Horse Racing Betting Sites – Legal Sportsbooks for Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing is one of humankind’s oldest sports, and its basic concept hasn’t undergone any major changes throughout its rich history.

Although it’s unknown when the first horse race took place, its origins presumably date back to 4500BC.

For thousands of years, horse racing was regarded as a royal sport, often enjoyed among kings and nobility.

Horse racing developed from a primitive contest of stamina and speed between two horses into a sensation that involves massive fields of runners, state-of-the-art electronic monitoring equipment and substantial sums of money, but its essential concept was always the same — the horse that crosses the finish line first wins the race.

Horse racing is a hugely popular sport in the US, second only to baseball in terms of spectatorship. It is also a major professional sport in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Western Europe, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and South America. Although the popularity of the sport has considerably shrunk in the 21 century, horse racing is still a major venue for legalised gambling.

List of Sports Betting sites accepting players from the USA:

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There are many different types of horse racing, as many countries have established their own particular traditions around the sport. Variations include running over obstacles, races of particular breeds, running on different track surfaces, running over different distances and running in different gaits.

If you want to get a better understanding of horse racing, we recommend that you take a look at our in-depth betting guide. We’ve summed up all the important stuff you need to know about the sport, including the list of popular horse racing events, bet types available on horseracing, along with some tips that could help you get over the hump.

Although online sports betting has flourished over the last decade or so, not all bookmakers provide the same quality of service. There are hundreds of online bookmakers out there, and choosing the best betting site to suit your horse betting needs is not an easy task. Their in-depth research and analysis have determined the best bookies for horse racing betting. By all means, take a look!

Popular Horse Racing Events

Horse racing is one of the best sports for betting because there are so many options available. But if you want to make the big bucks, the biggest horse racing events are your best bet. So, without further ado, let’s go over the most popular events in the horse racing calendar.

The Triple Crown

The Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is arguably the most prestigious horse racing event which consists of three different venues being held over the course of five weeks. These races are for three-year-old thoroughbred horses only, which is why the Triple Crown is a difficult task to attain even for the most fierce competitors.

In the history of the Triple Crown, only three horses have managed to capture all three Triple Crown titles. This shows how unpredictable this event is, and how daunting it can be to predict the outcome of these races.

The Kentucky Derby is the first competition (leg) of the prestigious Triple Crown, which is followed by the Preakness Stakes (Baltimore) and Belmont Stakes (New York) races.

  1. The Kentucky Derby

    The Kentucky Derby was first held in 1875 and has since become the most significant race (with over 100,000 visitors every year)in the US horse racing calendar. The event is also known as the “Race of the Roses” and takes place on the first Saturday of May every year. Kentucky Derby is also called the two most exciting minutes in sports since it takes just over two minutes for 20 three-year-olds to run one and a quarter mile race.

    The Kentucky Derby is being held on the largest horse racing field in America, and with 20 horses fighting for the title, picking a winner can be a difficult task. Kentucky Derby is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious horse racing events and a highly-anticipated venue among sports bettors around the world.

  2. The Preakness Stakes

    Held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes racecourse is the shortest of the Triple Crown races, capping at 1,900 m.

    The Pimlico track is similar to the one at the Kentucky Derby, both in the type of races that take place and the presentation, which is why the main favourite to win this race is the winner of that year’s Kentucky Derby. This track especially favors horses in inside post position, so if you can predict a speed horse that will start off the race from the first, second or third position, you just might have found yourself an excellent betting opportunity.

  3. The Belmont Stakes

    The third and the final leg is called The test of a Champion. The 1.5-mile final leg is run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. This race is particularly interesting because it sometimes features a horse that’s on the pursuit to win the Triple Crown, after previously winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. This is a challenging task because the horses are running its third race in three weeks. Most horses who don’t win the Kentucky Derby skip the Preakness, so that they are well-rested for the Belmont. What’s more, the race often features new horses who are even more well-rested and have been training specifically for this marathon.

Different Horse Racing Betting Selections

There is an abundance of types of horse racing bets offered by pretty much every online bookmaker in the industry. All horse betting types fall into one of the two main categories — straight bets and exotic bets.

