Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world and is one of the most widely bet on sports in the world.
There are many different types of horse racing, with the three most-common being Thoroughbred, harness, and Quarter Horse racing. Thoroughbred racing uses only horses of the Thoroughbred breed, which got its start in England in the 17th century and came to America in the early 18th century. Since then, the Thoroughbred breed has spread throughout the world with millions existing today, and Thoroughbred racing popular in all corners of the world.
Harness racing involves horses running with a specific gait, typically pulling a two-wheeled cart on which the jockey, or driver, rides. Races are typically conducted in two different gaits, trotting and pacing, with most of the races in North America being conducted in the pacer gait.
Quarter Horse racing uses only horses of the Quarter Horse breed, which is an American breed of horse that excels at sprinting short distances. As their name suggests, these horses excel at a quarter of a mile, and horses usually run on a straightaway track at distances between 100 and 440 yards. Some longer races are found between 550 and 1,000 yards and may involve a turn. Considered America’s fastest athletes, Quarter Horses can reach speeds of 50 mph or more and showcase exciting races of pure speed.
There are many ways to bet on horse racing, but the three most basic bets you can make are known as win, place, or show bets. With a win bet, you bet on one horse to win a race and if that horse wins, you win. With a place bet, you bet on one horse and that horse needs to either win the race or place second in the race for you to win. With a show bet, you bet on one horse and that horse needs to either win the race, place second in the race, or place third in the race for you to win.
Beyond the beginner win, place, and show bets are single-race exotic bets like the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets, as well as multi-race exotic bets like the daily double, pick 3, and pick 4 bets. For more information on the multitude of horse racing betting options, head to the TwinSpires betting guide.
The three biggest horse racing events in North America are the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, which together constitute the Triple Crown. At TwinSpires, you can also bet on other Thoroughbred, harness, and Quarter Horse races from tracks around the globe at any time of day.