Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in 2023
Our ranked list of the top March Madness betting sites. SBR's sportsbook experts have been trusted since 1999.
Betting on horse racing is where sports betting began over 100 years ago, including the Kentucky Derby, which is the longest running sporting event in the US.
Given the unique nature of the sport, available bet types differ from other major sports, such as football and basketball.
There’s no better way to start than with the best online horse racing betting sites. Use SBR as your all-encompassing guide for betting on horse racing.
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Bonus mentions are for US residents only.
Top U.S. horse racing betting sites
Bonus mentions are for US residents only.
At SBR, due diligence is our top priority regarding horse racing betting and the best sportsbooks available. The only option is:
FanDuel Racing Bonuses
Get up to $20 back on the Preakness
Place a win bet on a single horse in the Preakness Stakes to be eligible here. Only the first single horse win bet on the Preakness is eligible. If the wager loses, get a refund as a racing bonus up to $20. Limit of one promotion bonus per person. Allow up to 24 hours for refund to be credited to your account. Refund will be issued as a non-withdrawable racing bonus.Only applies to some states.
Horse racing betting sites quick facts
|🏇 Horse racing sportsbook||📱 iOS/Android app?||📺 Live streaming?||➡ Additional features?|
|FanDuel||Yes/Yes||Yes (TVG & TVG2)||Upcoming race calendar, stream schedule, statistics, blog posts|
2023 Preakness Stakes Odds
Preakness Stakes odds 2023
Here's a look at the early Preakness Stakes odds (odds via Bet365):
Enter SBR's Preakness Stakes Challenge for your chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.
|Mage||Gustavo Delgado||-137 (8-11)|
|National Treasure||Bob Baffert||+225 (9-4)|
|Blazing Sevens||Chad Brown||+700 (7-1)|
|Red Route One||Steve Asmussen||+2000 (20-1)|
|Perform||Claude R. McGaughey III||+2000 (20-1)|
|Coffeewithchris||John E. Salzman, Jr.||+5000 (50-1)|
|Chase the Chaos||Ed Moger Jr.||+8000 (80-1)|
|First Mission||Brad Cox||SCRATCHED|
(Odds updated Friday, May 19 at 8:00 a.m. ET)
Where to bet on horse racing
Few sports get your blood pumping, quite like horse racing. It’s fast and intense, and every millisecond matters with almost no margin for error.
When you first start horse racing online, it can be overwhelming. The most important factors to consider when looking for the best betting sites include security, customer service, and competitive odds.
US horse racing betting sites
U.S. residents can bet on the Kentucky Derby at FanDuel.
When evaluating these sites, some of the criteria to consider includes the following:
- Available races and bet types
- Customer service
- Live streaming
- Additional features
Canada horse racing betting sites
Canada horse racing betting sites are few and far between outside of Ontario. Bettors must do all retail and mobile single-game wagering in Quebec via Loto-Quebec. British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan residents can only place a retail or online wagers via PlayNow (PlayNow.com). There is currently no online or retail sports betting available to those living in Nunavut, Yukon, or the Northwest Territories. These three territories are all regulated by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC).
Those in Alberta are currently limited to using Play Alberta, but it is also the closest province to legalizing a full slate of the best sportsbooks. All Atlantic provinces have legalized single-game betting, including New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Bettors can only do it via PROLINEStadium.com, the sole sports betting platform that the Atlantic Lottery Corporation has approved.
When evaluating these sites, some of the criteria to consider includes:
- Legal status and restrictions
- Customer service
- Additional features
Ontario horse racing betting sites
Woodbine Entertainment owns both of Ontario’s horse racing betting sites, HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets. The organization has been given the only pari-mutuel betting license in Ontario, and this was done to ensure pari-mutuel sector funding remains consistent and protects the industry workforce.
Ontario residents are not permitted to use legalized betting sites to bet on horse racing.
How we rate & review horse racing betting sites
SBR diligently analyzes and reviews horse racing betting sites. Security and customer service are the factors that we consider first, as the rest hardly matters if there is any doubt surrounding the safety and support of a horse racing betting site. Other essential factors in evaluating include deposit/payout speeds, the competitiveness of odds, registration bonuses, loyalty rewards, and live-streaming.
