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A Quick Guide To Thoroughbred Racing

Horse racing is a highly traditional sport that society has taken part in for centuries. There is evidence of very early civilisations gathering on a regular basis to watch and place bets on racing horses. Nowadays, most events involve learning about win, place, and show.

There are so many elaborate ceremonies and annual events within thoroughbred racing, that it is easy to lose track of. That is why we have created this quick guide to thoroughbred racing so that you can increase your knowledge as well as appreciate the intense sport which is enjoyed by many cultures around the world.

Key Events

Firstly, which events are worth attending? There are so many events within thoroughbred racing that happen each year, that it can be tough to know which ones are worth keeping track of. Some of the most iconic events in North America include the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

A thoroughbred who wins each of the three events above within the same year is known as a Triple Crown winner. This is because they are seen as three of the most significant events within a thoroughbreds’ career. Considering the range of unique horse racing events, the Triple Crown is widely regarded as one of the most iconic.

Not only are the events of the Triple Crown the most iconic, but they are known for being some of the toughest annual thoroughbred events. This is because there have only been thirteen winners of the Triple Crown title ever since the term was first used in the 1930s. That is almost 100 years!

Champion Horses

Arguably one of the most iconic thoroughbred racehorses of all time was Secretariat. He was a chestnut champion who won the Triple Crown title in 1973, becoming the ninth in history. However, Secretariat stood out for being incredibly powerful and able to move through any track with ease.

This led Secretariat to make headlines after setting the record speeds in each of the three races that make up the Triple Crown. The thoroughbred’s records still stand today for the Kentucky Derby and for the Belmont Stakes. Secretariat truly was one of a kind who stood out among other thoroughbreds at the time.

Not only that, but a thoroughbred that has maintained a successful career on the track is more likely to be selected for stud. This meant that Secretariat sired many generations of winners during his time. Some of these even went on to sire later champions, with Secretariat as their grandfather.

Champion Jockeys

Having a thoroughbred with an excellent temperament as well as power is important, but it is just as crucial to find the right jockey. Successful owners and trainers appreciate the role that a disciplined jockey plays. They are also more likely to understand the unique balance that needs to be achieved through guiding the horse in the right direction without holding them back from their full potential.

Some of the most iconic jockeys that have achieved huge successes during their professional careers include Bill Shoemaker. Shoemaker was widely regarded as a household name during the peak of his jockey career.

He won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness Stakes twice, and the Belmont Stakes five times. This is highly impressive considering how the track at Belmont Park is longer and tougher than most other thoroughbred racetracks.

Laffit Pincay Jr., was another iconic jockey who saw a huge amount of success on the track. He has won the most events out of most jockeys in history during his career, and is still third even many years after his retirement.

Thanks to the efforts of iconic jockeys, it is exciting to see which champions are in the future for the popular thoroughbred racing events. The raising standard for these sportspeople is intense, but we are sure that the future will see new generations of determined and hardworking jockeys that will leach champion thoroughbreds to success and even record breaks.

Why Attend The Races?

Anything can happen when you visit the races, and it is exciting to feel as though you are a part of history being made. The great thing about thoroughbred racing is that nobody truly knows when a thoroughbred and jockey combination will break records for a track.

Because of this, it is incredibly exciting to visit some of the thoroughbred racing venues if the opportunity presents itself. It is also worth planning a visit to these so that you can feel closer to the traditional sport of thoroughbred racing.

People who like to visit horse racing venues and tracks to watch the latest events enjoy taking part in traditions such as betting for good luck or so that they can enjoy the dress code, or cuisine that is served exclusively at a certain event.


Thoroughbred racing takes a great deal of hard work and determination. There are teams of people who take part in the planning, preparation, and execution of each thoroughbred racing event. Because of this, it is worth appreciating the significance of each Triple Crown race and look out for the next generation of champions on the track.

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