Best Horse Racing Betting Sites 2024 – Expert Guide to Offshore Horse Race Betting

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Why Trust Techopedia Gambling

They call horse racing the sport of kings. It enjoys popularity in all four corners of the globe. You need the best horse racing betting sites in the USA for wagering purposes on a sport with inextricable links and historic ties to gambling. That’s where we come in. We highlight and review the best Racebooks operating offshore.

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$25 Risk-Free Bet

$25 Risk-Free Bet

  • Up to 9% Daily Racing Rebate Deal
  • Unique Props for Horses & Jockeys
  • Horse Racing Futures on Main Events
9.8
5 Stars BetOnline
Play Now

Welcome Bonus worth up to $1,725

Welcome Bonus worth up to $1,725

  • Covers thoroughbred racetracks for US & internationally
  • Receive up to 9% with Cash Back
  • 24/7 live chat customer support
9.8
5 Stars BetWhale
Play Now

50% Bonus up to $250

50% Bonus up to $250

  • Strong Horses Futures & Props Section
  • Lists Trending Events on Racebook
  • Virtual Racing Available to Bettors
9.7
5 Stars Bovada
Play Now

100% Bonus up to $500

100% Bonus up to $500

  • Racing Pools for Selected Meet Every Day
  • Crypto & Cash Sign-up Bonuses
  • Parimutuel Wagering on Horse Events
9.7
5 Stars Everygame
Play Now

50% Sports Bonus & 150% Casino Bonus

50% Sports Bonus & 150% Casino Bonus

  • Extensive Horse Racing Futures Betting
  • Thoroughbred & Harness Racing Pools
  • Max 8% Daily Horse Rebate Offer
9.5
4.5 Stars MyBookie
Play Now

150% Bonus up to $225 or 100% Bonus up to $1,000

150% Bonus up to $225 or 100% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Weekly 10% Horse Rebate for Bettors
  • Track Odds for Harness & Thoroughbred Races
  • See Exclusive Horse Racing Tips
9.5
4.5 Stars BetNow
Play Now

Racebook Welcome Bonus up to $1,000

Racebook Welcome Bonus up to $1,000

  • Lots of Horse Racing Futures Betting
  • Simple Layout to Racebook
  • Uncapped 10% Horse Rebate Deal
9.4
4.5 Stars Jazz
Play Now

100% Bonus up to $500

100% Bonus up to $500

  • $25 Horse Free Play Racebook Offer
  • Up to 9% Daily Rebate on Horse Racing
  • Special Props & Daily Racing Matchups
9.4
4.5 Stars SportsBetting.ag
Play Now

$150 Racebook Bonus

$150 Racebook Bonus

  • Reload Horse Racing Bonus Up to $500
  • Risk Free Bet & $1,000 Weekly Jackpot
  • Graded Stakes Schedule & Futures Odds
9.4
4.5 Stars BUSR
Play Now

100% Sports + 25% Casino Combo Bonus

100% Sports + 25% Casino Combo Bonus

  • Money Back for 2nd or 3rd on Selected Races
  • Bet on Horse Racing Matchups
  • Horse Picks & Predictions on BetUS TV
9.3
4.5 Stars BetUS
Play Now

50% Bonus up to $500

50% Bonus up to $500

  • Daily Rebate on Losing Horses up to 7%
  • Dedicated Kentucky Derby Page
  • Easy to Follow Racebook Navigation
9.2
4 Stars Xbet Casino
Play Now

Top 10 List of Offshore Horse Racing Betting Sites

These are the top Racebooks and best offshore sportsbooks our experts recommend for betting on horses:

  1. BetOnline – $25 risk-free bet plus online horse betting props, futures odds, and daily track pools available.
  2. Bovada – Trending Events list takes you to the best action and virtual betting on horse racing.
  3. BetNow – Receive 10% of weekly net horse race betting losses back in a Rebate deal from track odds.
  4. BetUS – Money Back Special offer if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd on selected feature races.
  5. MyBookie – Get your horse racing bets on the Breeders’ Cup World Championships with futures markets on every event.
  6. BUSR – Best among horse racing sites with bonuses thanks to sign-up, reload and rebate deals, plus risk-free bets and weekly jackpots.
  7. Sportsbetting.ag – Bet on daily racing matchups at a featured track, with props and horse free play offer.
  8. Jazz Sports – Specific Racebook welcome bonus and uncapped 10% daily cash horse rebate promo with no rollovers.
  9. XBet – Leading player among Kentucky Derby horse race betting sites with a dedicated permanent page for Churchill Downs.
  10. Everygame – Crypto and general sign-up offers, plus parimutuel odds for a featured US racetrack every day.

