Horse Racing Betting Online USA

Posted by Kevin King . Last updated:

Horse racing is popular around the world and the 24/7 nature of racing means there’s always a horse to back. From the Kentucky Derby to the Breeders’ Cup, the action never stops. Whether you love to watch horse racing online, bet on your phone or simply catch up with the latest results, US betting sites offer something for every bettor.

Scroll down to check out the latest racing betting odds and choose your next bookmaker today!

Best Horse Racing Betting Sites

Here are our top-rated and recommended online horse racing sportsbooks:

How To Make An Online Horse Racing Bet

If you’re new to racing betting, the one piece of advice any expert tipster will give you is this: it’s not always about the win. Millions of players focus their bets on which horses will win races while overlooking the range of other bet types available.

Just as with betting on any sport, your aim is to correctly predict outcomes in an event. Of course, that can mean predicting the winner of a game, fight or race – but horse racing betting offers many more outcomes than that.

Win

Win

Bet on the race winner

The most straightforward horse racing bet, use the win market to bet on who you think will win the race. Odds can vary from site to site, but generally the favorites are known way ahead of time, while the outsiders’ odds often provide a temptation to back them at a good price.

Place

Place

Bet on top-two finish

This is arguably the most popular racing bet. With a place bet, you wager on a horse finishing fist or second. That gives you some leeway if your pick is beaten at the post. The odds are worse than a win bet, but the place is where racing betting pros make serious profits.

Show

Show

Bet on top-three finish

The same as a place bet, but this time your bet covers first, second and third in the race. Of course, the odds are worse, but the chances of you winning increase.

Additional Horse Racing Bet Types

While the three above bet types make up the vast majority of horse racing wagers, there are other combinations and markets available to players at select online sportsbooks. They include:

Horse Racing Triple Crown

There is no more glorious sight in horse racing that watching your pick lead the Kentucky Derby on the final bend and charge to the winning post. Whether we’re watching a mud bath at Churchill Downs or a dust bowl at Belmont Park, horse racing doesn’t get any better than America’s Triple Crown.

The Triple Crown is the name given to three of the biggest stakes races in the United States: the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Winning one of these races is tough but horses that complete the Triple Crown are iconized in the sport forever more. Here’s what you need to know about each race:

Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

Run For The Rose

Often considered the most entertaining two minutes in sport, the Kentucky Derby is a global event with horse racing bet fans all over the world watching the action unfold. The Kentucky Derby offers a prize purse of $3m and was first run back in 1875. Very few horses have run this track under two minutes and betting on the Kentucky Derby can be profitable for those who like to back an outsider.

The race takes place on the first Saturday in May from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes

Run For The Black-Eyed Susans

Shorter than the Kentucky Derby and two years older than its sister race, the Preakness Stakes take place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and there is a lot of hype focused on whichever horse won the Kentucky Derby just two weeks prior.

The prize purse is $1.5m and the majority of racing bets go on the horse gunning for the Triple Crown. Secretariat still holds the course record at 1:53 on his way to the 1973 Triple Crown.

Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes

The Test Of The Champion

If a horse has won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in the same year, it has the chance to be immortalized at Belmont Park in New York. The Belmont Stakes truly is the Test of Champions for a horse seeking to win the Triple Crown. This one-and-a-half-mile charge is the longest of the three Triple Crown races and carries a $1.5m prize purse.

The oldest of these three prestigious races, the Belmont Stakes was first run back in 1867 and features 16 horses.

How We Rate Horse Betting Sites

Accepting of US Players

Accepting of US Players

Mobile Capability

Mobile Capability

Types of Bets

Types of Bets

Bonuses

Bonuses

Deposit Options

Deposit Options

Trust and Reputation

Trust and Reputation

It’s probably not a surprise to know online racing betting is hugely popular – and that means there is a lot of competition among racing sportsbook operators. Betting sites will offer extensive special offers, price boosts and great odds to attract players to their platforms, which is good news for you! With so much choice Gamble Online’s team of racing experts have reviewed the best of the best in horse racing gambling. Check our thorough sports betting reviews page for more information.

Types of Horse Races

Horse racing has two core race types: jumps and flats. But while the United Kingdom, Ireland and France tend to favor jump racing (called National Hunt), in the US, flat races are king. American thoroughbred racing is classified into levels in order to produce races with roughly similar standards of horse. As a horse develops and improves its game, it will rise up the classifications.

The reason for classifications is to make races competitive – otherwise there would be no point betting on them, and the sport would die! Now, it’s important to know the various horse race types you can bet on in a US sportsbook.

Claiming Races

Almost half of US horse races are claimers. A claiming race is where owners buy and sell horses. Owners set a price on horses they have running in the race and buyers can make a purchase before the start. It should be noted that the initial owner is awarded prize money if the horse then goes on to win its race!

Maiden Races

A maiden race is for horses that are yet to record a win and are therefore usually at the beginning of their racing careers.

Allowance Races

One step down from graded stakes, allowance races often house some of the future’s best runners. Conditions such as weight allowances are provided in these races and horses that impress here will quickly be promoted to the grades.

Graded Stakes

Graded Stakes are the pinnacle type of horse race in America and feature some of the best thoroughbreds on the planet, as well as the most lucrative race meetings. There are three levels of graded stakes: Grade I, Grade II and Grade III. The American Graded Stakes Committee decide on the grades of each race and determines if the gradings such change each year.

Grade I includes iconic races such as the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Only horses that have a strong record can compete in Grade I and, should they begin to lose too many races, then they could drop down to Grade II. That’s because all horses are regularly rated in order to determine their grade level.

Within the grades there are types of race that stipulate different conditions. For example, in “age for weight” races the horse carries a set weight dependent on its age. Likewise, a “set weights” race sees hoses all carry the same weight, while a “conditions” race requires a handicapper to assess the ability of each horse, and thus determine each individual weight.

Horse Racing Betting Tips

alt text needed

Bet small, bet often

New racing betting fans can sometimes make the mistake of placing big wagers too soon. Don’t! Like anything in life, perfecting the art of sports betting requires patience if you want to make big profits. Small bets on regular races will help you develop your knowledge of racing and provide opportunities to win big, without any sizeable risk.

green certified icon with tick

Place and Shows are king

Placing a Win bet is very easy but it’s not always the smartest option. Place and Show bets give you some insurance if your pick doesn’t win the race outright, and you can still earn big money if you bet smart. It’s the same principle as betting on an NFL team to reach the Super Bowl, but not win it, or a baseball team making it to the World Series. Sometimes, there are better odds out there than simply backing the winner.

a green calculator and pencil

Understand the racecard

Being able to read the racecard is paramount to perfecting your online horse racing bets. The racecard will tell you everything you need to know about each horse, as well as the conditions on the track. Look out for factors such as weight and form, as well as which races the horse has previously run in. If a horse has really strong form, make sure they haven’t just been promoted up a grade! Otherwise, that form likely counts for little against a new, superior field.

Horse Racing Glossary

Check out the most useful horse racing terms and cut through the complex jargon below:

Online Horse Racing FAQ

Back To Top
Back To Top