Organized racing in North America began with the British occupation of New Amsterdam (now New York City) in 1664. Col. Richard Nicolls, commander of the British troops, established organized racing in the colonies by laying out a 2-mile (3.2-km) course on the plains of Long Island (called Newmarket after the British racecourse) and offering a silver cup to the best horses in the spring and fall seasons. From the beginning, and continuing until the Civil War, the hallmark of excellence for the American Thoroughbred was stamina, rather than speed. After the Civil War, speed became the goal and the British system the model.
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It does not come more perfect than 60-year-old fertilizer salesman Fred Craggs from Yorkshire, UK who won £1 million from a small 50p bet. Craggs placed an 8-fold accumulator with William Hill and his selections came from horse race meets scheduled across the globe. Bizarrely, Craggs was not even aware he had become a millionaire until he visited the same bookmaker to place another bet.
Dubai World Cup Undercard Stakes - There were 8 other stakes races on the card including the Sheema Classic won by Hawkbill, the Dubai Turf won by Benbatl, the UAE Derby won by Mendelssohn, the Golden Shaheen won by Mind Your Biscuits, the Al Quoz Sprint won by Jungle Cat, the Dubai Gold Cup won by Vazirabad, the Godolphin Mile won by Heavy Metal, and the Kahayla Classic won by Tallaab Al Khalediah. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
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Afterward—it was probably 1984—Benter, Woods, and some of their partners earned a place in the Griffin Book, a blacklist that a detective agency circulated to casinos. On top of the indignity of having their mug shots next to hustlers and pickpockets, the notoriety made it almost impossible for them to keep playing in Vegas. They needed to find another game.
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If, that is, the model were accurate. By the end of Benter’s first season in Hong Kong, in the summer of 1986, he and Woods had lost $120,000 of their $150,000 stake. Benter flew back to Vegas to beg for investment, unsuccessfully, and Woods went to South Korea to gamble. They met back in Hong Kong in September. Woods had more money than Benter and was willing to recapitalize their partnership—if it was renegotiated.
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Thirty-two years after he first arrived in Hong Kong, Benter is still betting on horses at venues around the world. He can see the odds change in the seconds before a race as all the computer players place their bets at the same time, and he’s amazed he can still win. He continues tinkering with his model. The latest change: How much does moving to a new trainer improve a horse’s performance?
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Different breeds of horses have developed that excel in each of the specific disciplines. Breeds that are used for flat racing include the Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, Paint, and Appaloosa. Jump racing breeds include the Thoroughbred and AQPS. In harness racing, Standardbreds are used in Australia, New Zealand and North America, when in Europe, Russian and French Trotter are used with Standardbred. Light cold blood horses, such as Finnhorses and Scandinavian coldblood trotter are also used in harness racing within their respective geographical areas.