Comparing Horse Race Betting Sites Online

We know it’s sweet when you can compare Racebooks ahead of time, so you don’t have to view each yourself. Here is what our recommended online horse betting platforms have and what they don’t:

Racebook Bonus Promo Code Rebate Bonus Futures Odds Cashout Live Streaming
BetOnline $25 Risk-Free Bet N/A
Bovada 75% Bonus up to $750 BTCSWB750
BetNow 50% Bonus up to $500 BN50
BetUS 100% Sports + 25% Casino Combo Bonus JOIN200
MyBookie 50% Sports Bonus & 150% Casino Bonus MYB50
BUSR $150 Racebook Bonus N/A
Sportsbetting.ag 100% Bonus up to $500 DOUBLEUP
Jazz Sports Racebook Welcome Bonus up to $1,000 N/A
XBet 50% Bonus up to $500 XBET50
Everygame 100% Bonus up to $500 WELCOME500

Best Horse Racing Sites with Bonuses

With a sport as unique as this, there are different types of horse racing betting bonuses out there on offshore Racebooks. Some target new sign-ups, while others provide deals for all bettors. Here’s a neat summary of the best horse racing betting sites by bonus type.

Best Match Deposit Bonus for Horse Racing: Jazz Sports

Essential parts of horse race betting online are welcome offers aimed at new customers. Any offshore site that provides a Racebook-specific deal for bettors clearly knows and embraces that audience.

Although BUSR has such a promo, it is dwarfed by the size of the one offered by Jazz Sports. They are our top pick here with up to $1,000 matched.

  • Every deposit method eligible
  • 3x rollover requirements
  • Min deposit: $100, Max bonus: $1,000

Best Risk-Free Bet Bonus for Horse Racing: BetOnline

Whatever you call them, risk-free bets or free play deals, they’re a great way to try out horse betting knowing your stake can be reclaimed if the horse loses. It’s a free hit.

Both BUSR and Sportsbetting.ag also have such offers, but BetOnline does it best with a $25 risk-free bet available on your first horse racing wager.

  • Apples to first ever Racebook bet
  • Email free play address with wager details
  • 6x rollover requirements & expires in 30 days

Best Horse Racing Rebate Bonus: BetNow

Whether credited daily or weekly, a percentage rebate of your net losses from online horse betting is a regular promo. The more than you can get back as a cash refund, the better.

A 10% rebate is the top end of such deals with both Jazz Sports and BetNow providing that to bettors. It’s automatic with no rollover requirements with either site, but the latter shades it for being part of a wider package.

  • Wagers placed with Bitcoin are eligible
  • 10% of net losses rebated weekly
  • No rollover requirements attached

Reviews of the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites

1. BetOnline – Risk-Free Bet & Full Range of Odds

  • Payout time: 0-2 days
  • Established: 2004
  • License: Panama Gaming Authority
  • Headquarters: Panama City, Panama
  • Restricted states: NJ

BetOnline horse racing betting sites

Our Verdict 9.4/10

There are plenty of reasons why BetOnline is the leader in horse racing betting. They offer bettors a first-ever Racebook wager of $25 risk-free, so you can test out this platform for yourselves. On top of full daily track odds, there’s futures betting on all the big events in the USA throughout the year.

We even spotted some prop bets about legendary Italian jockey Frankie Dettori on site with him due to continue his retirement tour stateside in 2024. Although BetOnline’s horse racing rebate deal is good at a daily max of 9% net losses, other sites refund slightly more of your net losses if you shop around.

Splitting their dedicated horse racing platform into both Featured Races and Upcoming Races allows bettors to go between the latest daily meets and those in the future. Addressing the general lack of live streaming on BetOnline is the most obvious area of improvement. Despite this, they score highly.

