Horse Racing in Delaware

Mark Davis lectured to the class on  the horse racing industry in Delaware, both harness and thoroughbred varieties. I always had a good idea thoroughbred racing had strong ties to Delaware but I was not aware of the history of harness racing. I was shocked to learn that in 1989 only baseball was a more popular spectator sport than horse racing in the United States. It was also interesting to learn that 34% of horse owners have a household income under $50,000. The staggering differences between thoroughbred horses and harness horses was an interesting note. Harness races take are more than 3 times more frequent that thoroughbred races, which is understandable because thoroughbred horses would never be able to sustain the constant strain on their bodies. Harness horses do not run like thoroughbred horses and therefore are raised and bred differently. It was a bit sad to learn that Brandywine Raceway which closed in 1989 was unable to get slot machines in conjunction with the raceway. It appears that the well-being of horse racing in Delaware is tied directly to the casinos, for better or worse.

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