And, They’re Off!
This was shot just seconds after the gates were opened and the horses jumped into action. Looks like horse #3 got off to a bad start whereas horse #4 and Jockey look very focussed and determined. Also note the expressions and gestures of the gatehands encouraging their respective horse and rider! We were so close to the action that we were covered with turf that was kicked up by the horses thundering past – it was exhilarating!
In 1665, the first racetrack was constructed on Long Island. It is the oldest thoroughbred race in North America. The American Stud Book was started in 1868, prompting the beginning of organized horse racing in the US. There were 314 tracks operating in the United States by 1890; and in 1894, the American Jockey Club was formed. The anti-gambling sentiment prevalent in the early 20th century led almost all states to ban bookmaking. Bookmaking is the process of taking bets, calculating odds, and paying out winnings. This nearly eliminated horse racing altogether. When parimutuel betting was introduced in 1908, the racing industry turned around. Horse racing flourished until World War II. The sport did not regain popularity in the US until horses began to win the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is a series of three races, consisting of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. www.kerstenbeck.com