Odds for the greatest races in the horse-racing calendar, including the Breeders Cup, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Pegasus World Cup, Dubai World Cup, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, King George VI Chase, other top competitions.
When: Early November
Location: Changes annually
Surface: Dirt and Turf
Prize Purse: $30,000,000+
Inaugurated in 1984 this racing festival attracts the best racehorses from around the world is one of the richest two days in sport with over $30m in prize money and awards.
When: First or Second Saturday in June
Location: Belmont Park in Elmont, New York
Distance: 1.5 miles (12 furlongs)
Prize Purse: US$1.5 million (2021)
The Belmont Stakes is a Grade I stakes event held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg), while fillies carry of weight of 121 pounds (55 kg).
The ‘Test of the Champion’ and ‘The Run for the Carnations’ are two nicknames for the race, which is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown.
When: First Saturday in May
Location: Churchill Downs Racetrack, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Distance: 2,000m (about 1.25 miles)
Prize Purse: $3,000,000
While not the race with the largest prize purse, the Kentucky Derby is one of the most exciting races – and it is certainly difficult to think of a more iconic and famous race. The race is nicknamed “run for the roses” as winners are covered in a blanket of flowers.
American’s equivalent of the British Epsom Derby, and the first leg of the American “Triple Crown”, the first Kentucky Derby ran in 1875. Entrants to the race must be three-years old. The fastest horse in the history of the race is Secretariat – and one of only two horses to win the derby in less than two minutes. As well as being a firm favorite race for horse-racing gamblers, the race attracts a lot of betting action from those who bet once or twice a year, for the novelty / fun value.
When: The Friday before the first Saturday in May (the eve of Derby Day)
Location: Churchill Downs Racetrack, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Distance: 1,800m (1-1/8 miles)
Prize Purse: $1,250,000 ($750,000 to the winner)
First run in 1875 the Kentucky Oaks is America’s premier race for fillies. It’s also a hit with racegoers with 100,000 fans packing into Churchill Downs to watch the race since the turn of the century. That makes it America’s third most popular race in attendance behind on the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
This is the first leg of Fillies Triple Crown, the others being the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (staged at Pimlico) and the Acorn Stakes (Belmont Park). Of course the first leg of the colts Triple Crown is the Kentucky Derby which is labelled the “Run for the Roses”. Not to be outdone the Kentucky Oaks is called the “Lillies for the Fillies” and one of the best known recent winners is 2009 scorer Rachel Alexandra. She took the Oaks by 20 lengths and went on to win the Preakness Stakes, the first filly to do so in 85 years.
The Oaks field is restricted to 14 runners and recent race trends do not show a preference for horses who race close to the pace or from behind. Similarly, there has been a good mix of short odds winning favorites and some big odds winners.
Of the currently active trainers D. Wayne Lucas (four wins) and Bob Baffert (three wins) are the most successful. Brad Cox landed it in 2018 and also 2020.
Dubai World Cup
When: The Last Saturday in March
Location: Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Distance: 2,000m (about 1.25 miles or 10 furlongs)
Prize Purse: $12 million (the winner receiving $7.2 million)
First ran in 1996 and part of a valuable race day brimming full of Group 1 & 2 races the Dubai World Cup this is currently the second most valuable horse race in the world. It unquestionably has the most impressive Roll of Honour with many of the great names of the sport listed as winners:
Cigar was the first winner in 1996, Silver Charm, Street Cry, Curlin, Animal Kingdom, California Chrome and Arrogate followed. The contest is open to four-year-olds and upwards
The leading trainer is Saeed bin Suroor who trains locally for the course owner and renowned Godolphin owner Sheik Mohammed. He has landed this race a remarkable nine times. However, American horses have won this race 11 times, England, France and Japan have claimed it once apiece.
Despite a long run to the opening turn its noteworthy four previous winners started from gate 11 and three came from gate 12. There has never been a winner from gates 2,3 or 4.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
When: First Sunday in October
Location: Longchamp Racecourse, Paris, France
Distance: 2,400 metres (1½ miles)
Prize Purse: €5,000,000 (€2,850,000 to the winner)
The ‘Arc’ may only have only started life in 1920 but it is undoubtedly Europe’s most prestigious all-aged horse race. Open to three-year-olds and above the race often brings together the cream of Europe with the French, Irish and English Derby winners regularly in the line-up.
