There is racing today in Lagos, Nigeria, where the track runs through the heart of the city, and in Hong Kong, Caracas and Rome. The fields go clockwise in England, counterclockwise in Mexico; they run over the snow in Russia and the turf in France and through the swirling dust of the Outback at Australia's Betoota track. Hardly a land on earth fails to celebrate man's admiration for the horse and man's endless quest to discover which of several is the fastest. It is a wonderfully appealing sport. Over the past decade in the U.S. seven million new enthusiasts have gone racing; in 1963 the paid attendance was 38,093,417, though only half the states have tracks. There are no exact figures from those areas where admissions are recorded by chalk marks on a goatskin, but it is plain enough that elsewhere interest in racing is growing even faster than it is here. And the search for a winner as well. In France betting on the tiercé—picking the first three horses in a race—has made the pari-mutuels the nation's fifth biggest business in dollar volume, just below Esso gasoline and ahead of Citro√´n. In Southern Rhodesia there are brisk sales for a potion that enables you to dream the winner of a race the next day.
We honor this sporting phenomenon on our cover this week. On the following 18 pages we examine some of its controversial and fascinating aspects and portray the beauty that should surround it; beginning on page 72 we salute the remarkable little men in whose galvanic persons, for many spectators, much of the drama and color of racing is focused.