Horse racing is a worldwide sport popular in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The sport has become even more well known for wagering, where bettors can prove themselves by selecting which horse or horses will cross the finish line first.
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Horse Racing History
Modern horse racing was popular in the United Kingdom from the 1600s, becoming known as the Sport of Kings, a moniker that is still in use today. The most famous race in England, the Epsom Derby, began in 1780.
That prestige of that race has been mimicked with the creation of races like the Kentucky Derby, which began in 1875. Aristides was the first Kentucky Derby winner, which has been run every year since then.
The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the American Triple Crown, comprised of the Derby, the Preakness Stakes in Maryland, and the Belmont Stakes in New York. These races have a long history, with only 13 horses ever sweeping all three: Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, American Pharoah, and Justify. There was a 25-year wait between Citation in 1948 and Secretariat in 1973, and then an even longer 37-year drought between Affirmed and American Pharoah in 2015. Justify came just three years later in 2018.
In 1984, the Breeders’ Cup was established and first run at Hollywood Park. The rich Breeders’ Cup Classic has since been added to the end of the Triple Crown as racing’s Grand Slam. Only American Pharoah has ever achieved the feat. The Breeders’ Cup consists of 14 races, with the Breeders’ Cup Classic the headliner, followed by the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Distaff, Mile, Sprint, Filly, and Mare Turf, Dirt Mile, Turf Sprint, Filly and Mare Sprint, Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies, Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Juvenile Turf Sprint.
The English Triple Crown is comprised of the 2000 Guineas in May, the Epsom Derby in June, and the St. Leger Stakes in September. The last horse to win the English Triple Crown was Nijinsky in 1970, and it is not attempted very often any longer. Camelot tried in 2012 but came up short in St Leger.
France’s biggest race is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe outside Paris. It was first to run in 1920 and has been won by horse racing greats such as Enable, Treve, Sea the Stars, Urban Sea, Dancing Brave, Rainbow Quest, and Alleged.
The Japanese Triple Crown consists of the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), and the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger). Orfevre became the most recent Triple Crown winner in 2011 when he swept all three races. Deep Impact did it in 2005, and Narita Brian in 1994.
The Canadian Triple Crown in Canada consists of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine, the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, and the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine. It is unique because the first leg is on a synthetic surface, the second on dirt, and the last leg is on the turf. No other Triple Crown changes surface like that.
Horse Racing Wagering
Most countries allow wagering on horse racing. There are numerous combinations of wagers available to bettors, starting with win, place, and show wagering.
Win means picking a horse to finish first, place means first or second, and show means to finish in the top three. Playing a horse across the board means playing them to win, place, and show simultaneously.
There is also exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagering, where bettors pick the top two, top three, or top four horses in order. A “box” means that the horses can come in any order, such as an exacta box or a trifecta box. Bettors can add as many horses as they want to these boxes, but the price goes up exponentially as they do.
Multi-race wagers are popular, too
- The Daily Double is a wager where bettors select the winners of two consecutive races.
- Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, and Pick 6 wagers mean selecting the winners of up to six straight races. Although the investment can be higher, the payout is usually huge, with Pick 6 consolation payouts for hitting five of the six winners.
Singling a horse in a multi-race wager means that in at least one leg of the wager, bettors only select one horse. Although a lot more pressure rides on that horse to win, it allows the bettor to spread money around to the other races and take more horses per race, or go deeper in the race.
Sometimes there are special event wagers, such as when Churchill Downs offers the Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby double over a Friday and a Saturday. Belmont Park in New York and Woodbine have been known to have doubles with one race at each track, as has Northern and Southern California such as Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park at the same time.
Coupled entries are when there are two horses racing for the same owner, which means the bettor gets both horses for the price of one. They will be listed as 1 and 1A, or 2 and 2B.
Keying a horse means to pick it on top while placing multiple other horses underneath it. For example, an Exacta Key means picking one horse to win, and several others underneath it to finish second.