Features Overview

  • Betting Options: 9/10
  • Betting Odds: 10/10
  • Streaming & Features: 8/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 9/10
  • Desktop Experience: 10/10
  • Mobile Experience: 10/10
  • Registration Process: 10/10
  • Payment Methods: 9/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Top Horse Racing Sign-Up Offer:

Offer Description Promo Code Wagering Requirements Minimum Deposit
Racebook Sign-Up Offer Up to $25 Risk-Free Bet N/A 6x N/A

Pros:

  • Daily horse Rebate deal up to 9%
  • Futures betting on major races
  • Props for both horses & jockeys
  • Risk-free bet for your first horse wager

Cons:

  • Lacks live streaming of races on the site
  • Bigger horse rebate deals elsewhere

2. Bovada – Virtual & Real-Life Online Horse Betting

  • Payout time: 0-1 days
  • Established: 2011
  • License: Curacao
  • Headquarters: Costa Rica
  • Restricted states: DE, MD, NV, NJ, NY

Bovada horse racing betting sites

Our Verdict 9.1/10

With even more bettors using Bovada than BetOnline, it’s easy to see why as you can wager on virtual races on top of real-life action. The Racebook homepage has a Trending Events list, so you have easy access to the major meets at any time.

As well as this, the latest thoroughbred and harness racing from across America and the world is all available through a simple pop-up menu. We tracked down early futures odds for 10 Breeders’ Cup races at the end-of-season World Championships on Bovada too.

Add in occasional horse racing props to regular pool parimutuel betting, and there’s a lot to like. One major miss with Bovada, however, is no daily or weekly rebate deal, which puts them out of line with their competitors. That shouldn’t take too much away from their overall package, though.

Features Overview

  • Betting Options: 10/10
  • Betting Odds: 9/10
  • Streaming & Features: 8/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 7/10
  • Desktop Experience: 10/10
  • Mobile Experience: 10/10
  • Registration Process: 10/10
  • Payment Methods: 7/10
  • Customer Support: 10/10

Top Horse Racing Sign-Up Offer:

Offer Description Promo Code Wagering Requirements Minimum Deposit
Sports Sign-Up Offer 75% Bonus up to $750 BTCSWB750 5x $20

Pros:

  • Great choice for horse racing futures odds
  • Never miss big meets with Trending Events
  • Props are sometimes found on sportsbook
  • Virtual racing betting options also included

Cons:

  • Currently missing a rebate promo
  • Bettors hit with hefty credit card fees

3. BetNow – Best Weekly Rebate for Horse Race Betting Online

  • Payout time: 0-1 days
  • Established: 2016
  • License: Curacao
  • Headquarters: Curacao
  • Restricted states: DE, FL, HI, NV, NJ, NY, PA, WA

BetNow horse racing betting sites

Our Verdict 8.7/10

Few, if any other horse racing betting sites can match BetNow over their rebate promo. A generous 10% of weekly net losses comes back to you by 12pm ET every Monday. BetNow not only lives up to its word by offering an industry-leading rebate program, but you’ve also got options for reload bonuses.

Outside of these deals, there are track odds on daily meets on both sides of the pond. For bettors wanting to wager on UK horse racing, BetNow has it covered. Away from transatlantic thoroughbred action, you can also bet on harness races. Futures odds are where BetNow falls.

Their policy is very much dealing with the here and now with horse racing, but watch out for exclusive horse racing tips and the latest news tucked away on the Racebook. As with any platform, there’s room for improvement with BetNow, who do bonuses well.

Features Overview

  • Betting Options: 7/10
  • Betting Odds: 8/10
  • Streaming & Features: 8/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 10/10
  • Desktop Experience: 8/10
  • Mobile Experience: 9/10
  • Registration Process: 10/10
  • Payment Methods: 8/10
  • Customer Support: 10/10

Top Horse Racing Sign-Up Offer:

Offer Description Promo Code Wagering Requirements Minimum Deposit
Sports Sign-Up Offer 50% Bonus up to $500 BN50 10x $20

Pros:

  • Big 10% weekly rebate on horse betting net losses
  • Exclusive horse racing tips, odds and news
  • Range of reload bonuses available to bettors
  • UK thoroughbred meets & harness races covered

Cons:

  • Horse racing futures missing from the site
  • Very basic layout and structure

4. BetUS – Money Back for 2nd or 3rd on Selected Races

  • Payout time: 1-2 days
  • Established: 1994
  • License: Curacao
  • Headquarters: Costa Rica
  • Restricted states: None

BetUS horse racing betting sites

Our Verdict 8.7/10

There’s a special promo that BetUS provides so it stands out from the crowd of other horse race betting sites. This is money back as free play on Win wagers up to $50 on selected qualifying races if your pick finishes 2nd or 3rd. You can also view the latest thoroughbred entries for North America and overseas on the BetUS Racebook.

