and over any hurdles.
There are many ways to play a horse race, including betting on which horses will win or lose. In addition to betting on individual horses, players can also place bets on a group of horses that have a good chance of finishing in a certain position. Regardless of the type of bet, it is important to understand the terms used in horse racing before making any wagers.
Backed up: When a horse has a rival in close pursuit less than one length back at a specific point in the race. In general, a backed up horse has a better shot of winning than a horse that races well but is never in contention.
In the money: When a horse places in the top three and is awarded a prize based on its finish in the race. A horse is in the money when it receives more than the minimum payout of $2,000.
On a roll: When a horse is on a hot streak and is winning a lot of races. A horse is often considered to be on a roll when it has won three or more consecutive races.
Out of action: When a horse is not in running shape and is unlikely to win a race. A horse is often out of action when it has not had a decent workout before the race or if its trainer is trying to rest it for an important upcoming event.
Shake up: When a jockey asks his horse to respond to him, either through strong hand urging or the use of the whip, in order to gain speed. Generally, this occurs when a horse is in contention for the lead and needs to accelerate in order to stay in front of his rivals.
Runner-up: When a horse finishes in the top two but does not win. Runner-ups are awarded a substantial sum of prize money based on their finish position.
Dead heat: A tie for the winner of a race in which no single horse was able to break clear of the field. Typically, a dead heat is decided by a photo finish, which involves a panel of stewards carefully examining a picture of the race to determine which horse crossed the plane first.
The deaths of horses in California and other states prompted calls for increased safety in the industry. These reforms include a requirement for necropsies, detailed vet records and interviews with key stakeholders. Unfortunately, these measures do not address the root causes of equine injuries and deaths in racetracks. The industry continues to profit from the exploitation of these young, vulnerable animals, even as it faces mounting criticism and dwindling support among betting interests.