Louisiana is known for more than just Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras – the state is also home to some of the most historic racetracks in North America. While there is year-round racing in Louisiana, it is an ideal winter destination for many East Coast horsemen and racing fans as they look for warmer climates to enjoy some Thoroughbred racing action.
OTB Louisiana Betting Sites
Online racebooks put the biggest and best horse racing action from around the world at your fingertips through the convenience of a computer or mobile device. Similar to an OTB, online racebooks allow fans to wager on events they cannot attend in person through safe and secure online sites. In addition, many online racebooks provide promotions and rebates you cannot get anywhere else.
Louisiana Race Tracks
Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans has the distinction of being the third oldest racing venue in continual operation and has been open since 1852. The track has a one mile main dirt track and a seven furlong turf course and hosts live racing in August and September and then again from November through early April. Among their high profile events include the Louisiana Derby, a key prep racefor the Kentucky Derby.
Delta Downs holds both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing and has been in operation since 1973. Located in Vinton, the track races primarily at night and has two separate meets – one runs from October through March and the other goes from April through July. The track holds two of the most lucrative races in the country for two-year-old Thoroughbreds.
Also in Louisiana is Evangeline Downs which conducts live racing from April through August and from September through December. It opened in 1966 and is just north of Lafayette. Though a small track, there is great history there and the immortal John Henry won his first of many stakes races there.
Louisiana is also home to Louisiana Downs which holds a mix of Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing from January to March and also again from May through September. They host a major race for three-year-olds, the Super Derby.
Louisiana Horse Races
Held annually at the Fair Grounds, the Louisiana Derby is the most prominent and prestigious race in the state and can have major implications on the Kentucky Derby. The Grade 2 event is run at a mile and an eighth and offers a purse of $1 million as well as a practically guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the Run for the Roses. In 1996, Grindstone parlayed a win in the Louisiana Derby into a victory in the Kentucky Derby.
Also run at Fair Grounds is the Risen Star Stakes which offers 50 points to the winner towards a berth in the Kentucky Derby as well as a purse of $400,000. The Grade 2 event is a prep race for the Louisiana Derby.
Also in Louisiana is one of the most profitable races in the country for two-year-old Thoroughbreds – the $1 million Delta Jackpot Stakes. Inaugurated in 2002, the race is relatively new on the scene but has already begun to draw quality fields of juveniles. In 2015, Exaggerator closed out his two-year-old season with a victory and went on to win both the Preakness Stakes and the Haskell Invitational as a sophomore.
Off Track Betting in Louisiana
Off track betting in Louisiana is governed by the Louisiana Racing Commission, which oversees pari-mutuel betting and horse racing activities. More than a dozen OTB sites exist in Louisiana, providing horse wagering fans with the chance to bet on events from around the world.