Picking the right horse can be tough job. It really requires you to do some research. Even machine learning in horse betting has run into problems. Using machine learning in sports gambling goes against rules and regulations in many horse racing sites, as some hacksters have found out.
Horse Racing Racetracks
There are hundreds of horse racing tracks around the world, with surfaces from dirt, turf, and synthetic, to steeplechase racing, harness racing, and even different breeds from Thoroughbred to Quarter Horse and Standardbred. Click here to bet on any major horse racing track.
The most famous racetracks in North America are Churchill Downs, Saratoga, Belmont Park, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park.
Churchill Downs is the home of the Kentucky Derby. It is famous for not only that race for three-year-olds but also its Twin Spires perched above the grandstand. The Kentucky Derby museum is on the property as well. Well over 100,000 visitors go to Churchill Downs every year for the Kentucky Derby, also known as the Run for the Roses. It is located in Louisville, Kentucky.
Saratoga is one of the oldest tracks in the United States. It was first opened in 1863 and is home to a special summer meeting where the best horses, horse trainers, and jockeys gather every year. The Travers Stakes, a race that has been won there by Arrogate, Street Sense, Bernardini, Point Given, Easy Goer, and Forty Niner, takes place every August. There is typically a stakes race every single day of the summer meet.
Belmont Park is home to the Belmont Stakes. The track, which is often called Big Sandy, has a 1 ½-mile dirt oval around two turf courses. It has hosted the Breeders’ Cup many times, including the 1995 edition when the famous Cigar continued a streak with 10 straight wins. The Belmont Stakes has been won by the likes of Secretariat to capture the Triple Crown but is also a place many horses have gone down in defeat, including Silver Charm, Funny Cide, Real Quiet, and Big Brown.
Keeneland is a beautiful track located in Lexington, Kentucky. It is surrounded by trees and manicured grounds. The property also hosts many of the major horse sales in North America. The track is known for the Blue Grass Stakes, a major Kentucky Derby prep, and hosted the Breeders’ Cup for the first time in 2015. It will host once again in 2020.
Santa Anita Park was opened in 1934 and was quickly popular thanks to the likes of Seabiscuit. The Santa Anita Handicap and Santa Anita Derby are important races on the annual calendar. Santa Anita has hosted the Breeders’ Cup 10 times, including in 2009 when the mare Zenyatta remained unbeaten in 14 starts to defeat males in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Other popular North American tracks are Del Mar in San Diego, California; Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland; and Gulfstream Park in Florida. Around the world, Ascot, Epsom, and Longchamp are the best-known tracks. Australia is home to many tracks, including Randwick and Flemington.
Woodbine Racetrack is Canada’s biggest horse racing track. It is the home of the Queen’s Plate, a championship race for three-year-olds bred in Canada. Horses such as Northern Dancer, who ultimately shaped the breed with his talent as a stallion, called Woodbine home. Secretariat ran the last race of his career at Woodbine on the grass. Woodbine has two turf courses, a seven-eighths inner turf course, and a 1 ½-mile outer turf course. The one-mile synthetic main track is in between them. The only time Woodbine hosted the Breeders’ Cup was in 1996.
Horse Racing Betting FAQs
Is Horse Racing known as the King of Sports?
It depends on who you ask. Horse racing has a long and rich history and is popular all around the world, but whether or not it can be considered the “King of Sports” is subjective. Other sports like football (soccer), basketball, and baseball have much larger global audiences and generate more revenue. However, for those who are passionate about horse racing, it may be considered the king of sports to them personally. Ultimately, it’s up to individual preference and opinion.
Is horse racing betting profitable?
Horse racing betting can be profitable, but it requires a lot of research, strategy, and discipline. Some professional horse race bettors make a living out of it, while others lose money consistently. In order to increase your chances of profitability, it’s important to research the horses, jockeys and trainers, track conditions and past performance of the horse. Creating a betting strategy based on your research can also help increase your chances of success. However, regardless of how good your strategy is, betting is always a risk and there is no guarantee of profitability. It’s important to approach betting responsibly and with a clear understanding of the risks involved.
