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Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in the US 2021

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Betting on horse racing has long been a popular pastime for many in the United States. The fast-paced, action-packed sport has attracted players for many years, with horse racing betting sites having made the process even simpler. Whether it be a meeting from Santa Anita Park or Churchill Downs, our top ranked betting sites for horse racing have all bases covered. On this page, readers will also find the most common horse racing betting terms explained, as well as popular horse racing betting systems. We will begin by listing our favourite operators when it comes to betting on horse racing.

How We Rank The Top 10 Horse Racing Betting Sites 

Betting customers in the United States have an increasing number of platforms available to them in terms of horse racing. As a result, it can be difficult to know which sportsbooks to consider and which to avoid. However, bettors can rest assured that our recommended horse racing betting sites have passed strict testing. When reviewing online horse racing betting platforms, we consider the following factors:

  • Horse Racing Coverage – Horse racing fans are increasingly demanding when it comes to market coverage. It is not only domestic races that they wish to bet on, but international meetings too. The best horse racing betting sites accept bets on everything from the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes to the Grand National and Melbourne Cup. There are few better sportsbooks than BetOnline in this area, with daily races being found.
  • Horse Racing Betting Odds – Ultimately, horse racing betting odds determine how much players will make from successful punts. Prices differ between sportsbooks, based on form, trainers, track conditions and head to head records. Those with a good knowledge of the sport will be able to find value at our top ranked sportsbooks. However, it is Bovada that regularly offers the most attractive horse racing betting odds.
  • Horse Racing Betting Apps – For many, smartphones or tablets are the preferred method of betting. As a result, sportsbooks must be accessible on such devices. Many operators have gone one step further by developing their own apps. Horse racing betting apps make browsing markets, placing bets and utilizing additional features simple when on the go. Offering all of the same features as found on their main desktop site, the MyBookie app is well worth downloading. 
  • Bonuses & Promotions – New customers signing up on one of our recommended horse racing betting sites will be in a position to claim a welcome bonus. Meanwhile, existing customers can also take advantage of ongoing promotions, some of which are specific to horse racing. So, whether you are looking for best odds guaranteed or faller insurance, be sure to check out the offers available beforehand. With a 7% horse racing rebate for existing customers, XBet is a top choice. 
  • Additional Features – Part of the appeal of horse racing betting sites is the extra features available. Whether it be live streaming, racecards or horse racing blogs, such features add to the user experience. They also sometimes enhance your chances of winning! With a useful horse racing wagering guide, GT Bets offers much more than just markets and odds.

The Top Horse Racing Betting Sites Compared 

The table below provides a quick and clear breakdown of the features available at our top ranked horse racing betting sites:

Sportsbook Live Streaming Cash Out Mobile App Horse Racing Promotions
Bovada No Yes Yes Yes
BetOnline No Yes Yes Yes
BetUS No Yes Yes Yes
BetNow No Yes Yes Yes
MyBookie No Yes Yes Yes
XBet No Yes Yes Yes
SportsBetting No Yes Yes Yes
BUSR No Yes No Yes
GT Bets No Yes No Yes

Different Horse Racing Betting Markets 

When it comes to the best horse racing betting sites, players have a variety of markets to select from. Things are much more diverse than simply staking on the winner of a specific race. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular online horse racing betting markets, as well as some common bet types:

Winner

Betting on which runner and rider will win a particular race remains the most popular market. Available right up until the start of the race, each entrant is given a price, which will likely change in the build-up. Bettors must consider the full race card when wagering. Horse racing betting odds are determined by a number of different factors, including form, going and head to head records. An example of this bet type would be to bet on Corniche to win the Kentucky Derby at +1400.

Each-Way

For times when the runners and riders involved in a race are just too close to call, an each-way bet may well be worth considering. Such bets are effectively broken down into two parts. The first half of the stake goes on your selection winning, with the other being put on it placing. The specific number of places varies between sportsbooks. The same can also be said of the each-way odds offered by horse racing betting sites. 

Head-to-Head

An increasingly popular horse racing market is head-to-head. Here, players are betting on the battle between two specific entrants. Simply put, if your pick finishes ahead of the other horse in question, your bet will win. This type of bet offers the most value when there are two evenly matches runners and riders. However, betting on the favourite to overcome a rank outsider is unlikely to deliver any significant profits.

