Horse Racing Betting: Make the Smartest Bets on the Races

Horse racing and betting have long gone hand in hand. If people are at the track watching a race, there is a great chance they are there to bet as well. Horse racing news and results are just as valuable to bettors as to racing enthusiasts. There are plenty of major races that bring out large amounts of wagers. 

  • The Kentucky Derby: This one is a no-brainer. One of the most famous horse races in the world and the second most bet on event period in the U.S. In 2019, the event saw a record-breaking $165.5 million in bets for this race. 

  • Breeders Cup: Another horse race that pulls in over $100 million yearly. The race takes place at a different track each year and is known as the “Super Bowl of horse racing”. The total handle for the 2019 Breeders Cup was $174,000,574. 

  • Saratoga, Belmont, Aqueduct: Many races are held yearly at these famous New York tracks, including the Triple Crown’s Belmont Stakes. In the year of 2019, races held at these three tracks combined for a total handle of over $2.1 billion. 

Horse Racing Betting Strategies: Tips and Advice 

Horse racing bets range from simple to extremely complex and hard to win. Explaining horse racing betting in its entirety could leave you feeling dizzy. 

There are plenty of things involved in horse racing that cannot all be understood at once. For example, the differences in the tracks and weights that a horse can carry. Bettors who want to find consistent success betting on horse racing first need to have a grasp on all of the basic details. 

However, there are horse betting strategies that players use to make more confident sports bets, which can be learned quite easily. For example, the Trixie betting strategy. 

This is the most popular horse racing strategy due to its success rate. To implement the Trixie, you need to find three horses with odds higher than +100 each from different races and evenly distribute them into combined bets. 

Similar to Round Robin betting in the NFL, your bets would look like this: 

  • Ticket 1: Racehorse A, Racehorse B 

  • Ticket 2: Racehorse B, Racehorse C

  • Ticket 3: Racehorse A, Racehorse C

  • Extra ticket: Racehorse A, Racehorse B, Racehorse C

The last option is by no means a necessity for this bet; however, it can net you the highest payout if all three of your selections win. This strategy allows one of the horses that you include to lose, as you will still win one of your combined slips in this event. 

Another popular horse racing strategy is Al Capone’s accountant’s strategy. Named as such simply because it was believed to be created by the famous gangster’s accountant. 

To use this horse betting strategy, you need to find horses with odds of around +300 but who still have a good chance to win the race. You will then place bets on several of them at once. The reasoning behind this is that if even one of your horses win, you will make a profit. 

Betting Types in Horse Racing

As many people around the horse racing nation would say, the smartest bet in horse racing is the one that wins. There is no bet you can make that will win 100% of the time. Instead, taking time to read horse racing news about the races near you and doing your research on each race will make any bet you make smarter. 

Popular types of horse racing bets: 

  • Betting on the winner. It is as simple as that. The most common type of bet here is on the winner of the race. You choose a horse, and if it is the first across the finish line, you will win your bet. You can also make the opposite bet on a horse, that is, to predict the horse will not finish first. 

  • Betting on prize-winners (place). Of course, it is very difficult to predict the winner of the race. In order to increase the probability of winning, sportsbooks offer the option of betting on the top three prize-winners. For you to win, the horse you choose must finish in the top three. It is also worth noting that the number of horses that place can vary in different races. And if there are more than three of them and the horse you choose finishes in one of the winning places you will also win.

  • Betting on winners in the correct sequence. This bet requires you to have excellent forecasting skills in order to win. Here, the player must guess the horses that will finish both first and second in the race. Variations of this bet, such as giving the player the opportunity to randomly select the places are also offered. 

  • Betting on who places higher? In this bet, the player chooses two jockeys to watch and predicts who will place higher at the end of the race. The player will focus on these two throughout the entirety of the race. Whichever jockey you bet on simply needs to finish ahead of the other in the race. 

Many of these bets are also ones with the best odds of winning. There are also bets like the Trifecta and Exacta which are very difficult to win. However, if they hit, they could be considered the smartest bets in horse racing due to the low chances of correctly hitting them. 

Horse Racing Betting Tips 

As previously stated, understanding everything about horse racing takes time. There are countless things you can look at to make better horse racing picks. In theory, everything should be looked at. 

Horse racing news and results are always something that should be looked at when leading up to any race. Learning about the condition of the horses and the current form that they are in. There are also some other basic things that you must consider when betting on a horse race. 

  • The age of the horse. Undoubtedly, the younger racehorses have better chances than the older horses at short-distance races. However, if you are looking at long-distance races, then experience will play the main role. 

  • Running length. Before you make a bet, you need to know what distance the race will be and how long the break before the race is. For sprints (short-distance races), the horse will need to rest at least a month before. And if the race is long-distance, then a big break is optional, but undesirable. 

  • Jockey’s weight. The average weight of a jockey is 132 lbs. Although novice athletes often exceed this amount in order to improve their balance. So, you can infer that the lighter the jockey, the more experienced he is and therefore he has a better chance of winning. 

  • The weather. As in other outdoor sports, unexpected results can arise due to changes in the weather. Weather can affect a race in multiple ways depending on the type of track. On dirt tracks for example, rain can make it harder for horses to run. Therefore, before you place a bet, it is necessary to clarify the weather conditions at the racetrack. 

Another big thing to consider are the horse racing odds. These will give you an immediate insight into which horses are favored to win. They can also tell the player which horses to study a little more on, as it is always better to understand the horses with higher odds in case an upset is waiting to happen.

How to Place a Horse Racing Bet

Once you have done all of the research and know which horses you are going to stake money on, it is time to actually put your knowledge into action. There are multiple ways to bet on horse races. The absolute best way is to do a quick internet search for “horse racing near me” and take a trip to the track. 

The first way you can bet on horses at the track is to simply place a bet like any other. Walk up to the ticket counter or the sportsbook’s office and tell them the necessary information and place your wager. There will be odds listed on each horse based on their chances of winning. If the bet you make wins, your payout will be the stake multiplied by the odds. 

Pari-mutuel betting is also another popular form of betting at the racetracks. Only certain markets are available for this style of betting. The main difference here is how the money is paid out.

The total amount of money wagered on a specific pari-mutuel market goes into a single pool. The money will be distributed to all of the players who won the bet. Let’s say for example that 800 people bet on which horse will win the race. Out of those 800, only 160 people guessed correctly.

The money from the 800 would then be divided up among the 160 winners. The person offering the pari-mutuel bets will also take a percentage from the entire pool. Some of the most difficult horse racing bets can be made both online and at the track. 

  • Place Wager: a wager on who will win finish in either first or second place

  • Show wager: a bet on which horses will finish in first, second or third place

  • Exacta: which horses will finish first and second place, respectively

  • Duet: A wager on two horses to finish in one of the top three places

You can also choose to take the odds right at the start of the race no matter how early it is. This is especially helpful when you need to be somewhere and cannot stick around to watch the race.

Or when you think the odds on a horse will go up before the race. Basically, you follow the same instructions as a regular bet but instead tell the taker that you want the horse race odds at the start of the race.

USA Sportsbooks for Betting on Horse Racing 

There are sportsbooks in America that also feature very good sections for betting on horse racing as well.  The best US sportsbooks will have all of the races as well as a great selection of bets that can be made for each race.

We keep track of each sportsbook including ones with bets on the horse races so you can always make the right choice.

As of right now, there are a couple of online sportsbooks that we expect to add a horse racing section to their USA sports betting sites. This is due to the fact that both of these sportsbooks already have established horse racing sections on their international sites. In addition, PointsBet Sportsbook has also expressed interest in horse racing, opening up at Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois. 

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