Types of horse racing to bet on
There are several different types of horse racing events to choose from, depending on the variety you prefer. The most common type of racing bettors will know is Thoroughbred racing, but both harness racing and jump racing also have a large horse wagering scene. Keep reading below to learn more about different types of horse racing.
Thoroughbred racing is what most people generally think of when they imagine horse racing, even if they’re not aware of what it’s specifically called. Thoroughbred racehorses, ridden by jockeys, run a set distance on a flat grass or dirt surface. The total length of each race typically varies from just under half of a mile (or four furlongs) to 1.5 miles (or 12 furlongs). Races are usually measured in furlongs if they are less than a mile. Thoroughbred horses are typically taller and slender, built for middle-to-longer distance races instead of sprints.
- Only uses Thoroughbred horses
- Takes place on flat surfaces like dirt or grass (no hurdles)
- Spans distances ranging from just under half a mile (four furlongs) to 1.5 miles (12 furlongs)
Jump racing is like Thoroughbred racing, except it’s more of an obstacle course than a straight sprint. This type of horseracing is also known as a ‘steeplechase’ and combines traditional Thoroughbred racing with equestrian.
Speed is still critical, but the horse’s and rider’s athleticism and coordination are paramount to success. Obstacles are centered around different jumps and can include all types of terrain, including dirt, mud, and water. The jumps themselves can also be hedges or other intricate designs. It’s not nearly as much of a sprint as hurdles since courses are typically around two miles long, and it’s much easier to fault.
- Adds jump obstacles to traditional Thoroughbred racing
- Terrain around jumps can include bushes, dirt, mud, and water
- Longer races that can last as long as two miles or more
Harness racing is a type of horse racing featuring a Standardbred horse pulling a two-wheeled cart. This cart is often called a ‘sulky’ or a ‘spider,’ and harness races begin with each horse trotting behind a movable starting gate (called a ‘rolling start’). Harness racing can also be further divided into ‘trotting races’ and ‘pacing races,’ meaning only a certain kind of run/gait is allowed depending on what kind of race it is. These races typically occur on dirt terrain and last at least one mile.
- Adds jump obstacles to traditional Thoroughbred racing
- Terrain around jumps can include bushes, dirt, mud, and water
- Longer races that can last as long as two miles or more
Difference between online horse racing betting & in-person
In-person horse racing betting is enshrined in American sports history and the sports history of many other countries worldwide. Both retail and mobile sports betting were banned in the United States until the Supreme Court overturned The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018. Still, in-person horse racing betting has always been exempted from that bill.
Off-track betting (OTB)
Off-track betting (OTB) has been strong since 2002 when other states outside of Nevada and New York began to allow it. OTB refers to placing a wager on a horse race at a track where the race is not being hosted. For example, many people have bet on the Kentucky Derby without physically going to Churchill Downs; instead, they can bet on the race from a licensed OTB location.
Online and mobile horse wagering may be the way of the future, but many OTBs are now affiliated with casinos. Simulcast experiences with fellow horse racing fans are like going to the movies instead of waiting to watch a film at home. There will always be an interested audience.
Mobile and online betting
Betting on horse racing has never been easier, thanks to the ramp-up of mobile and online horse betting in the US. Three online sportsbooks dominate the market, including TVG and TwinSpires. In horse racing, mobile and online betting has advantages, such as access to a wider variety of bet types. It can sometimes come with additional perks, such as live streaming, for those who can’t attend a simulcast event.
Popular types of horse racing betting
The most popular types of horse racing betting significantly differ from the many bet types available to other sports. As such, it’s crucial to fully understand the betting market you are selecting before placing a wager. For example, there’s an important distinction between betting on a horse to finish in the top three instead of betting on a horse to finish in third place.
Single-horse betting is wagering on a race outcome involving only one horse. The different varieties of single-horse betting include:
- Win: Picking the outright winner is as simple as it sounds. If the horse you wager on wins the race, you win the bet. Any other place finish would result in a loss.
- Place: For a place bet to cash, the horse you’ve bet on must finish within the top two places. Bookies created this bet type with photo finishes in mind.
- Show: Your horse must finish in the top three to win a show bet. It’s the safest of the three single-horse bets, and the odds often reflect this.
Exotic betting refers to any wager involving two or more horses, regardless of whether the horses are in the same race. Those who place exotic wagers usually take out multiple bet slips featuring all kinds of combinations — the more accurate the bet, the bigger the payout.
