Handicapping

US Horse Racing Facts and Statistics

American Pharoah winning Breeders' Cup Classic in 2016 (Melanie Martines)

Horse racing is one of the oldest professional sports around. In the UK, horse racing dates back as far as the 12th Century, whereas in the US, organized racing began in the late 17th Century. By 1830, the sport had become extremely popular on both sides of the pond.

Here are some key facts and statistics about American horse racing:

    • The sport is worth around $100 billion dollars
    • Almost 1.5 million people are employed in the racing industry
    • There are approximately 10 million horses in the US
    • $103 is the largest payout for 1st place (131st running of the Kentucky Derby in 2005)
    • Betting on horses is legal in 22 states
    • 60% of horse betting is now done on mobile phones
    • In 2013, Rosie Napravnik became the first female jockey to take part in all of the Triple Crown races

Important Race Dates in the US

Horse racing in the US is pretty much year-round, meaning that fans can get down to the track and enjoy themselves anytime. Highlights of the US horse racing calendar include the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup.

There are no better races to dust off your best hat than the Triple Crown Races, which are the most hotly-contested races in the nation: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. After a 37-year drought, American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 2015. Ever since, there has been a revival in the hopes and expectations of breeders, jockeys, and race-goers.

2018 will be another important year in US horse racing. On May 5, the 144th Kentucky Derby is scheduled to take place. Following the Kentucky Derby is the 143rd Preakness Stakes on May 19, with the 150th Belmont Stakes held on June 9th.

Betting on Races

As mentioned previously, it’s legal to bet on horse racing in 22 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Betting at the track on race day is seen as part of the whole experience, but mobile betting is slowly becoming the most popular form in America. In Canada and Europe, mobile betting is the market leader for all sports gambling, including horse racing. Outside of the US, Canadians have the largest interest in US horse racing. Over 63% of Canadians use mobile betting via mobile casino sportsbooks to place bets on US horse races. One of the best online casino review sites, Casinos.co, offers a complete guide to mobile betting. “Mobile casinos catering specifically for Canadian players offer speedy turn-around on cash-outs, 24/7-member assistance, guaranteed privacy, security a generous welcome bonus, excellent VIP rewards and secure Canadian banking options” – Casinos.co

Mobile Betting vs Betting at the Track

For many racegoers, placing a bet is all part of the day. Both mobile betting and betting at the track have their own appeals. Mobile betting is extremely convenient and allows for a wider range of bets, whereas betting at the track provides more social interactions between bettors and staff.

Benefits of Mobile Betting

    • Convenient (no need to wait at a window to place a bet)
    • Wider range of bets available (can bet on all races taking place across the world)
    • Better odds available
    • Does not eat into your physical cash (leaving more for drinks, snacks, and souvenirs)

Benefits of Betting at the Track

    • Straightforward (no confusing T&Cs to read)
    • More sociable
    • Easier to track spending
    • Better experience

Total wagers for the 2017 Kentucky Derby were around $139.2 million. Americans love horse racing and horse racing loves America. On June 9th, the 150th Belmont Stakes is due to take place, making 2018 another great year for horse racing in the US.

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