Thanks to the Today’s Tracks sidebar menu, you can sort meets by location alphabetically or minutes to post (MTP). This includes both thoroughbred and harness racing action. Everything is compartmentalized nicely on site, then, and there are futures odds and matchups accessed from the sportsbook.

While BetUS TV and its YouTube channel see horse racing handicappers give picks on the biggest meets, this platform doesn’t extend to live streaming yet. That is one of the next steps they need to take to earn higher ratings. We also discovered that BetUS doesn’t have a rebate offer right now.

Features Overview

  • Betting Options: 9/10
  • Betting Odds: 8/10
  • Streaming & Features: 8/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 9/10
  • Desktop Experience: 9/10
  • Mobile Experience: 9/10
  • Registration Process: 9/10
  • Payment Methods: 8/10
  • Customer Support: 8/10

Top Horse Racing Sign-Up Offer:

Offer Description Promo Code Wagering Requirements Minimum Deposit
200% Crypto Bonus 150% Sports Bonus & 50% Casino Bonus up to $5,000 JOIN200 15x sports, 30x casino $100

Pros:

  • BetUS TV YouTube channel for horse racing picks
  • Money Back as free play for 2nd or 3rd on races
  • Toggle Today’s Tracks by alphabet and MTP
  • Wager on horse racing matchups and futures odds

Cons:

  • Absence of live streaming
  • No horse racing rebate deal

5. MyBookie – Best for Horse Racing Bets on the Breeders’ Cup

  • Payout time: 2-3 days
  • Established: 2014
  • License: Curacao
  • Headquarters: Costa Rica
  • Restricted states: None

MyBookie horse racing betting sites

Our Verdict 8.7/10

Horse race betting in the USA doesn’t come any bigger than the Breeders’ Cup, and MyBookie just loves the World Championships. When we checked out the futures betting on their sportsbook, there were markets for every single one of the 14 races at the two-day meet in the fall.

On the MyBookie Racebook, meanwhile, you’ll find daily track pools for both thoroughbred and harness racing listed by country. There is also an 8% daily horse rebate with no rollover requirements attached to refunded net losses. Although there are horse racing betting sites that refund a higher percentage than MyBookie, this is still a good deal.

While it’s fair to say they could go further with their promotions, that complete coverage of the Breeders’ Cup simply shouldn’t be overlooked. MyBookie treats the biggest events in horse racing with major respect. That earns them a place in the top five.

Features Overview

  • Betting Options: 10/10
  • Betting Odds: 9/10
  • Streaming & Features: 7/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 8/10
  • Desktop Experience: 8/10
  • Mobile Experience: 8/10
  • Registration Process: 9/10
  • Payment Methods: 9/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Top Horse Racing Sign-Up Offer:

Offer Description Promo code Wagering Requirements Minimum deposit
Sports Sign-Up Offer 50% up to $1,000 MYB50 10x $50

Pros:

  • Complete Breeders’ Cup coverage
  • Daily track parimutuel betting odds
  • Horse rebate deal of 8% daily losses
  • No rollover requirements for rebate

Cons:

  • Greater rebate deals available on other sites
  • Needs props and other special wagers

Is Horse Racing Betting Legal in the US?

Whether there’s legalized horse betting on-track or through off-track facilities (OTBs) varies depending on the state where you live. We have more on this for you below. The great thing about offshore horse racing betting sites is that there are no federal regulations or laws that ban them.

You can wager on such platforms, some of which have existed for almost 30 years like BetUS, free from any concerns. Nobody in the USA has ever received a prosecution for taking their bets on horses or gambling in general offshore.

There are some great benefits to these sites. Wider international coverage of horse racing events, a bigger range of payment methods, and a choice of bonuses and promos are just some advantages offshore operators and sportsbooks enjoy over regulated bookies in the US.

