Betting on horse races is still a major pastime and industry in Canada. The hype surrounding the Kentucky Derby and both the American and Canadian Triple Crowns every year is proof of the popularity of the sport in Canada. As old and full of tradition as horse racing is, it is here to stay and it remains one of the most bet on sports in Canada.
Top Horse Racing Betting Sites
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These two sites offer the best racebooks for Canadian bettors because they accept bets on each of the major Canadian racetracks, as well as several other high profile tracks from the United States and around the world.
Sports Interaction is my favourite place to bet on horses because I find their racebook very smooth and easy to navigate, but Bet365 is also a great option because they have some great promotions that add value for horse racing bettors.
Bet365 Horse Racing Promotions
Here are some of the horse race betting promos offered at Bet365:
- If you back a winner at 4/1 or more on a Bet365 feature race you receive a risk free bet for the same stake on the next Bet365 featured race.
- Bet365 pays out on both the disqualified winner and the actual winner in races where the first horse across the finish line is disqualified.
- There are a few other promotions that you can check out by visiting Bet365.com.
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Horse Race Betting 101
Here is some required reading for beginning horse racing bettors. If you haven’t bet on horse racing before then I strongly suggest you read through each of these pages to understand how the odds work and the betting options.
- Parimutuel Betting – The betting system used for horse racing around the world.
- Win, Place or Show – The standard horse racing bets.
- Exotic Bets – The more difficult to hit, but higher payout bets that somewhat resemble parlay betting in regular sports betting.
Betting at Canadian Racetracks
Canada has four major racetracks with horse races that you can bet on through the spring, summer and autumn months. I’ve created dedicated pages for each of these racetracks explaining how you can bet on each racetracks races online and touching on some of the features and major races at each track.
- Assiniboia Downs (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
- Fort Erie Racetrack (Fort Erie, Ontario)
- Mohawk Racetrack (Campbellville, Ontario)
- Woodbine Racetrack (Toronto, Ontario)
Major Canadian Horse Races
Canadian horse races often get overlooked when compared with the American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing, but Canada does have several high profile races each year.
Canadian Triple Crown Races
The Canadian Triple Crown is a series of three races run in July and August, a couple months after the American Triple Crown finishes up. The races share the exact same distances as the American Triple Crown races, but they are run on three different surfaces.
- Queens Plate – 1.25 miles on Polytrack – Woodbine Racetrack in early July.
- Prince of Wales Stakes – 1 3/16 miles on a dirt track – Fort Erie Racetrack in late July.
- Breeders’ Stakes – 1.5 miles on turf – Woodbine Racetrack in mid August.
Other Major Canadian Races
There are several other major horse races that get the attention of the general public in Canada.
- Canadian International Stakes – $1,000,000 thoroughbred race for 3-year olds or older at Woodbine Racetrack in October.
- E.P. Taylor Stakes – $500,000 thoroughbred race for horses upwards of 3-years olds held on the same day as the Canadian International in October.
- North America Cup – $1,500,000 harness racing event for 3-year-old standardbred pacing horses at Mohawk Racetrack in mid June.
- Northern Dancer Turf Stakes – $750,000 thoroughbred race for 3-year olds or older at Woodbine Racetrack in late July.
- Woodbine Mile – $1,000,000 thoroughbred race for 3-year olds and up, run over a mile on turf track at Woodbine Racetrack in mid September.
- Woodbine Oaks – $500,000 thoroughbred horse race run over a distance of 1 1⁄8 miles on Polytrack at Woodbine Racetrack.
USA Triple Crown Races
The Kentucky Derby and the other American Triple Crown races get more media coverage in Canada than the major Canadian races.
- Kentucky Derby – The first race of the American Triple Crown and the most famous and popular race in North America.
- Preakness Stakes – The second race of the American Triple Crown and the second most attended race in North America.
- Belmont Stakes – The third and final race of the American Triple Crown, which is massively hyped when there is a Triple Crown opportunity.