Winning Margin

Available on some horse racing betting sites, players can also bet on the margin of victory. The options will differ from sportsbook to sportsbook, whether it be 1+ length or 20+ lengths. When there is a clear favourite, this market is a good option for those looking to bump up the odds. As you would expect, the narrower the winning difference predicted, the higher the returns will be.

Exacta

This bet type involves predicting the first two horses to finish in a race, as well as the correct order. This market is generally reserved for high profile races, however its availability differs between horse racing betting sites. Your bet will lose if you successfully predict the top two, but it was in the wrong order.

Trifecta

Similar to an Exacta, a Trifecta involves betting on the first three race finishers, as well as in the correct order. So, you are betting on which runners and riders will finish first, second and third. Of course, this is a risky bet. However, the potential rewards are significant. A good example of this bet took place ahead of the 2016 Belmont Stakes. One lucky player walked away with winnings of $2,751 from a stake of just $2.

Parlay

A parlay is another name for a multiple bet. A series of single bets are combined, with significant winnings being available as a result in many cases. All of your picks must win in order for your bet to be successful. Some horse racing betting sites offer parlay insurance due to the popularity of this bet type. 

Finding the Best Horse Racing Betting Odds 

We have already alluded to just how important horse racing betting odds are. Often, prices found at the leading horse racing betting sites are very similar. However, even the slightest fluctuation can make a big difference when it comes to potential winnings. Odds are available in an American format, although decimal and fractional formats may also be available. Having compared the odds at our top ranked sportsbooks, it is the following that come out on top consistently: 

Horse Racing Betting on Mobile 

A large proportion of horse racing bets are now placed on handheld devices. As such, the best horse racing betting sites are all fully optimized for mobile browsers, while some operators have even developed horse racing betting apps. Either way, a large number of markets are available when on the go, as well as some all-important features. While the majority of new betting sites cater well for casino players, the same cannot be said of some more traditional brands. So, for those looking to bet on the go, the following are among the best mobile horse racing platforms:

The Best Horse Racing Betting Offers 

Offers are found on most horse racing betting sites, helping players to maximise winnings and minimize losses. Each promotion is slightly different, even if the basic premise appears to be the same. Terms and conditions surround offers too, impacting their level of appeal. We will now outline some of the most appealing horse racing betting offers awaiting customers in the US:

XBet 7% Horse Racing Rebate

xbet logoAt XBet, players will receive an automatic 7% rebate on horse racing bets placed on selected tracks. Available to all existing customers, funds will be paid immediately into your account the following day. No rollover requirements are in play, with no rebates being paid on Win, Place or Show bets that pay $2.20 to $2 or less.

BetNow Horse Rebate

Similarly, players at BetNow will receive an automatic 10% weekly horse racing rebate. Rebates are delivered by 12:00 each Monday, with bets placed on selected races between Monday-Sunday qualifying.

MyBookie 8% Horse Rebate

Available on selected tracks, players at MyBookie will receive a horse racing rebate of 8%. Returns will be deposited into user accounts the following day after betting, with 1x rollover requirements being required. No rebate will be given to those that cancel wagers.

BUSR Horse Racing Reload Bonus

busrPlayers at BUSR will receive a cash bonus of up to $250 every time they make a deposit via an eligible payment method. The promo code “HORSES10” must be entered at the time of depositing, with 5x rollover requirements being in play.

GT Bets 10% Horse Rebate

gtbets logoGet a 10% rebate on horse racing net losses each week at GT Bets. Bonus funds will be deposited into your account automatically every Monday. There are no other strict terms and conditions to worry about.

The Top Horse Racing Betting Strategies 

When operating on horse racing betting sites, it is important to have a strategy. While entertainment is the main goal, taking advantage of one of the most effective horse racing betting systems could well ensure that you collect winnings along the way. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout strategies surrounding horse racing betting:

Dutching Strategy

This strategy does take some time to get your head around. So, for those that do not enjoy math, Dutching may not be for you. When carried out correctly, players will win at least their money back when wagering on a certain number of horses. Start of by deciding how much you are looking to spend, before working out how to split your budget in order to guarantee returns. For example, when backing two runners and riders with a $15 budget, the simple thing to do would be to back both at $7.50. However, Dutching requires more in-depth thinking.

