Horse Races in the United States and Pari-mutuel Wagering

The traditional high point of US horse racing is the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Together, the Derby; the Preakness Stakes, held two weeks later at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Belmont Stakes, held three weeks after the Preakness at Belmont Park on Long Island, form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing for three-year-olds. They are all held early in the year, throughout May and the beginning of June.

As you are probably curious on how to bet online, know this: online horse betting is a difficult territory to break into for budding amateurs. With the quick guide on how to bet on horses, you’ll learn the basic online bet types in horse racing as well as the types of competitions you can expect. It is tempting to bet on the horse with the best name, but success depends more on your knowledge. Read about previous performances and prior victories from a jockey and trainer. Find this horse racing information easily online.

Horse racing apps make it easy to do your research on which horse to bet on as well as actually place your bets. It is recommended that you find an online horse racing book that you like and make an account. Wagering on the outcome of horse races has been the main source of the appeal of the sport since the beginning is the sole reason horse racing has survived as a major professional sport.

All betting at American tracks today is done using a pari-mutuel wagering system, which was developed by a Frenchman named Pierre Oller in the late 19th century. Under this system, a fixed percentage (usually 14%-25%) of the total amount wagered is taken out for racing purses, track operating costs and state and local taxes. The remaining sum is divided by the number of individual correct wagers to determine the payoff on each bet. The projected payoff, or “odds,” are continuously calculated and posted on the track tote board during the open betting period before each race. For example, odds of “2-1” means that the bettor will receive $2 profit for every $1 wagered ($3 total returned) if the horse wins.

Bettors may wager on a horse to win (finish first), place (finish first or second), or show (finish first, second, or third). Other popular wagers are the daily double (picking the winners of two consecutive races), exactas (picking the first and second horses in order), quinellas (picking the first and second horses in either order), and the pick six (picking the winners of six consecutive races).

The Breeders’ Cup event is held in late October or early November at different race tracks every year. It receives less attention than the Triple Crown series from the general public but is of great importance in determining the American Horse of the Year and annual Eclipse Award divisional winners. It is normally held at a different track every year, though some racetracks have held back-to-back renewals. It currently consists of thirteen races held over two days with total prize-money of $28 million.

There are also a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers and a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters, as well as an Arabian Triple Crown consisting of Drinkers of the Wind Derby in California, the Texas Six Shooter Stakes, the Bob Magness Derby in Delaware. Also, the main Standardbred event is the Breeders Crown.

Thoroughbred and Arabian fillies have their own “Triple” series, commonly referred to as The Triple Tiara. While there is some disagreement over which three races make up the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing, the Arabian list is more formal and consists of Daughters of the Desert Oaks in California, the Texas Yellow Rose Stakes, and the Cre Run Oaks in Delaware.

American betting on horse racing is sanctioned and regulated by the state the racetrack is located in. Simulcast betting almost always exist across state lines with no oversight except the companies involved through legalized pari-mutuel gambling. A takeout, or “take”, is removed from each betting pool and distributed according to state law, among the state, race track, and horsemen. On average, 17 percent is withheld from win, place and show pools, with 83 percent being returned to the winning players. A variety of factors affect takeout, namely location, and the type of wager that is placed. For example, one regional track circuit in the United States has four different takeout rates for different types of bets with a total blended rate that exceeds 20 percent.

Advanced deposit wagering is a form of gambling on the outcome of horse races in which the bettor must fund his or her account before being allowed to place bets. ADW is often conducted online or by phone. In contrast to ADW, credit shops allow wagers without advance funding; accounts are settled at month’s end. Racetrack owners, horse trainers, and state governments sometimes receive a cut of ADW revenues. It typically involves betting on horse or greyhound racing. Wagering may take place through pari-mutuel pools.

Secretariat holds the stakes record for each of the Triple Crown races, the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5), the Preakness Stakes (1:53), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24).

At 18, Steve Cauthen became the youngest jockey to win the Triple Crown, riding Affirmed in 1978. At 52, Mike Smith became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown, riding Justify in 2018.

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