Horse Betting USA
Horse racing is always popular with bettors, whatever country they happen to live in. In the United States, there are plenty of different races for punters to have a crack at. Some of them are famous, national events watched by millions. Others are far more obscure, wagered on only by a select few, those with the inside knowledge to mark such bets profitable. Sports betting is popular in the USA. Let’s get started.
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We’re not going to get pegged down by the smaller horse racing events, but if you’re thinking of betting on horse racing, we can certainly look at some of the more mainstream events, as well as help you on the right path when it comes to the types of bets you can make.
What Competitions Can I Bet On?
Let’s start by looking at some of the more popular competitions you can choose to bet on at major US sportsbooks. Apparently, the Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse racing in the United States, so let’s begin there.
- Kentucky Derby: The first of the Triple Crown events, the Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville each year. The Grade I stakes race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds is run on the first Saturday in May.
- Belmont Stakes: The last race in the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes is a Grade I stakes race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds, too. The race takes place at Belmont Park in New York, roughly 5 weeks after the Kentucky Derby.
- Preakness Stakes: The middle race of the Triple Crown series, this race is held 2 weeks after the Kentucky Derby and is run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Another Grade I race, the purse for this race is often worth $1.5m.
- Breeders’ Cup: This Grade I thoroughbred race is raced over several days and can provide punters with an excellent weekend session of betting. If you’re after a lengthy session, this set of races (the location of which changes each year) is ideal.
Types of Horse Racing Bets
Whatever US horse race you choose to bet on, the chances are that you’re going to be able to place the same kinds of bets. Most of these bets are straightforward, but a few can be tricky, so let’s look at what you can wager on.
- Win: Obviously, a straight-up bet on a horse to win.
- Place: With this bet, players can win if their horse finishes in first or second.
- Show: Your horse can finish in the top three to win this bet.
- Across the Board: With this bet, you are betting on a win, place and show bet all at once.
- Exacta: Exacta bets involve picking the first and second finishing horses in that order.
- Trifecta: Trifecta bets let you pick the top three finishing horses in that order.
- Superfecta: Same as a Trifecta, but you need to pick the top four finishing horses in order.
- Other bets: A handful of other bets can also be placed when betting on horse racing. Daily Doubles allow you to pick the winners of the day’s first two races, while Pick 3, 4, or 6 bets let you choose 3, 4 or the first 6 winners of the first 3, 4 or 6 races. Although these bets are hard to nail (almost impossibly so, you can potentially win life-changing sums of cash here).
Doing Your Homework
Once you have some idea of how the bets work, and what races you can bet, you probably think you’re ready to bet, right? Not quite yet, you’re not. The next thing you need to do is do your homework. As with any sporting events, there are a few things you may wish to consider before placing your bets.
Other Things to Consider
Before betting, do your homework. There are five different areas which may require a closer inspection before you place your bets. We can’t guarantee that doing your homework will ensure a win, but we can assure you that you’ll be more ideally placed to wager on horse racing if you consider the following…
- Form: How has your horse compared in the past at a venue? Check to see if your horse has performed or failed at a course before you decide to throw your money down behind it.
- Favourites/Underdogs: Going with the bookie isn’t necessarily the right choice with horse racing. In most cases, bookies offer short odds on those horses which the public back. Short odds don’t mean a horse is likely to win; they just mean that most fans are betting on it. An underdog or dark horse could always prove a surprise, so at least consider that.
- Traits: Is your horse a jumper? How well does he gallop? Have you got a mare, and are they strong, slow, fast? Do they prefer grass or dirt? Does your horse spook easily? Weather can also play an essential role in weighing up your bets, as can all the above horse traits.
- Jockey: Who’s riding the horse? You might think that the same jockey rides the same horse throughout their lives. This isn’t true. A horse may respond well with a certain jockey, so always keep tabs on who the jockey is.
- Stable history: It is also worth noting who has sired the horse. What does the breeding history say? Has your horse come from a stable with a superb track record for breeding racehorses or are the stable and trainer something of an unknown quantity. You may wish to consider these, too, when betting on horse racing.
Where Can I Bet on Horse Racing?
Most US sportsbooks will offer betting on horse racing. However, sometimes, they must run separate sections known as racebooks for horse racing events. At racebooks, it is not uncommon to find other major international horse racing events, such as the UK’s Grand National to bet on, too. If you don’t see horse racing listed at your US sportsbook, check to see if they have a racebook section.
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