Where Horse Racing Betting is Legal

The table below shows the current situation surrounding legalized betting on horse racing in the 50 United States of America. Offshore sites take this issue out of the equation, but it’s still worth knowing the state of play with horse betting near me and you:

US State Offline Horse Betting Online Horse Betting
Alabama (AL)
Alaska (AK)
Arizona (AZ)
Arkansas (AR)
California (CA)
Colorado (CO)
Connecticut (CT)
Delaware (DE)
Florida (FL)
Georgia (GA)
Hawaii (HI)
Idaho (ID)
Illinois (IL)
Indiana (IN)
Iowa (IA)
Kansas (KS)
Kentucky (KY)
Louisiana (LA)
Maine (ME)
Maryland (MD)
Massachusetts (MA)
Michigan (MI)
Minnesota (MN)
Mississippi (MS)
Missouri (MO)
Montana (MT)
Nebraska (NE)
Nevada (NV)
New Hampshire (NH)
New Jersey (NJ)
New Mexico (NM)
New York (NY)
North Carolina (NC)
North Dakota (ND)
Ohio (OH)
Oklahoma (OK)
Oregon (OR)
Pennsylvania (PA)
Rhode Island (RI)
South Carolina (SC)
South Dakota (SD)
Tennessee (TN)
Texas (TX)
Utah (UT)
Vermont (VT)
Washington (WA)
West Virginia (WV)
Wisconsin (WI)
Wyoming (WY)

How Do You Bet on Horses in the USA?

It’s easy to register and sign up for horse race betting online through sportsbooks and Racebooks. These are the quick steps that you need to follow to wager on them:

Step 1: Choose a Top Offshore Site

Pick one of the sites our experts recommend to join. We advise an offshore Racebook like BetOnline because of its wider access than regulated platforms.

how to sign up horse racing betting sites

Step 2: Sign Up

Click the Join button and it will take you to the registration form. Enter your personal information eg full name, date of birth, email address, phone number, and zip code. You must also create a password for your account.

BetOnline registration form

Step 3: Deposit

After signing up, you need funds to wager with. The banking cashier has different payment options including cryptocurrencies or credit cards that you can use to make a deposit.

BetOnline deposit methods

Step 4: Visit Racebook

Separate from the sportsbook, you’ll find dedicated horse racing betting platforms. These are known as Racebooks and list all meets happening on the day.

BetOnline racebook.

Step 5: Bet on Horses

Now, all you need to do is to pick the horse from the race you want to bet in. Add it to the betslip and enter your stake before confirming your wager.

Types of Horse Racing Bets & Markets

There are different types of bets and wagers available on horse racing betting sites in the USA to other parts of the world. These fall into one of three categories: standard wagers, exotic wagers, and futures wagers. Let’s analyze each:

Standard Wagers

Also known as straight bets, these are the simplest ways to bet on horses with the following markets available:

  • Win – Where you wager on a win only. The bet pays out if your pick finishes first.
  • Place – The Place bet pays out if your pick finishes first or second.
  • Show – If a horse makes the Show, then it finishes in the first three. This bet pays out on that result.
  • Across the Board – You can combine Win, Place and Show wagers. This covers all bases Across the Board.

Exotic Wagers

The use of ‘exotic’ suggests these types of horse racing bets are exciting and different. They are more complex than standard wagers and involve betting multiple horses in either the same or different races:

  • Exacta – Where you pick horses to finish first and second in the same race in the correct order.
  • Quinella – Where you pick horses to finish first and second in the same race in any order.
  • Trifecta – Where you pick horses to finish first, second and third in the same race in the correct order.
  • Superfecta – Where you pick horses to finish first, second, third and fourth in the same race in the correct order.
  • Super High Five – Where you pick horses to finish first, second, third, fourth and fifth in the same race in the correct order.
  • Daily Double – A multi or parlay bet where you pick the winners of two consecutive races.
  • Pick 3 – Where you pick the winners of three consecutive races.
  • Pick 4 – Where you pick the winners of four consecutive races.
  • Pick 5 – Where you pick the winners of five consecutive races.
  • Pick 6 – Where you pick the winners of six consecutive races.

Futures Wagers

Something that the best horse racing betting sites in the USA all have is futures betting markets on the biggest events. That is true for this sport, just like any other. Futures wagers made ahead of time use the Moneyline odds format. You aren’t guaranteed a run for your money.

Types Of Bonuses Available for Horse Racing Betting Online

You should find a variety of offers on horse racing sites with bonuses including great deals just for Racebook wagers. Watch out for all these and more sportsbook bonuses, plus dedicated horse betting promos:

  • Welcome Bonuses – New customer-only deals where you receive something for signing up.
  • Deposit Match Bonuses – Whatever amount you deposit, up to a set maximum, you get a percentage bonus on top.
  • No Deposit Bonuses – Rarely seen outside of online casinos, an offer you can claim without depositing any money.
  • Free Play – A deal where you receive your stake back as cash or bonus funds if the qualifying bet loses.
  • Horse Racing Rebates – Daily or weekly refunds based on a percentage of net losses from wagers on Racebook parimutuel betting pools.