Multi-horse betting pertains to any horse racing wager requiring a particular outcome from multiple horses. For example, betting on one horse to win and another to place in the same race.
Multi-race betting is placing a wager on one horse per race in consecutive races. For example, picking horse A to win race one and horse C to win race two. The terminology for multi-race betting changes based on the number of consecutive races being wagered on. Some of these terms include:
- Double: Pick the winner of two straight races
- Pick 3: Pick the winner of three straight races
- Pick 4: Pick the winner of four straight races
- Pick 5: Pick the winner of five straight races
- Pick 6: Pick the winner of six straight races
Exacta betting is the most popular form of exotic betting. An exacta bet means you are wagering on the exact outcome of the top two finishers of a race. Those who wish to bet on the order of finish of additional horses will want to place a different kind of exotic wager. These types of wagers include:
- Straight exacta: Bet on one horse to finish first and another specific horse to finish second
- Straight trifecta: Bet on three horses to finish in the top three, in exact order.
- Straight superfecta: Bet on four horses to finish in the top four, in exact order.
- Straight super high 5: Bet on five horses to finish in the top five, in exact order.
- Boxed exacta: Bet on two horses to finish within the top two regardless of the same order.
- Boxed trifecta: Bet on three horses to finish within the top three regardless of exact order.
- Boxed superfecta: Bet on four horses to finish within the top four regardless of exact order.
- Boxed super high 5: Bet on five horses to finish within the top five regardless of exact order.
Pari-mutuel vs. fixed odds wagering
Betting on horse racing differs from betting on other sports in many ways. Odds are typically fixed in most sports. However, pari-mutuel wagering still reigns supreme in horse racing betting. Knowing the distinction is essential as winnings on pari-mutuel bets can significantly vary depending on several factors. Meanwhile, the payout of fixed odds wagers remains the exact amount when you officially place your bet.
Pari-mutuel wagering is when you place bets against other bettors instead of against a sportsbook. Essentially, sportsbooks pool similar bets together, taking a percentage. From there, the rest of the pot is split between the winners. If your bet wins, how many others wagered on the same result will determine the amount of your winnings.
For example, if you were to place a single-horse wager on the biggest favorite to win outright, the return wouldn’t be that lucrative as it’s a standard bet. If you were to place an exacta bet on a pair of horses, one heavily favored to win and one underdog, the payout would be quite large if the bet hits.
Fixed-odds wagering is what most people know sports betting to be. A sportsbook sets the odds of a bet type, which are locked in when you place your wager. The odds will constantly fluctuate until the beginning of a race, but the odds at the time you submit your bet slip will remain the same.
For example, if you place a $100 single-horse wager on a horse with +150 odds of winning, the payout would be $250 if you’re correct, regardless of what other people have wagered.
Different horse racing betting odds format
Horse wagering has traditionally used fractional odds. Around race tracks, people often say, “I took that horse to win at 10-to-1 odds”. This term is one way of expressing fractional odds. Let’s take a look at other ways in which betting odds are displayed. Make sure to check out our odds converter if you ever need some help.
Let’s use the above example to understand fractional odds. If someone says, “I took that horse to win at 10-to-1 odds”, this refers to a 10/1 fractional odds (+1000 in American odds) wager meaning you would win $10 for every dollar spent on that wager.
Nowadays, most fixed-odds sportsbooks prefer to use American odds. These odds are expressed as either a positive or a negative number, and a negative value implies a favorite, whereas a positive value implies an underdog. For example, horse A at -120 odds would be considered a favorite, whereas horse B at +130 odds would be considered an underdog.
Decimal odds are generally more popular outside the US, such as in the UK, although many Americans like them. Some prefer decimal odds because it’s arguably the easiest way to calculate your potential winnings on the fly. For example, if you bet $100 on a horse to win at 3.5 (+250, 2.5/1) odds, the payout would be $350.
Horse racing betting tips & strategies
There’s a lot on how to bet on horse racing than simply going with your gut feeling. You will undoubtedly develop a better sense of identifying great bets with experience, but having some horse racing betting tips and strategies to fall back on can go a long way. Here is some advice to consider when betting on horse racing.