During the past 20 years the Japanese have taken a strong interest in the race and have sent many of their best horses to contest the race. They have had some very near misses but they are yet to win the race. With this being the richest turf race in the world, the reason for their interest is obvious.
Of the jockeys which are still active, Frankie Dettori has the best record, he has won this race six times, 1995 being the first occasion. French trainer Andre Fabre has won the contest eight times, 2019 being the last occasion.
With a maximum field size of 17 and horses entering a turn relatively soon after the start its unsurprising horses drawn low have favoured best in recent times. In fact 18 of the last 235 Arc winners at Longchamp have broken from between stalls one and seven.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
When: Second or third Friday in March
Location: Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, England
Distance: three-miles two-furlongs (5,300 kilometres)
Prize Purse: £625,000 (approximately $855,000)
First staged in 1819, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the most famous steeplechases in the world. It features 22 fences and a stamina-sapping uphill finish.
The race is the showpiece event of the four day annual Cheltenham Festival which, in non-Covid years, attracts 250,000 racegoers and 70,000 on Gold Cup day. And they get some real entertainment from this contest as it last over six-and-a-half minutes.
The race is open to horses aged 5 and above but it’s rare for a horse aged 6 or under to take part. The majority of winners are aged 7, 8 or 9 and it was 1991 when a 10-year-old last took this coveted prize.
In betting terms this would be the biggest betting race of the year for UK and Irish bettors and for the most part the prize goes to fancied horses. 9 of the last 20 winners started as favorites. Only two of the last 20 winners started at bigger than 10/1. Irish-trained horses have won eight of the last 25 editions of this race including four of the last five.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Horse Racing Futures?
A horse racing Futures bet is simply a wager on a horse race that will happen at a later date.
You can wager on a horse racing Futures market at anytime, but the sportsbooks will adjust the odds in the build-up to the race in question based on factors such as form, injuries, news from the stable, change of jockey, etc.
In general, an early Futures wager will give you bigger odds, but come with greater risk (such as the uncertainty as to whether it might be decided not to run a horse in a specific race, which would result in the wager being settled as a losing bet).
Which are the leading race horses in the USA at present?
Among the current top race horses in the USA are Authentic, Tiz the Law, Improbable, Swiss Skydiver, Mucho Gusto, Monomoy Girl, Whitmore and Essential Quality.
In 2020, Authentic won over $7 million in winning five races (at a 71% win percentage).
What are the biggest horse races in the USA and around the world?
Some of the biggest horse races in the USA include the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Breeders’ Cup and Travers Stakes. Internationally, major races include the Dubai World Cup, Arc de Triomphe, Cheltenham Gold Cup and The Derby.
What is the “Triple Crown”?
The Triple Crown (or the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing) is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes
In the history of the Triple Crown, 13 horses have won all three races – Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).
When and where is the Kentucky Derby held?
The Kentucky Derby is traditionally held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs Racetrack, Louisville, Kentucky.
Who are the current top jockeys in the USA?
The leading jockeys in the USA at present include Irad Ortiz Jr., Joel Rosario, Luis Saez, Tyler Gaffalione, John R. Velazquez, Kendrick Carmouche, Manuel Franco and Florent Geroux.
Ortiz Jr. won 298 races (at a 24% win percentage) and over $21 million in prize money in 2020.
Who are the current top trainers in the USA?
The current top trainers in the USA include Steven M. Asmussen, Bob Baffert, Brad H. Cox, Chad C. Brown, Michael J. Maker, Todd A. Pletcher, Peter Miller and Mark E. Casse.
Asmussen won over $20 million in prize money in 2020.
What’s the best betting advice & strategies for Horse Racing Futures betting?
Research is of vital importance when looking at horse racing Futures bets.
Recent form is a factor, but also look at any jockey and trainer combinations that have a history of success together, jockeys and trainers that have favorite tracks where they achieve their best results, conditions such as the track surface and weather and horses that are either moving up or down with regards to the class of race they are running in.
Sportsbooks are always looking to attract new customers and many use the incentive of sign-up bonuses in the form of free betting credits once you have made your first deposit. These can be used to have a risk free wager on the big horse races.