Betting On US Horse Racing
US Horse Racing might not be as popular as other horse racing, but it still has 100’s of years of history behind it. We’ve all heard of the world famous Kentucky Derby, but there is still much more to racing across the pond. At Bet UK’s online betting, you can bet on all US horse racing, with odds available on every race.
The Top US Racecourses
Churchill Downs is the home of the Kentucky Derby, typically run in early May each year. In 2020 however, it will be run in September instead. On a normal Derby day, there will be upwards of 170,000 people at Churchill Downs to watch the culmination of the American Triple Crown. Since opening in 1875, Churchill Downs has established itself as America’s biggest and most popular racecourse.
Pimlico Race Course
Pimlico race course might not be an instantly recognizable name to racing fans, but it does host one of the biggest races in the USA. The Preakness Stakes is another part of the American Triple Crown and is hosted at Pimlico every year. More than 130,000 fans regularly flock to Pimlico each year for the biggest races.
Belmont Park is home to the final leg of the Triple Crown - the Belmont Stakes. It is also home to one of the most famous races in US horse racing history. Back in 1973, Secretariat ran 1.5 miles in 2 minutes, 24 seconds, a record that still stands to this day. He ended up winning by 31 lengths and is remembered as one of the all time great racehorses.
Saratoga Race Course
Saratoga Race Course is one of the oldest in America, opening back in 1863. Saratoga Race Course was also home to one of the biggest upsets in US horse racing history. Man O’ War was a thoroughbred that won 20 of 21 races in his career, his only loss coming at Saratoga. That loss came to a horse named ‘Upset’, and is one of the reasons that Saratoga earned the nickname ‘The House Of Upsets’.
Fair Grounds Race Course
Racing at Fair Grounds Race Course dates back to 1839, making it the second oldest racecourse in America. The most important race run at Fair Grounds is the Grade II Louisiana Derby. The Louisiana Derby has continuously ran since 1894, and has always featured as a perfect warm up for the Kentucky Derby.
Famous US Horse Racing Events
The Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse race in America. Known as the ‘Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports’, the Kentucky Derby is the final race of a two week long festival at Churchill Downs. 170,000 people flock to Churchill Downs to watch the race, as well as millions on TV. The race was first won by Astrides in 1875, with Country House winning the most recent edition. In 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby in under 2 minutes, a record setting time that just adds to Secretariat’s legend. The Kentucky Derby also forms part of the historic Triple Crown, along with the following two races.
2 weeks after the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes are run and is the second race in the Triple Crown. The first Preakness Stakes actually precedes the Kentucky Derby by 2 years, starting in 1873 and won by Survivor. Again, the record for the fastest Preakness Stakes run was recorded by Secretariat, at a time of 1 minute 53 seconds in 1973. As of 2014, the purse for the Preakness Stakes was increased to $1.5million, making it one of the richest races in US horse racing.
The final leg of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes. Typically run at the start of June, two weeks after the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes is ran at New York’s Belmont Park. Unsurprisingly, the 1 and a half mile record for the Belmont Stakes was set by Secretariat, this time running at 2:24, capping his historic Triple Crown win. In 2004, the Belmont Stakes drew a record 21.2 million viewers to watch the live race, as Birdstone won the feature race.
Most Successful Jockeys In The USA
Irad Ortiz Jr
Races - 372
Wins - 90
Winnings - $5,288,974
Irad Ortiz Jr is a Puerto Rican born jockey who is currently the most successful jockey in US Horse Racing. Since breaking into the top 5 jockeys in the US back in 2013, Ortiz Jr has not left the top of the rankings. Ortiz Jr has 37 major wins, as well as 8 Breeder’s Cup victories. His highlight win came in the 2016 Belmont Stakes, riding Creator. That win shot Ortiz Jr into the limelight and his quality performances since then have proven that he will surely end up in the Racing Hall of Fame.