Value Betting

This strategy will suit those who have an expert knowledge of horse racing. Sometimes horse racing betting odds will be inaccurate. Those who are able to locate markets where prices are too generous will be in a good position to reap the rewards. For example, a potential pick is given odds of +500. However, based on your knowledge and research, you believe they should have been priced at +700.

Horse Racing Betting Terms Explained

When signing up at an online sportsbook, players will likely come across a host of terms. Some will be new, while others are more recognizable. So, before getting started, ensure that you have read and taken in this horse racing betting terms explained section:

Acceptor – A runner that has been officially listed to start a race.

Age – Thoroughbreds count January 1st as their birth date.

Banker – Highly anticipated to win.

Blanket Finish – When the horses finishing in the top positions are too close to call by the naked eye.

Buck – A bet of exactly $100.

Dead Heat – When two or more horses finish equal.

Dime – A bet of exactly $1,000.

Filly – A female horse aged 4 or younger.

Going – The condition of the race track.

Handicap – Runners being given different weights in order to ensure a fair contest.

Inquiry – A post race review to ensure no rules have been broken.

Juvenile – A two-year-old horse.

Mare – A female horse aged 5 or over.

Nose – The smallest margin of victory.

Outsider – A runner that is not expected to win.

Protest – When an allegation of infringement is made by a jockey, owner or trainer.

Steeplechase – A race involving runners and riders jumping over obstacles.

Stud – A male horse used for breeding.

Value – Getting the best odds.

Betting On Horse Racing Betting Sites v Betting In Person 

There is nothing quite like betting on horse racing at the track itself. However, there is a reason that the majority of bets are now placed on horse racing betting sites. So, what are the main benefits and limitations of online horse racing betting:

Pros:

  • Convenient – There is no denying that horse racing betting sites are hugely convenient. Rather than joining the line at your local track, players can browse markets and place bets with ease. Available on both desktop and mobile, the best sportsbooks make life very simple for bettors.
  • Promotions – As we have already discussed on this page, horse racing betting offers also add to the appeal of wagering online. Whether it be a welcome bonus or weekly rebate, promotions with realistic terms and conditions can benefit both new and existing customers. 
  • Best Odds – When operating online, players can benefit from nothing but the very best horse racing odds. The same cannot be said of betting in person, where you must take the odds offered. There is nothing to stop players signing up on a host of horse racing betting sites, ensuring that the greatest prices are utilized time after time.
  • Additional Features – Features found at horse racing betting sites also make operating online more appealing. Cash out, live streaming and race cards are all likely to be useful to players along the way.

Cons:

  • Responsible Gambling – Sportsbooks do make it more difficult to bet responsibly. With markets being accessible at all times, sticking to your budget is no mean feat. We recommend taking advantage of the deposit limits available at most of the top horse racing betting sites.
  • Social – Of course, betting online does not deliver any of the social advantages found at the track itself. Bettors will often laugh and joke amongst each other while watching their punts come home.

The Biggest Horse Racing Betting Events In The US 

The United States is home to some of the best-known and historic horse races in the world. Let’s take a look at some of the events that attract major interest from bettors during the calendar: 

Kentucky Derby

This Grade One meeting is held annually on the first Saturday in May. Taking place at the famous Churchill Downs, the race is part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. The prize pool tops $2 million, with the race dating back to 1875. Runners and riders battle it out over 1 ¼ miles, with Medina Spirit having come out on top in 2021.

Kentucky Derby Horse Racing Betting Sites

Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup is a Grade One thoroughbred race, with the event dating back to 1984. The race is held at a different venue each year, with the prize pool also varying. The Breeders’ Cup meeting takes place over two days, with over 100,000 supporters attending. Knicks Go won in 2021. 

Belmont Stakes

As part of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes is ran over 1 ½ miles. Held at Belmont Park in Elmont, the race is for three-year-old thoroughbreds. The race has been nicknamed “The Race of the Champion”, with the total prize pool sitting at $1.5 million. Essentially Quality was the winner in 2021.