Top 5 Online Horse Betting Tips

Let’s get some advice from expert handicappers for effective betting on horse racing. It’s not an exact science, but there are some tips and strategies bettors like you can use. Sit up and take notice of the following, and it should lead to better decisions when wagering.

1. Look at Form

The best tip our handicappers can give you is to know the horses. Looking back over past performances is one of the few facts you have to work with here. Form figures next to a horse show where they finished in their previous races.

2. Find Track Specialists

There’s an old saying about horses for courses. If your pick has won at a particular racetrack before, then they can again. Horses develop reputations as track specialists by winning multiple races around the same place.

3. Check Pedigrees

Thoroughbred racehorses all have moms and dads. How their parents, called dams and sires, and siblings did on the track can indicate whether running over different distances may suit them or not. If you haven’t got much form to base your picks on, there’s always pedigree.

4. Follow Handicappers’ Picks

While it’s always good to make your own picks, expert handicappers also have their say. It can confirm your thinking about the big race if a pro chooses it too. Handicappers pick horses and do it well because it’s their job. Take a tip from us, and follow theirs.

5. Bet Across the Board

When you wager on the best horse racing betting sites, you want to cover all bases. Only one bet type allows for that. Wagering on a Win, Place and Show makes sure you receive a payout with an at-worst third spot. If you pick the winner, each bet Across the Board returns something.

Payment Methods

There are lots of different ways to fund your gambling and horse racing bets online these days. Here are the most popular payment methods available to bettors on offshore Racebooks:

  • Cryptocurrencies – For betting that feels private and free of third parties, you can wager with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other crypto options. Fees are minimal, while deposits and withdrawals are super quick.
  • Traditional Payment Methods – If the anonymity of cryptocurrencies doesn’t appeal, then you can always fall back on credit cards and debit cards. There are fees to pay here, though, and withdrawals via these options aren’t always available. Wiring funds directly from your bank also comes with high fees.
  • eWallets – Offshore horse racing betting sites don’t accept PayPal right now, but we hope they change their minds in the future. Digitally-friendly eWallet services like Neteller and Skrill are neat if you want a fast withdrawal, but fees crop up again.

Offshore vs Regulated

There are regulated online sportsbooks and horse racing betting sites in the USA where you can wager. These are often restricted to access only in certain states, however, and you will find greater freedom by choosing our recommended offshore platforms instead. Many regulated Racebooks are tied to land-based casinos with lines to the latest Vegas odds.

Top Horse Races to Bet on

No other sport in the world has closer links to gambling historically than horse racing. As a result, many top events both within the USA and around the world take place every single year.

The Biggest Thoroughbred Horse Racing Events in the USA

The great thing about thoroughbred horse racing is, you can bet your bottom dollar that it happens somewhere in America all-year-round. These are the best events for horse racing betting online within the USA throughout the calendar:

Pegasus World Cup

  • Age of Horses: 4-year-olds and up
  • Inaugurated: 2017
  • Where: Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, FL
  • When: Last Saturday in January
  • Race Distance: 1,800m

If last year’s big race winners at the Breeders’ Cup stay in training, then there are targets overseas for them later in winter. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes is a halfway point between the World Championships and international events in the Middle East.

Road to the Kentucky Derby

There’s a whole series of races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with qualifying points awarded based on performance. Things get serious with recognized trials across America from the second half of March.

Here are some of the key Kentucky Derby prep races happening in the USA in springtime:

  • Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course, New Orleans, LA
  • Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park Race Track, Hot Springs, AR
  • Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, FL
  • Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA
  • Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course, Lexington, KY
  • Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, Queens, NY

Kentucky Derby

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-olds only
  • Inaugurated: 1875
  • Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
  • When: First Saturday in May
  • Race Distance: 2,000m

The most famous of all horse races in the USA, the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the sport’s Triple Crown. Billed as “The Run for the Roses” and “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, whoever wins makes headline news. All top horse racing betting sites cover the Kentucky Derby in detail.

Preakness Stakes

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-olds only
  • Inaugurated: 1873
  • Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD
  • When: Third Saturday in May
  • Race Distance: 1,900m

As the second leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, the Preakness Stakes comes hot off the heels of the Kentucky Derby. Those bidding to back it up have just two weeks between races. The Preakness actually predates the Kentucky Derby by a couple of years.

