Horse Racing Betting Sites and Mobile Apps

Posted by Joseph Ellison . 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 gambling 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:

Horse Betting Apps

Placing a wager on the horses is a lot quicker and easier when you use one of America’s horse betting apps or online sites. Roughly 86% of all sports bets are placed online, which is why racebooks are always working to improve their smartphone platforms.

What’s more, you don’t even need to use an app! These days the best horse racing app is practically identical to its sister browser site. Therefore, you don’t need to waste time and mobile data downloading an app, and can instead join a sportsbook online in minutes and use its browser-based betting markets instead for your mobile sports betting needs.

Sportsbook sites are designed to maximize usage on phone and tablet screens, to make life easier for those who want to make those big bets. This means you can easily log into your profile wherever and whenever you like, make deposits and withdrawals, trigger horse racing bonus offers and place those all-important bets at a time and place that suits you.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

Run For The Roses

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.

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.

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.

Triple Crown Winners

Since 1919, only 13 horses have achieved the honor of winning horse racing’s Triple Crown by finishing first in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. It’s interesting to note that 23 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but failed to win the Belmont, thus coming up one win shy of joining the exclusive Triple Crown club.

Year Winner Trainer Jockey
1919 Sir Barton H. Guy Bedwell Johnny Loftus
1930 Gallant Fox Jim Fitzsimmons Earl Sande
1935 Omaha Jim Fitzsimmons Willie “Smokey” Saunders
1937 War Admiral George Conway Charles Kurtsinger
1941 Whirlaway Ben A. Jones Eddie Arcaro
1943 Count Fleet Don Cameron Johnny Longden
1946 Assault Max Hirsch Warren Mehrtens
1948 Citation Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones Eddie Arcaro
1973 Secretariat Lucien Laurin Ron Turcotte
1977 Seattle Slew William H. Turner Jr. Jean Cruguet
1978 Affirmed Laz Barrera Steve Cauthen
2015 American Pharoah Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza
2018 Justify Bob Baffert Mike Smith

How We Rate Horse Betting Sites

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Watch Horse Races Online

Being able to watch live horse racing can make the difference between placing a winning bet and a losing bet. The reason? You get access to far more knowledge when you stream horse racing, and that knowledge can help you make smarter bets. factors such as the going, latest odds shifts and updates from the racetrack can combine to help you make better choices.

Some horse racing betting sites offer live streaming of each race they feature, but more often than not your best bet for watching races live is via a TV network. ESPN, NBC and FOX all have broadcast rights to broadcast the sport, which means you’ll never be short of a way to watch horse races online.

Horse Racing Promotions

There are scores of horse racing promotions out there just waiting to be triggered. Some promos are only available to new customers as a carrot for joining a racebook. Others award loyalty to existing customers, and provide extra bonuses such as better odds. Whether you’re seeking a new sportsbook or just want to discover the latest deals, here are some examples of current horse racing betting bonus options:

Welcome Bonus/Sign-Up Bonus

A horse racing sign-up bonus, or a welcome bonus, is likely the first thing you will encounter when choosing a new betting site. The bonus could be free cash to start wagering, or a free bet. Whatever the bonus, be sure to double check the details and wagering requirements!

Enhanced Odds

Some sportsbooks offer enhanced odds to new and current horse racing punters who want to wager on specific events. This usually focuses on a particular horse. So, for example, there might be enhanced odds on a firm favorite in the Kentucky Derby, or boosted odds on a trifecta or exacta bet type.

Extra Places

Some horse racing betting sites let you bet ‘across the board’ or ‘each way’ on the horses, in which you split your bet in half. One half wagers on your horse to win, the other on your horse to ‘place’ in the top three or four. In big races, sportsbooks can offer extra places to increase your likelihood of winning.

Futures Boosts

Horse racing futures betting is when you wager on a horse to win a race before it has been confirmed to run. Punters use futures to wager on the Preakness Stakes, for example, months before the race. And bookmakers will often boost the odds of futures horses in order to make them more bet-worthy.

Horse Racing Glossary

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

Online Horse Racing FAQ

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