Hot streaks are a big part of most sports, and consistency is one of the hardest things for a star athlete to maintain — human or horse. As such, knowing which horses and jockeys are on hot and cold streaks is as important as learning about their overall talent level in general. For example, perhaps a horse has the fifth-longest odds in an upcoming race despite finishing in the top two for two consecutive races.
Horse racing is often held outdoors and can be greatly affected by the weather. For example, some venues have a dirt track susceptible to rain and other water-based elements. Always check the weather report to monitor the track conditions before engaging in horse wagering.
Line shopping is tricky for pari-mutuel markets, but sportsbooks with fixed odds make it achievable. Every fixed odds sportsbook has an algorithm to determine the lines. For example, if one sportsbook has a horse at +140 odds to win a race, be sure to look around in case another sportsbook has better value.
Racing analysis tools
Racing analysis tools are an excellent resource for those looking for a second set of eyes. These third party programs can generate many statistics surrounding key performance metrics, such as a jockey/horse’s typical results at different racetracks. It’s an especially good way to sort out your thoughts if you’re trying to decide between a couple of enticing betting options.
When engaging in horse racing betting, keeping a watchful eye on your bankroll is very important. Setting limits on yourself and what you can reasonably afford to wager can’t be compromised. It’s also important to never ‘double down’ on more bets if you’ve already hit your limit. Some days will be better than others, so don’t feel bad about tapping out if you’re having a losing day and have spent to your limit.
How to bet on horse racing betting sites
Step 1: Register
To get started with an online or mobile sportsbook, visit the homepage and click the registration button. The sportsbook will redirect you to a sign-up page asking you for personal information, including name, email, and birth date. At this time, make sure you are entering a promo code if required. Remember to use SBR to keep up with the best sportsbook promos. From there, check your email to confirm your account.
Step 2: Deposit
Once you’ve completed the registration process, it’s time to make your first deposit. Some sportsbooks offer a deposit match sign-up bonus, which can add much value if you can make a larger-than-usual deposit. Otherwise, starting with something modest, like $20, is an excellent way to go.
Step 3: Bet
Once you’ve decided which sport and bet type you’d like to wager on, place your first official bet. When starting, it’s best to stick to less complex bet types, such as outright winners. From there, you’ll develop your process and better understand where to find the value. Remember, most horse racing betting is pari-mutuel meaning the odds will eventually adjust.
Step 4: Withdraw
If there are winnings you would like to withdraw, click on your bankroll, and there will be a withdrawal option. Most sportsbooks offer different withdrawal methods, including direct deposit into your bank or PayPal accounts.
Online horse racing events to bet on
Winning the Triple Crown in Thoroughbred Racing is one of the greatest possible achievements in all of sports. Three Triple Crown races include the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness Stakes. Winning all these races is how a horse/jockey is declared an official Triple Crown winner.
American journalists started using ‘Triple Crown’ in 1923, four years after Sir Barton was the first horse to capture it way back in 1919. But a journalist named Charles Hatton, who wrote for the Daily Racing Forum, is acknowledged to have coined the term following a Triple Crown win from Gallant Fox in 1930.
The Kentucky Derby is the first of the three Triple Crown races. It’s usually held on the first Saturday of May and is arguably the most famous horse race of the season. It is the only annual horse race that has run uninterrupted since its inaugural race in 1875. It also has the largest purse of any Triple Crown event at $3 million, with approximately $1.86 million going to the winner. The first prize alone is greater than the entire purse of the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness States, and the attendance/excitement around the race reflects this. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, arguably the most iconic race track in history. Learn more about Kentucky Derby betting sites with SBR.
- Next race will be held on Saturday, May 6th, 2023, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Grade 1 stakes race that will run 1.25 miles on a dirt surface.
- Race will start around 6:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown, typically held on the third Saturday of May on ‘Armed Forces Day.’ The Preakness ran before the Kentucky Derby a handful of times but has remained the second leg of the Triple Crown since 1932. It has been held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, since the inaugural race in 1873. The total purse is $1.5 million, with the winner earning 60% ($990,000).
- Next race will be held on Saturday, May 20th, 2023, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Grade I stakes race that will run 1.3 miles on a dirt surface.
- Race will start around 6:50 p.m. ET on NBC.