Belmont Stakes

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-olds only
  • Inaugurated: 1867
  • Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
  • When: Second Saturday in June
  • Race Distance: 2,400m

Called “The Test of Champions”, the Belmont Stakes completes the Triple Crown races. It is even older and has a longer distance than the Preakness and Kentucky Derby. The Belmont Stakes tests stamina like no other dirt race for thoroughbreds of their age.

Haskell Stakes

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-olds only
  • Inaugurated: 1968
  • Where: Monmouth Park Racetrack, Oceanport, NJ
  • When: Third Saturday in July
  • Race Distance: 1,800m

There are other prestigious horse races following on from the Triple Crown over the summer in the USA. The Haskell Stakes was run as a handicap until 2006 but is now a conditions race. It is the most valuable race in the state of New Jersey.

Travers Stakes

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-olds only
  • Inaugurated: 1864
  • Where: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • When: Last Saturday in August
  • Race Distance: 2,000m

Called “The Midsummer Derby”, the Travers Stakes predates all Triple Crown events. It is the oldest graded stakes race for 3-year-olds in the history of thoroughbred horse racing in the USA. Run in upstate New York, winning the Travers still holds real prestige and cachet.

Breeders’ Cup World Championships

  • Age of Horses: 2-year-olds and up
  • Inaugurated: 1984
  • Where: Different racetracks annually
  • When: First Friday and Saturday in November
  • Race Distances: From 1,000m up to 2,400m

In the fall, a different host venue in America stages the Breeders’ Cup. The yearly change brings the end-of-season World Championships to different parts of the US with tracks in California and Kentucky favored most in recent times. The $6,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic is the centerpiece race.

The Biggest Horse Racing Meets in the Rest of the World

Taking the international view is something that all top horse racing betting sites do. This is a global sport that extends way beyond the USA and North America, so here are the big races across the world they should let you bet on:

Saudi Cup

  • Inaugurated: 2020
  • Where: King Abdulaziz Racetrack, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • When: February
  • Feature Race(s): Saudi Cup, Saudi Derby, Riyadh Dirt Sprint, Red Sea Turf Handicap

As the world’s richest horse race with a $20,000,000 prize purse, the Saudi Cup attracts entries from around the globe. The undercard is strong too with events on both the dirt and turf, just like the Breeders’ Cup.

Cheltenham Festival

  • Inaugurated: 1911
  • Where: Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, UK
  • When: March
  • Feature Race(s): Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Cheltenham Gold Cup

Sometimes called “the Olympics of horse racing”, the Cheltenham Festival is the premier meet over jumps anywhere in the world. Across four days in March, the best hurdlers and steeplechasers battle for honors and valuable prizes including the Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Dubai World Cup Night

  • Inaugurated: 1996
  • Where: Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, UAE
  • When: Last Saturday in March
  • Feature Race(s): Dubai World Cup, Sheema Classic, UAE Derby, Dubai Gold Cup

Another valuable meet out in the Middle East is the Dubai World Cup Night in the UAE. With combined prize purses totaling over $27,500,000, races on both turf and dirt are valuable. The Dubai World Cup is the obvious place for any Breeders’ Cup Classic winner to go.

Grand National

  • Age of Horses: 7-year-olds and up
  • Inaugurated: 1839
  • Where: Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
  • When: Second Saturday in April
  • Race Distance: 6,900m

Known as “The World’s Most Famous Steeplechase”, the Grand National is the ultimate test of thoroughbred racehorse stamina and jumping. Over two laps of the special Aintree track with unique fences covered in spruce, just completing the race is a major achievement.

Epsom Derby

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-old colts and fillies only
  • Inaugurated: 1780
  • Where: Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom, London, YK
  • When: First Saturday in June
  • Race Distance: 2,400m

There wouldn’t be a Kentucky Derby without its inspiration. The Epsom Derby is the premier Classic race for three-year-old thoroughbreds in England. Unlike the American version, only colts and fillies can run in this mile-and-a-half turf race.

