Through out history horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world, beginning in ancient Greece. Horse racing history as a professional sport can be traced back to the 12th Century after the English knights returned from the Crusades with Arab horses. These horses were bred with English horses to produce the thoroughbred horses that compete in horse racing nowadays.
During the reign of King Charles II from 1660 to 1685 horse races were held between two horses on the first horse race tracks in history with prizes awarded to the winners. The history of horse racing continued under the reign of Queen Anne during the period 1702-1714 as horse races involving several horses on which spectators placed bets took the place of match racing and it became a professional sport with racecourses throughout England. Horse racing history evolved when in 1750 the Jockey Club was formed to oversee and control English horse racing. The Jockey Club wrote a set of rules for horse racing and sanctioned racecourses to conduct horse racing meetings under their rules. This was also an event that could be considered a change in thoroughbred horse racing history.
From England, the history of horse racing evolved and was brought to the United States, but it was not until after the Civil War that thoroughbred racing was really established in the United States. During the mid 1800's horse racing grew and became very popular by 1890 when there were over 300 racetracks in the United States. As popular as it was during the late 1800's in the history or horse racing, it almost got wiped out completely in the early 1900's by the anti-gambling movement that led almost all states to ban horse wagering. In 1908 the number of racecourses was down to just 25. In 1908 pari-mutuel betting was started on the Kentucky Derby and this led to horse racing having success and race horse history changed forever. States had agreed to legalize the pari-mutuel betting and horse racing benefited greatly. In race horse history, great thoroughbred horses like Man 0'War and Seabiscuit gave horse racing history a big following for many years, but during the war years the sport slowed down a bit. It picked back up in the 1970's when some great horses dominated the stage in race horse history. Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed, each won the Triple Crown and horse racing was very popular. Secretariat is still considered the best race horse in history.
The United States currently has thoroughbred tracks all over the country, but the Triple Crown draws the most interest in horse racing history. In the last 20 years the Breeder's Cup races also kept up racing interest. Betting today at American tracks is done under the pari-mutuel system where a fixed percentage of the amount wagered goes to the track for expenses. The projected payoffs are continuously calculated by the track's computers and displayed as “odds.” All horse betting tracks have the normal win, bet and show options along with exotic horse betting wagers like exactas, trifectas, daily doubles, pick 3's and pick 6's. Online thoroughbred horse betting is also popular as racebooks from all over the world take online horse betting whenever horse betting players want action.
In Triple Crown history there have been only 11 winners. Sir Barton won in 1919 with jockey John Loftus aboard to begin the thoroughbred horse racing history. Eleven years later Gallant Fox won with jockey Earl Sande. In 1935 Omaha with jockey William Saunders won the Triple Crown. In 1937 War Admiral won with jockey Charley Kurtsinger. Four years later Whirlaway won with jockey Eddie Arcaro aboard. In 1943 it was Count Fleet with John Longden in the irons. In 1946 it was Assault with jockey Warren Mehrtens. In 1948 it was Citation with jockey Eddie Arcaro. It was 25 years later that the greatest thoroughbred race horse in history, Secretariat won the Triple Crown with jockey Ron Turcotte. Four years later Seattle Slew won with jockey Jean Cruguet and in 1978 Affirmed won the Triple Crown with jockey Steve Cauthen. There has not been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.