Breeding and Training.— The training of a running horse begins with its second year, and is a slow process, requiring great care and at tention. During the period of training the horse is under the charge of a stable-boy. In the first part of the training the exercise to which the horse is subjected is comparatively gentle, but in the latter part a gallop of half or three-quarters of a mile is taken every other day. Before a race takes place the powers of the horse are put to the test by its being made to run over about half a mile against an older horse, which is weighted to make up for the difference in age. The breeding of thoroughbred horses, that is, of horses which can trace an unbroken pedigree through the best sires and the best dams, is when well conducted a very profitable business. The prices given for stallions are sometimes enormous. In 1900, when the Duke of Westminster's racing stud was sold, the average price reached the high level, and the world's record price of $187,500 was brought by Flying Fox, which had won the Derby the year before. Before this, ()monde, another Derby winner, had sold for $150,000. The large sums now given for the use of stal lions in breeding studs are the cause of race horses being withdrawn much earlier than formerly from the turf, for as soon as they have acquired a reputation the owner of a good race-horse can make much larger sums by hir ing it out for breeding purposes than he could by entering it for races. The pedigrees of all thoroughbred horses are registered in the stud book, so that if any particular animal is omitted in that register the inference is that its pedigree is not without some blemish more or less remote. The effects of a careful system of breeding in improving the quality of horses are very marked, No pure Arabian horse can be compared in point of speed with a thoroughbred. In size and shape, too, the horses of the present day surpass those of former times, the average height of a thoroughbred now being 15 hands 3 inches, while formerly it seldom reached 15 hands, See also HORSES, AMERICAN THOROUGH BRED.
Race Meetings.— In Great Britain the chief race meetings are those of Epsom, New market, Ascot in Berkshire, Doncaster, Good wood, Manchester and Leicester. Those at Newmarket are the oldest of all, dat ing from the reign of Charles II. The Ascot races are considered the most fashionable, being largely attended by the aristocracy, and some times honored with the presence of royalty. The Goodwood races, which are held in the Duke of Richmond's park in Sussex, are also a favorite rendezvous of the aristocracy. But the most popular meeting throughout the year is the Epsom, which owes its popularity partly to the proximity of Epsom to London and partly also to its being the meeting at which the Derby and the Oaks are run. At the Oaks the ladies are the chief bettors, and the bets are not thou sands of pounds, but dozens of Paris glover. The principal racing meetings in France art those held in spring and autumn at Chantilly and the Bois de Boulogne.
In the United States the season opens at the Bennings track at Washington early in the spring and closes there in the fall. Following Bennings comes the Aqueduct, and Morris Park, Gravesend and Sheepshead, the latter track being the show track of this country, occupying the same position as the Ascot of the English turf, which is also named Ladies' Meets Then follow's the Brighton Beach season during July and August. The classic events of Eng
land and France are of longer standing but cannot be said to outrank or outinterest the famous Brooklyn Handicap, founded in 1 eg7 ; the Suburban (1884) ; or the Futurity (1888); although laws against betting have seriously re duced public attendance at tracks in New York There are racing parks and tracks in nearly every city in the country, and there are many famous meetings in the West and South, Ilk the Latonia in Kentucky, the Harlem anf Washington Park in Chicago, Saratoga and others.
Racing Rules.— The conditions unit! which the most of the races are run are tie following: Every horse that takes part in running race must be entered as a yearling, that is, before the close of the year in which it is foaled, for a horse's age is always reckoned from the first of January of the year in which its birth takes place. On being entered a cer tain sum is paid by the owner, which is called a forfeit, because it is forfeited if the horse is afterward withdrawn, or in the language of the turf, "scratched? The racing is conducted under association rules, and in England under regulations laid down by the Jockey Club, a body instituted in 1750. The stewards of the Jockey Club have power to grant and to with draw licenses to racing officials, jockeys and race-courses; to fix the dates on which all meet ings shall be held, and to make inquiry into and deal with all matters relating to racing. At every regular race-meeting there must be at least two stewards, with a clerk of course, a handicapper, a stake-holder, a clerk of the scales (since the jockeys of course must be carefully weighed), a starter and a judge, each of these officials being licensed by the club.
Handicapping.— Formerly all running races were what is called weight-for-age races, that is, all the horses entered to compete were of the same age and bore equal weights, or if in certain cases there was an inequality in point of age there was also a fixed difference in the weight carried. But it was found that when races were conducted on this plan the best horses came to be known, and the inferior ones withdrew, not venturing to compete with them, so that the race resulted in a walk-over. Hence arose the practice of handicapping, that is, of adjusting as nearly as possible the weight to be carried to the previously ascertained powers of the horse, so as to reduce the chances of all the horses entered to an exact equality. In England the principal weight-for-age race for two-year-olds is the Middle Park Plate, and for the three-year-olds the principal for both colts and fillies are the Two Thousand Guineas, the Derby and Saint Leger, and for fillies only the One Thousand Guineas and Oaks. The most important handicap races are the Great North ampton Stakes, the City and Suburban and Metropolitan Stakes at Epsom, the Northum berland Plate, the Goodwood Stakes, the Ascot Stakes, the Ebor Handicap (run at York), the Great Yorkshire Stakes (run at Doncaster), the Liverpool Spring, Summer and Autumn Cups, the Cesarewitch, Cambridgeshire and Newmarket Handicaps (run at Newmarket).