Any popular phenomenon in culture, whether it is a sport, a movie, a TV show or a festival, gathers around a whole lot of misinformation throughout the years. And horse racing is no exception. Take a look at six of the most common misconceptions about this sporting discipline.
All horses can race
The bloodline of a horse is what determines if it can or cannot race. Some breeds were definitely not bred to run and would simply not have the speed and endurance that it takes.
The reason why Thoroughbreds are the preferred horses for racing is that their ancestry can be traced to one of three original stallions. They can run 1 ¼ mile in two minutes while carrying a rider
Horse racing is rigged
Although there have been various instances of corruption in horse racing, it is extremely rare nowadays. Jockeys, trainers and owners are trying their absolute best to win, especially because the winner makes the majority of the money.
When horses finish 5th or lower, the payment can be less than $100.
Horse races are controlled by the mafia
Apparently, the movie The Godfather planted some interesting ideas in people’s minds. The fact is that each state has a commission that oversees racing in the region.
Also, each racetrack employs a group of people to make sure every practice complies with the standards.
Thoroughbreds are ill-tempered
The breed is hot-blooded. That’s for sure. But most Thoroughbreds are not difficult to handle, nor are they trained to have a raging temper. In fact, ask any jockey or trainer and they will tell you that a calm horse achieves greater focus and, subsequently, greater success.
Some of these horses are even taken to meet fans and the media and are totally ok when people pet them.
Favorites are always a good bet
The favorite in a horse race is the one that receives the most bets. The thing is, the public is only right an average of one every three times. That lets us conclude that the favorite only wins 33% of the races. Therefore, if you only bet on favorites, you will lose more often than you win.
All jockeys are short
Yes, almost all jockeys stand at around 5 feet tall, but that reality comes from a weight restriction, not a height one. As shorter jockeys typically also weigh less, finding a tall rider is rare. One of the various exceptions, though, is Ronald Ardoin, one of the best jockeys of all time. He is 5’9 feet tall.
Now, when any of these topics come up in a conversation, you already know how to help clarify the information.