Races - 234
Wins - 47
Winnings - $3,951,224
Joel Rosario is the current second most successful of 2020, racking up 47 wins so far this year. Rosario’s career hit unprecedented levels of success back in 2013, when he won the Meydan Stakes, the world's richest race, and the Kentucky Derby within 5 weeks of each other. In June 2013, he also won the Norfolk stakes to cap off one of the most impressive seasons ever seen by a US based jockey. He may not have been as successful since, but Rosario has since won the Belmont Stakes and continued to rank in the top 10 jockeys each year.
Races - 491
Wins - 97
Winnings - $3,863,901
Luis Saez has had a career that has brought plenty of controversy, as well as lots of success. In 2009, he was runner up in the Apprentice of the year, before riding Maximum Security in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. He won the race, but for the first time in Derby history, Saez was penalised for interference. After a couple of quiet years, Saez has had success in the Gulfstream Cup meeting, winning 133 times in 2017. A year later, he earned 2 seven day wins and his career has since revitalised.
Most Successful Trainers In The USA
Steven M. Asmussen
Races - 658
Wins - 116
Winnings - $6,270,337
Steve Asmussen is one of the most successful horse racing trainers of all time. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame back in 2016. In his career, he has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the Belmont Stakes, the Preakness Stakes and the Dubai World Cup. It’s a career record that is largely unmatched, but the Kentucky Derby is the only major race that evades him.
Brad H. Cox
Races - 230
Wins - 60
Winnings - $4,902,899
Brad H. Cox is on course for a career year, after never being able to break into the top 3 trainers of the year. So far, he has earned almost $5,000,000 this year, after $17,000,000 worth of wins in 2019. Cox hasn’t had great success in the Triple Crown however. So far, all 3 main races have eluded Cox, but given the success that he has had this year, you wouldn’t rule him out on getting a win.
Races - 87
Wins - 25
Winnings - $4,071,265
Whilst Brad Cox hasn’t enjoyed success, Bob Baffert has had unparalleled success in America’s biggest races. In his 24 year training career, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby 5 times, the Preakness Stakes 7 times and the Belmont Stakes 3 times. His horses always turn up for the biggest races, which leads to his incredible 28% success rate and over $4,000,000 in winnings over just 87 races. With Baffert only entering horses he genuinely believes can win, any time you spot his name in a racecard, it’s worth taking a look.
Famous US Horses
Entries - 21
Wins - 16
Earnings - £1,316,808
Secretariat is arguably the most famous horse ever to run, and the most successful. His Triple Crown win in 1973 is fondly remembered by racing fans across the world. In the space of a month, Secretariat set racing records for the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. Those records still stand today and there is little chance that they are ever broken. His records stretch to almost every official length under 2 miles and any horse that beats a single record will also make its way into the record books.
Man O’ War
Entries - 21
Wins - 20
Earnings - $249,465
Man O’ War is the only horse you can realistically be talked about in the same vein as Secretariat. In a time when horse racing was at its most popular, Man O’ War was known around the world. In fact, in 1920, he was voted as joint sportsman of the year, alongside legendary baseball player Babe Ruth. Man O’ War was never entered into the Kentucky Derby on recommendation from his trainer, but did win every event that he was entered in. His only defeat came against the aptly named ‘Upset’, but Man O’ War’s other achievements mean that defeat is almost forgotten.
Entries - 89 Wins - 33 Earnings - £437,730
Given his success rate of just 10% during his first 40 races, Seabiscuit’s rise to fame was unprecedented. A switch in trainer in 1936 started to bring the best out of Seabiscuit and he started a legendary career. Although he never won any of the Triple Crown races, Seabiscuit was an icon across America during the Great Depression. His rise from rags to riches was often used as an inspiration across the USA and only adds to his legend.
Betting on Horse Racing at Bet UK
You can bet on all US horse races over at Bet UK’s online betting. We offer horse racing betting on all races in the US, UK and Ireland. That includes betting on the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Park. If you fancy betting on other sports, then take a look at our football betting, tennis betting or golf betting for a wide range of markets.