Can I live bet on horse racing?
Yes, you can live bet on horse racing. There are many online sports betting websites that offer live betting on horse racing, allowing you to place bets on races as they happen. Keep in mind that the odds and availability of bets may change rapidly during a race, so it’s important to stay up to date and make quick decisions. Additionally, be sure to do your research and understand the different types of bets available, as well as the track and conditions that may impact a race’s outcome.
What kinds of betting lines are there in horse racing?
Horse racing is a thrilling sport that attracts many betting enthusiasts. Listed below are some of the most common betting lines in horse racing:
1. Win: This is the most straightforward betting line in horse racing. You simply bet on the horse you think will win the race.
2. Place: With this betting line, you bet on a horse to finish in the top two positions. If the horse finishes first or second, you win the bet.
3. Show: With this betting line, you bet on a horse to finish in the top three positions. If the horse finishes first, second or third, you win the bet.
4. Exacta: In this betting line, you have to correctly predict the horses that will finish first and second in the exact order.
5. Trifecta: With this betting line, you have to correctly predict the horses that will finish first, second and third in the exact order.
6. Superfecta: This is the most difficult betting line where you have to correctly predict the horses that will finish first, second, third and fourth in the exact order.
These are just a few of the many betting lines in horse racing. Remember to do your research and always bet responsibly.
Is horse racing betting popular?
Yes, horse racing betting is a popular form of gambling worldwide, with a significant amount of money being wagered on horse races every day. It is particularly popular in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia, where horse racing has a long tradition and is considered a major sport. In some countries, horse racing betting accounts for a significant portion of the country’s gambling revenue. However, it is important to remember that gambling can be addictive, and it is important to only bet what you can afford to lose.
What's the most popular horse racing betting line?
The most popular horse racing betting line is the Win bet, which is when you bet on a horse to finish first in the race. This is the simplest and most straightforward bet, and it’s the one that most beginners start with. Other popular betting lines in horse racing include Place bet (betting on a horse to finish first or second), Show bet (betting on a horse to finish first, second, or third), and Exacta bet (picking the first two horses to finish in the exact order). However, the Win bet remains the most popular choice for horse racing bettors.
Are horse racing betting lines available all year round?
Yes, horse racing betting lines are available all year round. Horse racing is a sport that operates throughout the year, with races taking place on a regular basis around the world. As a result, the betting lines for horse racing are always available, with bookmakers and sportsbooks offering odds and lines on upcoming races. Whether you’re looking to place a bet on a major international event like the Kentucky Derby or a local race at your nearest racetrack, you can find horse racing betting lines online or at your favorite sportsbook. So, regardless of the time of year, you can always get in on the action and potentially win big with horse racing betting.
What's the biggest horse racing event?
The biggest horse racing event in the world is the annual Kentucky Derby, held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the first leg of the prestigious Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby attracts around 150,000 spectators who come to watch the best three-year-old thoroughbreds run a distance of 1 1/4 miles on the dirt track. The race has a rich history and tradition, dating back to 1875, and is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”
Is there horse racing based in the United States?
Yes, there are many horse races held in the United States throughout the year. Some of the most well-known races include the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, which together make up the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Additionally, there are many other races held at racetracks across the country, from California to Florida to New York. Whether you’re a fan of horse racing or interested in betting on races, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy this exciting sport in the United States.
What is a trifecta bet?
A trifecta bet is a type of horse racing bet where the bettor selects three horses to finish the race in first, second, and third place in the exact order specified. This bet can be very challenging to win, but the payouts can be significant if all three horses finish in the correct order. Trifecta bets are popular among experienced horse race bettors and can be placed online or at the track. Some tracks also offer variations on the trifecta bet, such as a boxed trifecta where the horses can finish in any order.