2021 Rankings of US Horse Racing Betting Sites
There’s no doubt about it. Betting on horse racing online is the way to go. It’s easy to place real money wagers online these days, and there are many benefits to doing so.
You need to be cautious, though. It may not be a wise choice to join the first betting site you come across, especially if you live in America. Avoid the shady operators by following our recommendations for the best US horse racing betting sites.
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Did you know that more than 157,000 attended the 2018 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs? Or that more than 131,000 people visited Pimlico to watch the 2019 Preakness Stakes?
It’s true. And while it’d be awesome to watch and bet on these American horse races in person, not everyone has the means to. Not everyone wants to deal with the crowds these races attract either.
Are you ready for some good news? You can bet on races like these and much more when you join one of the best online horse racing betting sites for the US. Great if you don’t like crowds or if you’ve no desire to dress in your Sunday best.
Best US Horse Racing Betting Sites
When you’re betting online for real money, you need to do your homework to ensure that you join a safe and legit bookmaker or sportsbook. That way you can avoid bad experiences such as slow cash outs or bad customer support.
Finding trusted online horse racing betting sites for USA bettors can be tough, though. There are lots to choose from, and only a few are genuinely top quality.
The easy solution is to join one of our recommended racebooks above. We invest a lot of time and resources reviewing and ranking all the available options so we can compile a list that truly reflects the best horse racing betting sites at any given time.
If you heed our recommendations, you can rest assured that you’ll be signing at the best places to bet on horse racing online.
We’ll explain how we come up with our recommendations in the next section.
Why You Can Trust Our Top-Rated Horse Betting Sites
You want to join an online racebook so that you can bet on horses, and you only have two options for how to get that done.
- You can choose a horse betting site yourself
- You can join one of the top horse racing betting sites we recommend
There are pros and cons for either choice. If you choose to do things on your own, you have your work cut out for you. There are tons of US horse racing betting websites for you to consider.
The quantity of options is the good news. The bad news is that most of these betting sites aren’t worth your time. Some have, let’s say, less than stellar reputations, and shouldn’t be trusted when you’re depositing real money to bet with. Others might be safer, but not have the best selection of races, wagers, or odds.
Chances are, you’d waste some time and money trying to find a top horse racing betting site unless you get very lucky.
Your other option is to join one of the top USA horse racing betting sites we recommend. The challenge here is to trust that we have your best interest at heart. But how can we prove that to you?
There’s no surefire way, but what we can do is explain our process, including what we look for and care about in a horse racing betting site.
Maybe you’ll trust us a bit more once you see how much effort goes into deciding which online racebooks we want to recommend to our audience.
We research and test every horse betting site we recommend. It’s during this phase that we check for wagering options, US horse races you can bet on, the deposit options you can use, and more.
Before we do any of that, though, we ensure the site is safe to use. How do we do that? We research the following information.
We scour the web for player complaints and criticisms. We’re not worried about the occasional hiccup or slow payout.
What we look for are signs of perpetually slow or no pays, sites that retroactively change their terms, or if they’ve mistreated their customers and to what extent.
We ensure the bookmaker has a legitimate license, as that tells us they paid a fee and went through an official vetting process. It also tells us they’re offering their real money online betting services legally.
The gambling commission that issued the license is important, too. This tells us how much player protection there may be.
Terms and Conditions
Many bettors skip over the terms and conditions, but this is a huge mistake.
The terms tell you the site’s betting and banking limits, when they void bets, how they handle technical issues, and more. We check the terms to ensure they’re as fair to players as possible.
If an operator fails in any of these areas, there’s no way we’ll award them with our Seal of Approval.
Our Seal of Approval is our guarantee that a site is safe to join. And we only recommend online gambling sites that are TRULY worthy of our seal.
You’ll notice that we recommend only a few US horse racing betting sites on this page. This is intentional. While many of the sites we’ve reviewed are worth using, they’re not all top quality. So, we don’t recommend those front and center on pages like this one.
This is how you know the sites we recommend are the safest horse racing betting sites online for Americans.
Now, safety is just one aspect to consider when choosing a horse racing betting site. You also need to consider whether it’s a good fit for your personal preferences and requirements. And whether it’s truly one of the best sites for betting on horse racing online.
Looking at the following qualities helps to separate the top horse betting sites from the rest.
