USA Horse Racing Guide in 2021
This is our guide to USA horse racing betting. Although Canada has its own thriving thoroughbred scene, some of the biggest events in this equine sport happen south of the border.
What USA horse racing betting advice have we got in store for you? Take a sneak peek at these main points:
- A list of the best USA horse racing betting sites chosen by gambling experts
- Background to the sport and the most valuable races in the United States
- Get an explanation of how USA horse racing odds work
An Introduction to Horse Racing in the USA
The United States is a vital part of the global horse racing picture. Winners of famous races on the Flat go into the bloodstock world to become stallions and broodmares. Here are some important facts about the sport in the USA:
Horse racing in the United States takes place on a variety of surfaces (dirt, turf, tapeta, fibresand and polytrack)
The majority of racetracks are either down the eastern seaboard or on the West Coast of the USA
An American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing is considered the ultimate achievement for a three-year-old
Triple Crown races are the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico and Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park
Fillies have a separate Triple Tiara to compete for, again restricted to three-year-olds
Triple Tiara races are the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park, Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama Stakes both at Saratoga Springs
All of the Triple Crown and Triple Tiara events are at racetracks in the east of America
Alongside the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup is the other huge internationally renowned horse racing event in the USA
This has no fixed venue and moves around the United States each year
While the vast majority of USA horse racing is Flat, they do have a Grand National over hurdles. This is run at Far Hills just outside New York City
How USA Horse Racing Odds Work
When it comes to USA horse racing betting in Canada, you may have never got involved with it before. No need to worry, though, we can help.
This is how USA horse racing odds work. We’re going to use an example to illustrate:
Six famous horses that have won big events in the United States run in a fantasy race. Tiznow is favourite to win because his price is the smallest.
A $4 wager on him yields returns of $11. That means you stand to make $7 of profit if Tiznow wins.
Secretariat is the next fancied in the betting and so on down to Arrogate. He is the outsider of the field and the same $4 stake returns $68 (that’s $64 in profit) if Arrogate outruns his odds to victory.
Decimal odds are common with USA horse racing betting yet some British-based sportsbooks will use fractional prices. The American moneyline system is rarer but, to learn more about ways of expressing odds, check out our calculator below:
USA Horse Racing Betting Options
Now it’s time to learn about the types of bet your can place. Popular USA horse racing odds wagered on include:
Which horse will win the race in question?Eg:Tiznow2.75
A wager to place in USA horse racing betting means you back a horse to finish first or second in the race. Odds are not as big as win only gambles.Eg:Raven’s Pass to place2.00
Bets to show are for a horse to finish first, second or third. As with betting on a place, the prices aren’t as large as an outright win.Eg:Omaha Beach to show4.80
Exacta and Quinella
When you fancy more than one horse in a race, you can place an exacta or a quinella. An exacta is where you specify which of two chosen horses will finish first and second. For example, Secretariat to finish first and Raven’s Pass to finish second in an exacta.
A quinella, meanwhile, is two bets in one and no finishing order needs specifying.Eg:Tiznow
A trifecta is where you pick three horses to finish first, second and third in the same race in a specific order.Eg:Secretariat FirstTiznow SecondRaven’s Pass Third
As if exactas and trifectas weren’t complex and tricky enough, one for real betting pros is a superfecta. Can you pick out the first four horses past the post in a race?Eg:Tiznow FirstSecretariat SecondRaven’s Pass ThirdCity Of Light Fourth
If you fancy horses in different races, then you can combine them into a bet. These are known as multiples because the odds multiply from one leg to the next.Eg:Arrogate and Accelerate
in a double34.00
Betting on major USA horse racing events can happen weeks and months in advance. Futures markets are likely to have better prices than if gambling on the day of a race.
However, there are risks attached. Your chosen horse has to make it to the track and run in the race first, and then win.Eg:Raven’s Pass to win11.00
Mobile USA Horse Racing Betting
Gambling has been changed by the digital revolution. Mobile USA horse racing betting is literally at your fingertips now, so what are the advantages of this?
- All major betting sites have developed sportsbook apps which are compatible with Android and Apple operating systems, and you can download them for free
- These make betting easier and the entire gambling experience more streamlined
- We take smartphones with us everywhere in daily life, so you can get your bets on anyplace with an internet signal
The Top 15 Horse Races in the USA
- Pegasus World Cup, Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, Florida (nine furlongs, three-year-olds and up)
- Pegasus World Cup Turf, Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, Florida (nine-and-a-half furlongs, three-year-olds and up)
- Breeders’ Cup Classic (no fixed venue, 10 furlongs, three-year-olds and up)
- Breeders’ Cup Turf (no fixed venue, 12 furlongs, three-year-olds and up)
- Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky (10 furlongs, three-year-olds)
- Breeders’ Cup Distaff (no fixed venue, nine furlong, three-year-old fillies and mares and up)
- Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (no fixed venue, 11 furlongs, three-year-old fillies and mares and up)
- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (no fixed venue, eight-and-a-half furlongs, two-year-old colts and geldings)
- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (no fixed venue, eight-and-a-half furlongs, two-year-old fillies)
- Breeders’ Cup Mile (no fixed venue, eight furlongs, three-year-olds and up)
- Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park, Elmont, New York (12 furlongs, three-year-olds)
- Breeders’ Cup Sprint (no fixed venue, six furlongs, three-year-olds and up)
- Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, Baltimore, Maryland (nine-and-a-half furlongs, three-year-olds)
- Belmont Derby, Belmont Park, Elmont, New York (10 furlongs, three-year-olds)
- Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky (nine furlongs, three-year-old fillies)
That is all the USA horse racing betting advice we have for you. By now, you should be well on your way to being smart gamblers with a good understanding of how it all works in the United States.
If you do have further queries though, then the FAQs section below is well worth a read. The answers could prove very useful.
Betting on horses is simple. Choose a horse and add it to the betslip, then enter your stake and place the bet.
The most popular USA horse racing odds and bet types placed include:
- To win
- To place
- To show
- Exacta and Quinella
- Futures betting
Only the best USA horse racing betting sites feature on this page after our experts picked them out for you.
Mobile USA horse racing betting is available. Just download a sportsbook app for your Apple smartphone or Android tablet today.
USA horse racing betting in Canada is legal and has been so since 1969.
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