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I don't gamble or go to the horse races but I love watching them race. This is the highlight of the horse racing world. The was one of the closest in its history.

 

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Early in our marriage we lived (for six years) next to a horse track where there was regular harness racing, and daily training. We could sit up in bed and watch them through a second floor patio door. It was kind of cool, but we never bet on them. On race nights it was hard to get parked in my own driveway.
 

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Take $20 down to the track, bet $2 a race.

Lots of fun. It has a been a few years.

Watch Let It Ride, excellent movie.
+1 I'm having a very good day. ;)

My younger son and I have traditionally watched the three Triple Crown races together, but I'd never seen the Grand National before. That's quite the race and certainly requires a very different kind of horse and rider. Certainly one of the reasons why there are so few Triple Crown winners is because the ostensibly small differences in track distance between the three races (1-1/2 miles for Belmont vs 1-3/16 for Preakness vs 1-1/4 for Kentucky Derby) can actually make a difference in the degree of stamina required when going full out. The horse that can speed for 1-1/4 miles in Lexington may not be able to keep up that pace for the additional 1/4 mile at the Belmont. The Grand National is 4-1/3 miles AND they have to jump....a lot. Very different horse required, as near as I can see.

There were a number of things I found interesting when watching it:

1) When speed is the only goal, hugging the inside rail cuts down the overall circumference to travel and buys you something, unless moving a little to the outside gets you around someone. In the GN, the inside rail seems to matter much less until the very end. Indeed, for much of the race they riders seem to want to space themselves out wide to avoid collisions.

2) In the Triple Crown, unless there is a horrible mishap, every rider finishes the race. In the GN, not so much. Part of me is curious about how many horse or rider fatalities there have been over the 171 races. But another part of me says "Mark, maybe don't look too closely. We may be into chuckwagon race territory."

3) I found it both amusing and interesting that a number of those horses who had lost their riders just kept going. And indeed were competing favourably. I think a riderless horse came in 5th. And considering the size of the field, that's pretty impressive. What was funny was the manner in which one of the horses continued to jump and then towards the last bit just trotted around the hedge. I guess even horses can think "What am I busting my balls for?". Still, when the chase is on, horses love to run with other horses.

4) The presence of guides, to show the riders "Go this way". Not unreasonable at all, just not something one is used to when the track is a simple oval.
 

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good camera footage and magnificent to see those big animals, running and jumping like that

hopefully no horse injuries
 

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+1 I'm having a very good day. ;)



3) I found it both amusing and interesting that a number of those horses who had lost their riders just kept going. And indeed were competing favourably. I think a riderless horse came in 5th. And considering the size of the field, that's pretty impressive. What was funny was the manner in which one of the horses continued to jump and then towards the last bit just trotted around the hedge. I guess even horses can think "What am I busting my balls for?". Still, when the chase is on, horses love to run with other horses.

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It is amusing but that is part of their breeding and they just instinctively run and race. Some horses just can't stand to have another horse in front of them and the jockey has to actually hold them back or they would run out of steam before the end of the race.
 

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A guy I know used to own race horses...he still owns an equestrian school and stable. There’s a lot of ugliness behind the scenes of horse racing that he’s told me about that taints it for me.
 

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A guy I know used to own race horses...he still owns an equestrian school and stable. There’s a lot of ugliness behind the scenes of horse racing that he’s told me about that taints it for me.
Same can be said for some equestrian stables too.
My grand-daughter had a part time job at one and became really disillusioned during her time there.
 

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Same can be said for some equestrian stables too.
My grand-daughter had a part time job at one and became really disillusioned during her time there.
Ya, I imagine so...likely different kinds of abuses.
 

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Same can be said for some equestrian stables too.
My grand-daughter had a part time job at one and became really disillusioned during her time there.
I agree. I used to live in horse racing country and have been at a number of stables and boarding places. The profit game, prestige game can make some horse people forget about the beauty of these wonderful animals.
 
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