The Belmont Stakes is the final leg of the Triple Crown, usually held on the first or second Saturday of June. It is the longest race of the three, covering one full lap of Belmont Park in Elmont, New York — where the race is held. This race has been appropriately labeled ‘The Test of the Champion’ as it is naturally the last necessary win to capture the elusive Triple Crown. It is also the oldest race of the trio, with the inaugural Belmont Stakes happening in 1867. The total purse is $1.5 million, but it differs from the Preakness as only $800,000 goes to the winner.
- Next race will be held on Saturday, June 10th, 2023, at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
- Grade I stakes race that will run 1.5 miles on a dirt surface.
- Race will start around 6:50 p.m. ET on FOX Sports. This iteration is the first year FOX Sports has secured the broadcasting rights to the Belmont Stakes, and the agreement will run for the next eight races.
International horse racing events
International horse racing events are another great way to play. Betting on horse racing outside of the US is possible thanks to off-track betting and the growth of online and mobile sportsbooks. Some of the most popular international events available on horse racing apps include:
- British Triple Crown races: The British Triple Crown, like the US event, is a series of three races of varying lengths, including the 2000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Derby, and the St. Leger Stake. The British Triple Crown was first won by a horse named West Australian in 1853.
- 2000 Guineas Stakes: The 2000 Guineas Stakes usually occurs on the first Saturday of May at the Rowley Mile Course in Newmarket. It’s the first leg of the British Triple Crown, running one mile on a turf surface.
- Epsom Derby: The Epsom Derby is the second leg of the British Triple Crown, usually on the first Saturday of June. It is held at Epson Downs Racecourse, and the race distance is 1.5 miles on turf.
- St. Leger Stakes: The St. Leger Stakes is the final leg of the British Triple Crown, usually in late September. It is the oldest race of the trio, with the inaugural event happening in 1776. Held at Doncaster Racecourse, it is the longest race spanning 1.8 miles on turf.
- Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is held at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France. The first race was in 1920, running 1.5 miles on turf.
- Dubai World Cup: The Dubai World Cup has been running since 1996 and takes place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, UAE. The track length for this race is about 1.25 miles on a dirt surface.
Horse racing betting sites to avoid
Horse racing betting is unfortunately not scam-free. The most significant presence of illegal offshore sportsbooks exists in locations where sports betting is still illegal. It can be tempting when it’s your only option, but there is never a scenario where you should use an offshore betting site. There have been many cases of people winning and never seeing profits since these operators aren’t adequately regulated. Some sites to watch out for on our blacklist include AmericasBookie, CRSportsBet, Zenit, Carbon Gaming, SkyBook, TopBet.
Sportsbooks by category
Interested in exploring other betting opportunities? Check out our resources below for the sportsbooks for different sports and categories.
Sports betting by region
Legal sports betting in U.S.
Potential legal sports betting in U.S.
|California sports betting||Mississippi sports betting||Texas sports betting|
|Delaware sports betting||North Carolina sports betting||Wisconsin sports betting|
|Florida sports betting|
Sports betting in other regions
- Canada sports betting (outside Ontario)
- Ontario sports betting
- U.K. sports betting
Horse racing betting sites FAQs
Is it legal in the US to bet on horse races online?
Yes, betting on horse racing online in the US is legal. States where it is approved include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
US residents can only use FanDuel Racing.
What is the best horse racing betting site?
The best horse racing betting site is currently FanDuel in the US.
What is the minimum age to bet on horse races online?
The minimum age to bet on online horse races is 18, 19, or 21, depending on your location. For most US states, it’s 21 like other forms of gambling.
What are the best rated online horse racing betting sites?
The online horse racing betting sites with the best ratings is FanDuel..
Do horse racing betting sites let you watch the race online?
Some horse racing betting sites provide live streaming, such as FanDuel, which the company can afford to do since they have two streaming stations (TVG1 and TVG2).
Quick links On this page
- Top U.S. horse racing betting sites
- Horse racing betting sites quick facts
- 2023 Preakness Stakes Odds
- Where to bet on horse racing
- How we rate & review horse racing betting sites
- Types of horse racing to bet on
- Difference between online horse racing betting & in-person
- Popular types of horse racing betting
- Pari-mutuel vs. fixed odds wagering
- Different horse racing betting odds format
- Horse racing betting tips & strategies
- How to bet on horse racing betting sites
- Online horse racing events to bet on
- International horse racing events
- Horse racing betting sites to avoid
- Sportsbooks by category
- Sports betting by region
- Horse racing betting sites FAQs