Top 5 Horse Racing Events of 2016

California Chrome wins the Dubai World Cup - Photo Credit: Melanie Martines
Melanie Martines

One of the best things about horse racing (and being a punter that enjoys betting the ponies) is that there is practically no offseason.

Seemingly every month of the year has at least one major horse race going on somewhere in the world. And with the amount of simulcast race centers located globally, you can wager on any race, anywhere, like you are actually at the track.

Below are five of our biggest horse racing events of 2016 that have either just happened or will be happening soon in the coming months.

March 26: Dubai World Cup

While it’s one of the world’s newest major horse races (first run in 1996), the Dubai World Cup is already the world’s richest race, featuring a purse over $10 million every year since 2010. The 2,000 meter race is open to Northern Hemisphere horses 4-years old and up and to Southern Hemisphere horses 3-years old and up.

The main event and final race of the Dubai World Cup Night, the mega-race is held annually on the last weekend of March at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. From 2010 to 2014, the race was held on a synthetic surface but has since been switched back to dirt due to complaints from American horse owners.

May 7: Kentucky Derby

The first and most prestigious race in America’s Triple Crown of horse racing, the Kentucky Derby is watched by over 170,000 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, and by countless millions more on television. “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” is run on a dirt track 1 ¼ miles long and outside of the Breeder’s Cup, is the top Grade I Race (tied with the Whitney Handicap) in the United States.

Photo Credit: Emily Shields

Photo Credit: Emily Shields

The 142nd running of the event in 2016 guarantees the winning 3-year old thoroughbred a minimum of $2,000,000. Last year’s wagering record for the event of $137.9 million is also expected to be broken yet again this year as the event’s popularity continues to surge.

June 4: Epsom Derby

Surrey’s Epsom Downs racecourse is host to this nearly 2,500 meter race every June that was first held in 1780. The Epsom Derby is the most prestigious of the five British Classics Races and with a purse near $1.9 million USD, the richest one in the country as well.

The left-handed turf race is open to three-year olds and is the middle race of the English Triple Crown. In 2015, a record 125,000 people were on hand to see Golden Horn win the prestigious derby, no doubt also wagering countless of pounds ranging into the millions.

Many of the public like to bet on horse racing as it creates more buzz and excitement when watching the race. However If you can’t make it to any of these prestigious events but still want to get the same buzz when your horse wins – sites like allow you to find out how to bet online, the different types of bets and which events are approaching soon.

October 1-2: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

The world’s richest turf race and the second-richest race in the world period (behind the Dubai World Cup), the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is Europe’s most prestigious horse race. “The Arc”, as it is known, is 1 ½ mile race for three year-olds that takes place the first Sunday in October at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris.

Due to a new recent sponsorship, the race’s purse has escalated in recent years, with the 2015 event offering a purse of nearly $5.7 million (with $3.23 mil of that going to the winning thoroughbred). More often than the not, the race is a who’s who of regaled horses that have won other prestigious races around the country and the world.

November 4-5: Breeders’ Cup Classic

Held at a different track each year, the 1 ¼ mile Breeders’ Cup Classic and its $5,000,000 purse is the richest horse race in the US, and one of the highest-paying worldwide. While it receives less attention than the American Triple Crown races, the Breeder’s Cup features the best three-years-and-older thoroughbreds and the winner frequently is also named U.S. Horse of the Year (horses from other countries are welcome, but have only won twice).

AmericanPharoah-BreedersCup-2016- Photo Credit: Melanie Martines

Making the race even more exciting is simply how difficult it is to predict due to the incredibly-talented field of horses that enter the gate every single year. In 1993, 133-1 underdog Arcangues pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Cup and (horse racing) history when he won, paying out $269.20 on a $2 bet, which is still a race record.

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