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USA Horse Racing


The USA Horse Racing industry as a whole is a multi-billion dollar concern supplying jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans while being a major source of tax revenue for many States, particularly California and Kentucky. Horse racing betting in the USA is very substantial with the amount wagered on Breeders Cup day alone exceeding $120 million.

US Horse Races are administered at a state level with tracks taking a percentage of the handle wagered on every race (usually between 20%-25%) to pay taxes and expenses. There is American horse racing on a daily basis at numerous racetracks with thoroughbred and quarter horse races the most popular.

Organized Horse Racing in the USA didn't start until after the civil war, although horses were brought to America much earlier. From that point onward, thoroughbred racing really took off and by 1890 the were 314 tracks in operation.

Unfortunately USA horse racing wasn't well governed early on, which led to criminal elements influencing the sport. This lead to the American Jockey Club being formed, who ruled racing with an iron first and  got rid of most of the corruption. USA horse racing suffered its worst period in the early 1900s because of antigambling sentiment. Pari Mutuel wagering on the Kentucky Derby signaled the turnaround for racing, and the model was adopted by many states.

Today, US horse racing features some of the most important horse races in the world including the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes) and the annual Breeders' Cup race meeting, which culminates with the Breeders' Cup Classic. This is the joint-second richest horse race in the world with a purse of $5,000,000. Only the Dubai World Cup offers more prize money.

We have listed some of the most popular USA horse races here, and we also recommend safe online sportsbooks and racebooks where players can bet on US horse racing. These sportsbooks offer excellent promotions and cash-back rebates (on some USA tracks the amount is as high as 8%) on your betting handle.

USA Horse Racing - The Major Races


Withers Stakes

Withers StakesAqueduct Racetrack hosts the Withers Stakes every year in April and is raced by Gr 3 American three-year-old thoroughbreds horses.

Spinster Stakes

Spinster StakesKeeneland Race Course hosts the Spinster Stakes every year in early October and is raced by Grade 1 flat horses three-year-old and up fillies and mares.

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup StakesKeeneland Race Course hosts the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes every year in October and is raced by American Grade 1 flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds.

First Lady Stakes

First Lady StakesThe First Lady Stakes is run at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, in October each year, and is run by thoroughbred fillies and mares aged three years and older.

Federico Tesio Stakes

Federico Tesio StakesThe Federico Tesio Stakes is held at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore in April each year and is run by three-year-old thoroughbreds.

Derby Trial Stakes

Derby Trial StakesDerby Trial Stakes is run by Gr 3 American horses and is run in April each year at Churchill Downs.

Breeders Futurity Stakes

Breeders' Futurity StakesThe Breeders' Futurity Stakes is held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky in October each year and features American Grade 1 flat horses.

Borderland Derby

Borderland DerbyThe Borderland Derby is run at Sunland Park Racetrack in Sunland Park, in the middle of February each year and is run by three-year-old thoroughbreds.

Tampa Bay Derby

Tampa Bay DerbyTampa Bay Derby for three-year-old thoroughbreds is run at Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa in the middle of march each year.

San Miguel Stakes

San Miguel StakesSan Miguel Stakes is for for three-year-old thoroughbreds, and is held at the end of March each year at Santa Anita Park in California.

Rushaway Stakes

Rushaway StakesRushaway Stakes is held at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky and three-year-old thoroughbreds takes part.

Lanes End Stakes

Lane's End StakesLanes End Stakes is a 1/8 mile American Gr 2 horserace held in March each year at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky.

Cigar Mile Handicap

Cigar Mile HandicapCigar Mile Handicap is a American Grade 1 flat horse race held in November each year at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York City.

Arkansas Derby

Arkansas DerbyArkansas Derby is for Gr 2 American horserace contested by three-year-old thoroughbreds, and is held at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in April each year.

Lexington Stakes

The Lexington Stakes is the final stop on the road to the Triple Crown, and is acknowledged as the last possible prep race for the Kentucky Derby.

Blue Grass Stakes

The Blue Grass Stakes is a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby. It has Grade 1 status and is held at Keeneland.

Bay Shore Stakes

The Bay Shore Stakes is a lesser prep race for the Kentucky Derby but it is still a Grade 3 classified event. It is held at Aqueduct racetrack.

Illinois Derby

The Illinois Derby is contested at Hawthorne Racetrack just west of Chicago. It is worth half a million dollars in total stakes and is a Grade 2 race.

Louisiana Derby

The Louisiana Derby is run at Fair Grounds Racecourse for a purse of $600,000 and is listed as a Grade 2 horse race. Two horses have that won this derby went on to win the Kentucky Derby.

Rebel Stakes

The Rebel Stakes is a significant prep race for the Kentucky Derby, held at Oaklawn race track in Arkansas.

Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita DerbyThe Santa Anita Derby is a Grade 1 race worth $750,000 and is one of the most important West Coast races for the three-year-old crop.

Wood Memorial Stakes

A major prep race for the Kentucky Derby, the Wood Memorial is a Grade 1 race that attracts some of the best East Coast 3-year-old horses.

Gotham Stakes

Preview of the Gotham Stakes, a Grade 3 prep race for the Kentucky Derby run at Aqueduct race track.

John Battaglia Memorial Stakes

The John Battaglia Memorial Stakes is a race for 3 year-olds held at Turfway Park. It carries a purse of $100,000 and is a minor prep race for the Kentucky Derby.

San Felipe Stakes

San Felipe StakesThe San Felipe Stakes is a significant prep race on the road to the Kentucky Derby for West Coast horses. It has Grade 2 status.

Sham Stakes

Sham StakesThe Sham Stakes is a Grade 3 race held at Santa Anita Park and is used as a prep race for Kentucky Derby contenders.

Fountain Of Youth Stakes

The Fountain of Youth is a major Kentucky Derby prep race that takes place in Florida at Gulfstream Park. It is a Grade 2 event.

El Camino Real Derby

The El Camino Real Derby is run at Bay Meadows on the West Coast for a purse of $200,000. It is a pointer to the Kentucky Derby

Sam F. Davis Stakes

The Sam F. Davis Stakes is run at the Tampa Bay Downs track for three-year-olds and is a prep race for the Kentucky Derby.

Frizette Stakes

Frizette StakesJuvenile fillies clash at Belmont Park in the Frizette Stakes, a Grade 1 race over 1600m or 8 furlongs or 1 mile if you prefer simplicity. The race carries a $400k purse.

2017/02/23 04:42:52 AM
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