Check the latest odds for upcoming horse races: Breeders Cup, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Dubai World Cup, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, King George VI Chase, and more.
Before wagering on any of the events below, read our horse racing betting guide to learn about your options.
When: November 5&6
Location: Changes annually
Surface: Dirt and Turf
This year the Breeders Cup will hold 84 stakes (races) over two days starting November 5. The 2021 racing festival will take place at the Del Mar racetrack in California. Beginning in 1984, this prestigious event is known as the ‘Super Bowl’ of horseracing because it attracts the best horses from around the world and gives away over $30m in prize money.
In 2020, Authentic won the Breeders’ Cup Classic beating late odds favorite Tiz the Law.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
When: The First Sunday of October
Location: Longchamp Racecourse, Paris, France
Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Purse: €5,000,000 (€2,850,000 to the winner)
Starting in 1920, the ‘Arc’ is the most distinguished all-aged horse race in Europe. Horses from the age of three years can compete in this race which often features the English, French, and Irish Derby winners. Sotass, ridden by Cristian Demuro, was the last horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for trainer Jean-Claude Rougetin 2020.
For the past 20 years, some of the best Japanese horses have entered the stake. Despite this, Japan is still looking for its first win. Global interest in the event is hardly surprising, as it is the richest turf race in the world.
Of the jockeys who are still active, Frankie Dettori currently holds the best record. The Italian has gone on to win this race six times after claiming the top spot for the first time in 1995. However, the most successful trainer is Andre Fabre who has won the contest eight times. The Frenchman’s last win was in 2019.
With a maximum field size of 17 and horses entering a turn relatively soon after the start, horses drawn low (close to the rails in the stalls) have had the most success in recent times.
When: First or Second Saturday in June
Location: Belmont Park, Elmont, New York
Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4km)
Purse: $1.5 million (2021)
The Belmont Stakes is a Grade I race 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 weigh around 121 pounds (55 kg).
The race is the final leg of the triple crown and has two nicknames: The Test of the Champion and The Run for the Carnations – the winner receives a garland of these flowers. Race favorite Essential Quality won the race in 2021 at +180 (9/5) odds.
The Belmont Stakes boasts some of the highest attendances on record and draws a vast television audience every year. 21.9 million viewers in the US watched the 2004 race.
When: First Saturday in May
Location: Churchill Downs Racetrack, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Distance: 1.25 miles (2.315km)
The Kentucky Derby is arguably one of the most famous and most exciting horse races. The race’s nickname of “run for the roses” comes from the custom of covering the winners in a garland of roses.
This iconic race, which first took place in 1875, is the first leg of the American Triple Crown.
Competing horses must be at least three years old to enter. The fastest horse in the history of the race is Secretariat, who finished the course 1:59.4 – one of only two horses to win the derby in under two minutes. The race’s popularity means it attracts betting action from more than just frequent horse race bettors.
When: The First Friday before the Kentucky Derby
Location: Churchill Downs Racetrack, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Distance: 1-1/8 miles (1,8km)
Purse: $1,250,000 ($750,000 to the winner)
Inaugurated in 1875, the Kentucky Oaks is the USA’s most prestigious race for fillies (female horses). Every year over 100,000 fans pack into Churchill Downs to watch the race. The high annual attendances make it the third most popular race in the US behind the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
The Kentucky Oaks is the first leg of the Fillies Triple Crown; the other legs are the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (staged at Pimlico) and the Acorn Stakes (held at Belmont Park).
Following the floral tradition at Kentucky, this race awards the winners with lilies. As a result, this race is known as the “Lillies for the Fillies”. The favorite Malathaat at +200 (2/1) took won the 147th Kentucky Oaks in 2021 by a neck.
A maximum of 14 runners can compete on Oaks Field. Past race stats show no preference for horses that race from behind or close to the pace. What’s more, recent races have been a mixed bag – horses at low and high odds have taken the top three spots.
Of the currently active trainers, D. Wayne Lucas (four wins), Bob Baffert (three wins), and Brad Cox (two wins) have been the most successful.
Dubai World Cup
When: The Last Saturday in March
Location: Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Distance: 1.25 miles (2km or 10 furlongs)
Purse: $12 million (the winner receiving $7.2 million)
First held in 1996, the Dubai World Cup put UAE on the horse racing map. This event draws huge crowds from around the world every year, except for 2020, when it was canceled due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The meeting, which is the highlight of the city’s sporting and social calendar, takes place on the last Saturday in March and is worth US$ 26.5 million.
This meeting spoils spectators and bettors with multiple Group 1 and 2 races and is the richest horse race in the world. Cigar won the first event in 1996. Since then, other world-class winners: Silver Charm, Street Cry, Curlin, Animal Kingdom, California Chrome, Arrogate, and many more.
Four-year-old and above horses can compete at this prestigious event in the city that straddles Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Mystic Guide won the race in 2021, starting from post 6.
The current leading trainer is Saeed bin Suroor. The Dubai-based trainer works for the course owner and Godolphin founder Sheik Mohammed. Saed Bin Suroor has won the Dubai Cup nine times. In terms of countries, the US leads with a win total of 12. However, England, France, and Japan have each landed the top spot once.
The four previous winners before Mystic Guide’s win in 2021 started from gate 11. Interestingly, there has never been a winner starting from gates 2,3, or 4.
Want to calculate potential returns from your wagers? Read this sports betting odds guide to learn how to calculate your winnings and the implied probability of your bets, and discover how to remove the vig from sports betting lines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are horse racing futures bets?
A horse racing Futures bet is when you wager on a horse before the day of the event. Be aware that online betting sites will often change the odds of a horse race because of new info coming to light: injuries, news from the stable, jockey changes, etc.
Futures betting markets sometimes give you better odds. However, because horses often drop out of races these are riskier. If you wager on a horse and it doesn’t compete, you will lose your bet.
What does stake mean in horse racing?
This is simply a horse race with prize money. The owners of the horse, entry fees, and media broadcasters usually contribute to the prize to attract quality horses from teams of trainers and jockeys. A stake also means the amount you wager on a horse to win, place, show, etc. in a horse race at your bookmaker.
What’s the difference between a colt and a gelding?
A colt is a male horse under five years of age that hasn’t been castrated. However, a gelding has been castrated. Racing horse owners opt to castrate colts to stop them from showing aggressive stallion behavior which makes them difficult to train. The most popular age range for gelding horses is between six and twelve months. Colts aren't gelded if their owners want to breed them.
What’s the biggest horse race in the US?
In the USA the biggest race in terms of spectators and prize pool is the Kentucky Derby. This prestigious event has a prize pool of over $2 million. After the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Breeders’ Cup, and Travers Stakes also have big purses and attract huge audiences. Outside of the United States, the biggest and richest races are the Dubai World Cup, Arc de Triomphe, Cheltenham Gold Cup, and The Epsom Derby.
What is the Horse Racing Triple Crown?
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horse Racing is a title awarded to the three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins three specific races: the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes
Although it began in 1919, only 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).
What’s the best way to bet on horse races?
The best way to bet on horse races is by only wagering with money that you can afford to lose. However, finding out information on the horse and its team could help you make more informed betting decisions. To start, check out winning jockey and trainer combinations and if they have a successful record at certain tracks.