A horse race is a contest between horses on a track, with spectators betting on which one will win. The most famous horse races in the United States are the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Horse racing is a popular activity for many people around the world. A growing number of people wager on these horse races online.
In the backstretch, a horse named War of Will hugged the inside rail. The horse, a chestnut colt, moved with huge strides and hypnotic smoothness. But as the race reached its final stretch, McKinzie and Mongolian Groom made their move. Their jockeys whipped them, and they pulled away. Sixty-eight thousand humans switched from cheering to shrieking.
Some critics argue that the sport of horse racing is inhumane, arguing that it causes injuries and gruesome breakdowns for the animals involved. They also argue that the industry is rife with drug abuse and race fixing. Many horse races are won by “juicing” the horses, a practice in which the trainer uses drugs to give the horse an advantage over its competition. The use of these illegal substances can also cause physical harm to the animal.
Another controversy in horse racing is the treatment of injured and retired racehorses. Some racehorses are sent to slaughterhouses in Canada, Mexico and Japan where they are turned into glue, dog food and meat. Others are retired to pastures where they often become sick and die from stress, starvation or injuries. Many horses are never able to retire, because their owners do not want to pay for them when they stop earning money.
A third issue is how horse races are covered in the news media. A growing body of research shows that when journalists cover elections by framing them as a horse race and giving the most attention to front-runners and underdogs gaining public support, they misrepresent the actual issues facing voters. This type of coverage, called horse race reporting, can damage the credibility of the news media and hurt voters.
Other controversial issues in horse racing include the use of illegal stimulants to encourage horses to run faster, and the use of whips that can cause severe injury or even death. In addition, racehorses are injected with drugs that prevent them from bleeding during the final stages of the races. This is done to reduce the risk of pulmonary hemorrhage, which can occur when a horse runs so hard that it can’t breathe. The most common medications are Lasix and furosemide, which are both diuretics. They are noted on the racing forms with a boldface “L.”