The Biggest Horse Racing Events Around The World 

Those signing up at US horse racing betting sites will also be able to wager on meetings from other areas. Meetings from the UK, Australia and the Middle East are regularly found, with the following being the most high profile:

Grand National

Founded in 1839, the Grand National is held at Aintree in the UK. The Handicap Steeplechase takes place over 4 miles, with the winner taking home £375,000. The 30 fences make for an entertaining and competitive race, with the famous Red Rum having won a record three times. Meanwhile, it was Minella Times who came out on top in 2021.

Who will win the Grand National? Have a flutter on your pick here...

Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is the most famous race in Australia. The annual thoroughbred race takes place at the Flemington Racecourse, over a distance of 3,200m. The race is worth over A$8 million, with its history dating back to 1861. 

Dubai World Cup

Founded in 1996, the Dubai World Cup is an annual thoroughbred race held at the Meydan Racecourse. Runners and riders compete over 2,000m on a dirt track, with over $12 million being up for grabs. Mystic Guide won in 2021, with Thunder Snow having come out on top in both 2018 and 2019.

Live Streaming and Horse Racing Betting 

The ability to watch horse races live online only adds to the appeal of betting on the sport. While only a select few horse racing betting sites in the US offer live streaming, the service is very much in demand. Horse racing streams are generally delivered in HD, with commentary being available too. Whether it be on desktop or mobile, a small bet may need to be placed in order to gain access. However, the exact qualifying terms will vary between operators. Those looking for live horse racing streams should check out the following sites:

Our Top 5 Betting Tips For Horse Racing Betting 

Unfortunately, even our detailed horse racing betting guide cannot provide a formula that will guarantee success. However, players can give themselves a good chance of coming out on top by following these simple tips:

Tip 1: Do Your Homework

A good amount of information is available when it comes to runners and riders today. So, pre-race, ensure that you have looked closely at potential picks. This will include their form, trainer and head to head records. Race cards feature on many of the best horse racing betting sites. 

Tip 2: Don’t Bet on Everything

With horse racing betting sites covering meetings from across the globe, races are available to stake on daily. However, it is important that players do not bet on everything. Instead, focus on tracks and runners that you have a good knowledge of.

Tip 3: Utilize Bonuses

Bonuses are available to collect when betting on horse racing. A welcome bonus is available to new customers, while rebates feature on many sites too. Bonus funds can be used to fund bets, giving you a better chance of backing a winner. Ensure that the T&Cs are realistic beforehand though.

Tip 4: Stick to a Budget

Being responsible is hugely important when betting on horses. So, before getting started, set yourself a budget and stick to it. Deposit limits can be set in order to assist with this tip. 

Tip 5: Track Your Progress

Regularly look at your bet history in order to see where you have been successful, as well as where improvements can be made. This will allow players to see what types of bets and markets have heeded returns. There is no excuse to miss this step, with sportsbooks making it easy.

Is Horse Racing Betting Legal In The USA?

Flag of the United States - WikipediaHorse racing betting is now legal in most US states. Off-track betting was legalized back in 1978, thanks to the formation of the Interstate Horseracing Act. Since then, bets have been legally placed at off-track locations, as long as stakes went directly to race prize pools. Changes were made by congress in 2000, which meant that bets could also legally be placed via the telephone and other electronic media. 

Online horse racing was aided yet further when it was made exempt from a law that aimed to clamp down on illegal online gambling. It was at this point that a number of horse racing betting sites were launched. Now, licensed racebooks are able to accept bets on international meetings, as well as domestic races.

Final Word on Betting Sites for Horse Racing

Horse racing betting is now legal in many US states. As a result, players are always looking for new horse racing betting sites to back their favorite runners and riders on. Whether you are looking to back a winner at the Breeders’ Cup or place a parlay on a number of races at Monmouth Park, our recommended sportsbooks have you covered. So, be sure to check them out for yourself, before signing up with the most suitable brand. With some hugely attractive odds, bonuses and features, there has never been a better time to get started.

Horse Racing Betting Sites FAQs

Is online horse racing betting legal in the United States?

Are there horse racing betting promotions available online?

Which are the most popular markets on horse racing betting sites?

Can I place horse racing bets on mobile?

Is live streaming available on horse racing betting sites?

James is a freelance writer who specialises in the world of sports and iGaming, producing engaging and accurate content for online publications, including news articles, reviews, press releases and social media marketing.