Royal Ascot

  • Inaugurated: 1768
  • Where: Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire, UK
  • When: Third Tuesday to third Saturday in June
  • Feature Race(s): Queen Anne Stakes, King’s Stand Stakes, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, Ascot Gold Cup, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes

Also called the Royal Meet, Ascot is a center for fashion and a major social occasion. Five days of turf racing happens in the presence of royalty. American trainers who like running their horses on grass often send them across the Atlantic to race at Royal Ascot.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-old and up (no geldings)
  • Inaugurated: 1920
  • Where: Longchamp Racecourse, Bois de Boulogne, Paris, France
  • When: First Sunday in October
  • Race Distance: 2,400m

Often shortened to the Arc, this is Europe’s most valuable horse race with a total prize purse of €5,000,000. Run on turf during fall, top thoroughbreds from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and beyond compete on track.

Melbourne Cup

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-olds and up
  • Inaugurated: 1861
  • Where: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • When: First Tuesday in November
  • Race Distance: 3,200m

Billed as “The Race That Stops a Nation”, the date of the Melbourne Cup is a national holiday in the Australian state of Victoria. Attracting worldwide entries, Flat turf stayers from around the planet head Down Under to race for the almost A$8,500,000 prize purse.

Japan Cup

  • Age of Horses: 3-year-olds and up
  • Inaugurated: 1981
  • Where: Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan
  • When: Last Sunday in November
  • Race Distance: 2,400m

Worth close to a billion Japanese Yen, the Japan Cup is a big turf prize held across the Pacific Ocean from the USA in the fall. American-foaled thoroughbreds had a great record in this race in its early years, but it’s become less fashionable to travel to Tokyo.

Hong Kong International Races

  • Inaugurated: 1991
  • Where: Sha Tin Racecourse, New Territories, Hong Kong
  • When: Second Sunday in December
  • Feature Race(s): Hong Kong Cup, Hong Kong Mile, Hong Kong Sprint, Hong Kong Vase

Just before Christmas, the Hong Kong International Races happen in the New Territories at Sha Tin. These valuable turf events include a Sprint, Mile race, and middle-distance events like the Hong Kong Cup and Hong Kong Vase.

Horse Racing Schedule for 2024

The table below gives you the lowdown on where and when all the big betting races will be worldwide in 2024:

Race Name Racetrack State & Country Race Distance When
Pegasus World Cup Gulfstream Park Florida, USA 1,800m January 27
Saudi Cup Riyadh Saudi Arabia 1,800m February 24
Champion Hurdle Cheltenham UK 3,200m March 12
Cheltenham Gold Cup Cheltenham UK 5,300m March 15
Dubai World Cup Meydan Dubai, UAE 2,000m March 30
Grand National Aintree UK 6,900m April 13
Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs Kentucky, USA 2,000m May 4
Preakness Stakes Pimlico Maryland, USA 1,900m May 18
Epsom Derby Epsom Downs UK 2,400m June 1
Belmont Stakes Belmont Park* New York, USA 2,400m June 8
Ascot Gold Cup Ascot UK 4,000m June 20
Haskell Stakes Monmouth Park New Jersey, USA 1,800m July 20
Travers Stakes Saratoga New York, USA 2,000m August 24
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Longchamp Paris, France 2,400m October 6
Breeders’ Cup Classic Del Mar California, USA 2,000m November 2
Melbourne Cup Flemington Victoria, Australia 3,200m November 5
Japan Cup Tokyo Japan 2,400m November 24
Hong Kong International Sha Tin Hong Kong Various December 8
*The 2024 Belmont Stakes may be run at Saratoga instead with Belmont Park being renovated.

Horse Racing Apps & Mobile Betting

One thing that our recommended offshore Racebooks don’t have are online betting apps, so you can wager on mobile. This is now a key part of gambling, but as yet it doesn’t extend to this sport. Horse racing betting apps from offshore platforms is something we’re sure will be on offer in the near future.

Best Horse Racing Betting Site for June 2024 – BetOnline

Our experts’ number one recommendation for betting on horse racing online is BetOnline. This is because the operator understands that some bettors want to wager on meets happening today, but others ahead of time.

The site is pretty neat in how it compartmentalizes that. Including props as well as parimutuel odds for daily races and futures betting on upcoming main events, BetOnline is big-time among the best horse racing betting sites in the USA.

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Jamie Clark
Editor
Jamie Clark
Editor

Jamie Clark is a horse racing handicapper and expert. Around horses from birth, he became a Sports Journalist in 2010 covering the London Olympics in 2012 and soccer throughout Europe before making Sports Editor of current Entain Group betting brand Coral in 2014. After three years with them, he went freelance and returned to his first love. He now covers horse racing on a global scale, highlighting the best handicapped thoroughbreds worldwide, including on Techopedia.