Puzzle #71: May the Fastest Horses Win

A beautiful puzzle, initially given to me by a close friend – Naresh Kumra, while trekking to the Everest Base Camp two years back. Came across this again last week in MindCipher.

The London racetrack needs to submit its top three horses to the Kentucky Derby next month in order to compete for a prize. However in a recent electrical storm, all the racetrack’s previous race history was erased such that no one knows the previous times of any of the horses. To make matters worse, each horse looks identical and it is impossible to remember which ones were the fastest.

London racetrack is home to 25 horses, but their track can only race 5 horses at a time. What is the fewest number of races that can be conducted in order to determine the 3 fastest horses?

As always, please send your answers directly to me at alokgoyal_2001@yahoo.com. If you like the puzzle, please share it with others. If you have interesting puzzles to share, please send them to me at my e-mail given above.

Happy racing!


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