- Accept action on a variety of US and international horse races
- Offer a variety of betting options
- Have reasonable odds
- Allow you to bet as little or as much as you want
- Offer features such as live streaming, early cashouts, or mobile apps
We like to ensure that the sites we recommend are a great fit specifically for Americans who want to bet on Thoroughbreds and races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, or Belmont Stakes.
We want you to be thrilled when you join one of the bookmakers and sportsbooks we recommend. If you join one of our top-rated IS horse racing betting sites and aren’t excited or don’t want to bet as much as possible, then we failed somewhere.
And there you have it. That’s a bird’s-eye view of our approach to reviewing and ranking betting sites for US horse bettors.
To summarize, we ensure every recommendation is suitable Americans looking to bet on horses online. Otherwise, we won’t recommend them.
Our in-depth process is how we can confidently say that we recommend the best US sites for betting on horse racing.
Betting Options at US Horse Racing Betting Sites
The top US horse racing betting sites we recommend all offer a robust selection of racing types, horse races, and bets for you to make.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect to find when you bet online.
Popular Types of Horse Racing Breeds in America
The best horse racing betting sites all offer action on Thoroughbred horse racing. Thoroughbred horses are bred for two specific types of racing, flat races and jump races
- Flat races
These include races like the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes. Flat tracks are usually anywhere from 0.25 mile to 1.75 miles long.
- Jump races
These races are run over longer distances ranging from 2 miles on up to 4.5 miles. These races have obstacles such as hurdles and water puddles for the horses to jump over.
Most US horse betting websites also offer action on the following breeds.
- Standardbred Horse
These horses are used for a race type known as harness racing (or chariots). Important harness races include the Breeders Crown, Hambletonian, and Gold Cup and Saucer.
- Endurance Horse
These horses are bred for long distances between 10 and 100 miles. The longest horse race in the world is the Mongol Derby which is 620 miles long.
- Quarter Horse
These horses are bred specifically for racing 0.25-mile tracks. They can reach 55 miles per hour at a full sprint.
Biggest US Horse Races
If you’re an American betting on horses, then you’ll likely want to bet on the biggest and most popular US horse races that run each year.
The best online betting sites for horse racing will accept action on the following races. We’ll start with the races that make up the Triple Crown.
- Kentucky Derby
This race is the first leg in the Triple Crown and is 1.25 miles long. It’s run on the first Saturday in May each year.
- Preakness Stakes
This 1.1875-mile-long race is held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby at the Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.
- Belmont Stakes
This is the longest and most challenging race in the Triple Crown. It’s 1.5 miles long. Belmont Stakes is run five weeks after the Kentucky Derby.
The Triple Crown is the most coveted award in all of US horse racing. To win the Triple Crown, a horse must win all three races in a single year.
We’ve ranked the best US horse racing gambling sites for each race in the Triple Crown.
Those aren’t the only major US horse races you can bet on, though. There are others that you can bet on, too.
- Breeders’ Cup
This is a Thoroughbred race that takes place in the United States or Canada each year. This even takes two days to complete all 14 races. This includes the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Race.
- Travers Stakes
This is a Thoroughbred race that’s run at the Saratoga Race Course in New York. This is a 1.25-mile-long race that has a $1.25 million purse.
- Arlington Million
This 1.25-mile Thoroughbred race is held at the Arlington International Racecourse every year. The purse is $1 million.
- Arkansas Derby
The Arkansas Derby is held at the Oaklawn Park Race Track in Arkansas. Competitors race for 1.125 miles to win the $1 million purse.
- Pacific Classic Stakes
This 1.25-mile race is held every year in at the Del Mar Racetrack in California. The purse is $1 million (guaranteed).
As we said, you won’t have any problems finding US-based horse races to bet on, especially if you join a legit bookmaker. You can learn more about the major US racetracks here.
But the online racebooks we recommend don’t solely offer action on US horse races. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for international horse races, too. This includes races like Epsom Derby, The Everest, Melbourne Cup, and the Japan Cup.
Bets Americans Can Make on Horse Racing
You’re not going to have a shortage of betting options as long as you join a quality US horse betting site. The following bets are the types of wagers most sites accept online.
Your horse needs to finish in first for this bet to pay.