If you’re new to horse betting, we recommend that you stick to a straight wager. It is simple and you don’t need a lot of money to bet. In straight wagers, you try to predict which horse is going to come first, second, or third.

Straight Wager

With a straight wager, you bet on a horse running in a single track. However, there are several sub-categories, depending on their position.


As the name suggests, you bet on the horse that is presumably going to win the race. If it comes in first, you get paid off.


With a place bet, you’re predicting that your horse is going to finish the race either on the first or on the second position. You get paid the same amount regardles of the place in which the horse finishes the race. Naturally, the payoff for place bets is slightly lower than for win bets. But it’s a good bet for complete newbies to the sport.


With the show bet, you get paid out if the horse that you placed your bet on finishes the race on the first, second, or third position. Obviously, you have better chances of winning this bet, hence the payout is lesser.

Across the board

This is the combination of the three previous bets. It’s basically consists of three different bets combined in one, which is why it’s often called Combo Straight Wager. It’s more expensive than other three types, but the payout is higher. You pick a horse, and if it finishes the race on the third position, you win all three bets, as in show, place, and win. On the other hand, if it finishes in the second position, you get paid only for your place and win bets.

Exotic bets

With exotic bets, you bet on multiple horses within a single bet. This means that your profit potential has substantially increased. But they are much harder to predict when compared to straight wagers. So, if you don’t have any prior experience in horse betting, we recommend that you stick to straight bets. Here are some of the exotic (special) bets:

Exacta — You bet on two horses that are going to finish the race on the 1st and 2nd place, respectively.

Quinella — It is similar to Exacta, but the main difference is that you don’t have to predict the order in which the two horses will finish the race.

Trifecta — You are betting on three horses that will finish at the first, second, and third place in the correct order.

Superfecta — With the superfecta bet, you’re betting on four horses that need to finish the race in the exact order.

Horse Racing Betting Tips and Strategies

Now that you’ve learned all the basics about horse racing, it’s time to talk about strategies. You can go to the racecourse and just pick a random horse and hope for the best. But to win the big bucks, you must consider a multitude of factors before placing bets. Here are some of the strategies that can increase your winning chances.

Do Your Homework

Millions of dollars are being wagered on horse racing events, but only a tiny percentage of betors do their research before choosing a horse to place bets on. Even just a quick look at the racing program before selecting the horse to bet on can increase your winning odds.

Racing forms or form guides will give you all the necessary information about the horses, jockeys, and trainers competing in the race. You should also do a little digging on the web, and see if you can find out something about the horses regarding their health, form, or potential injuries.

Make Different Types of Bets

Straight bets are the most straightforward types of bets in horse racing, and we recommend beginners to focus on them until they get to know more about the sport. That said, if you want to take your horse betting to the next level, you need to learn how to incorporate other types of bets and use them strategically. Once you’ve accomplished that, your winning odds and profit will drastically go up.

Shop the Odds

Shopping the odds is an excellent way to increase your payout, and it applies to pretty much every sport, not just horse racing. However, it applies only to fixed odds, as there is no way to predict the size of the pari-mutuel pool.

Once you have made up your mind and chosen your pick for the race, you can begin to shop the odds. Check out the offer from various betting sites, and just go with the option that gives you the highest chance of winning the biggest amount of money.

Legality of Horse Racing Betting

It is completely legal to bet on horse racing in every country that allows sports betting. If your country of residence doesn’t forbid sports betting, you are probably going to find horse racing betting offers in pretty much every online bookmaker.


Now that you’ve armed yourself with knowledge on horse racing betting, you can find a reputable online bookmaker and start exploring its horse racing betting offer. Note that the information from this article won’t guarantee you a profit on every bet, but it will certainly increase your chances of winning.

Horse Racing FAQ Section

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David Nugent Editor

First off, I want to say hi and wish a warm welcome to all gambling aficionados out there! My name is David Nugent and I am editor-in-chief of I have always enjoyed various sports, primarily soccer, as I am a die-hard Everton fan.

Over time, I learned more about sports betting and discovered the fascinating online gambling industry. Eventually,...