Your horse needs to finish in first or second for this bet to pay.
Your horse needs to finish in first, second, or third for this bet to pay.
- Across the Board
Play your horse in all three positions. Your wager will apply across the board, meaning that a $2 wager means you’re betting $2 to win, place, and show. If your horse wins, you’ll collect on all three bets. If your horse places, you’ll collect on the place and show bet. And if your horses shows, you’ll collect only that bet.
Pick two horses that you think will finish in first or second. The order doesn’t matter so long as both horses finish in the top two.
Pick the two horses that you think will finish in the top two in the exact order they will finish in.
Same as the exacta bet but with a third horse. You need to decide which horses will finish in first, second, and third.
Same as the trifecta bet but with a fourth horse.
- Daily Double
Pick the winning horse in two consecutive races.
- Pick 3
Pick the horse that you think will win in three consecutive races.
- Pick 4
Same as the pick 3 but your horse must win in four consecutive races instead.
- Pick 6
Same as the pick 4 but your horse must win in six consecutive races instead.
Pick the horse to win and three other horses, one of which that MUST finish in second for this bet to pay off. Sometimes, it’s called a “key” bet.
If you can’t narrow your selection of the best horses, you can choose several horses for an exacta, trifecta, or superfecta bet. Two to four of the five or six horses you choose must finish in the top spots for this bet to pay off, but not necessarily in the exact order.
Bet on future races weeks and months before the race starts.
These are bets on seemingly random outcomes that don’t fit under the category of winning a race. One example we’ve seen is a bet on whether you think there will be a US Triple Crown winner the following year.
Keep in mind is that every online betting site is different. It doesn’t matter what country you’re betting from. Every bookmaker covers different races, offers different odds, and accepts different types of bets.
This is one of the many reasons why we recommend you join more than one site. The more you join, assuming your bankroll can handle it, the more types of bets you can make.
Having more than one online betting account also enables you to shop around for the best odds. That way, you can ensure you’re getting the most value on the races you want to bet on.
Is Horse Race Betting Legal in the United States?
This is a common question we receive from Americans who want to bet on horses online.
If you’re tuned into gambling news and legislation, then you probably know that each state can legalize online sports betting. And you probably know that many states have done just that, while many others are arguing about how to get it done.
Currently, there are over 30 states that OFFICIALLY allow you to bet on horses online. But just because you’re not in one of those states, that doesn’t mean you can’t gamble online. You still have the option of using offshore sites.
Most people won’t have any trouble betting on horses at offshore sites. They are usually safe and above board, assuming you sign with top-rated horse racing betting sites such as the ones we recommend.
Regulation Is Key for Offshore Bookmakers
When choosing a US-friendly horse betting sites to join, one of the most important things you want to look for is whether it is regulated or unregulated.
A regulated betting has a license in at least one gambling jurisdiction. There are many jurisdictions out there. Gambling commissions in Panama, Costa Rica, and Curacao issue licenses to operators that serve US bettors online.
The license in itself is important because it means the operator applied for it. They had to pay a fee, prove that they had cashflow, and usually have to agree to a list of stipulations, such as keeping a separate account for player funds.
But that’s not all that a gambling commission does. They also “regulate” or oversee every betting sites they license to ensure they continue following their rules. Gambling commission also investigated player complaints and, in the case of a legitimate complaint, issue fines, suspensions, and even revoke licenses if the situation warrants it.
All of this is done to keep online bookmakers and sportsbooks above board and, more importantly, players and their bankrolls safe.
Remember, every single one of the best US horse racing betting sites that we recommend operates legally in the jurisdictions they’re licensed in.
Horse racing is a beloved sport. People love to watch it, evident by the tens of thousands who show up to watch the races in person. This is on top of the MILLIONS who watch it on cable.
But fans love to bet on races just as much as they love to watch them. As a result, millions of dollars are wagered annually on horse races.
If you’re excited to get started, the great news is that you can watch and bet on horse racing online from the comfort of your own home. You need nothing more than a laptop or mobile device and an internet connection.
The first and most important step is to choose a site to join. Get this right and it’s all but guaranteed that you’ll have a safe and enjoyable experience gambling online.
We’ve already done the homework for you, reviewing and hand-selecting the best US horse betting sites you can join this year. Join one today and find out for yourself!