Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

When it comes to horse racing, there are few states that are more famous than Kentucky. Races such as the Kentucky Derby and racetracks such as Churchill Downs make up just a handful of world-class horse racing opportunities in the state.

We’re going to use this article to highlight everything you need to know about Kentucky horse racing betting. To do this, we will cover topics such as the best online betting sites in Kentucky, Kentucky gambling laws, iconic races and meetings in Kentucky, and a look at how you can make money by betting on horse racing.

Kentucky Sports Betting
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Bovada Sports logo

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In This Guide

The Top 10 Betting Sites for Horse Racing in Kentucky

Below we’ve created a list of the best betting sites for horse racing betting in Kentucky. Each sportsbook excels in its own way and later in the article we look a little deeper at how these betting sites work.

  1. Twin Spires – Best overall betting site for horse racing in Kentucky
  2. TVG – Best for live streaming horse racing
  3. BetOnlineBiggest welcome bonus for Kentucky residents
  4. XBet – Huge range of races hosted from around the world
  5. Bovada – Best looking mobile app and online betting site for horse racing
  6. MyBookie – Low juice charged on betting lines for horse racing
  7. BetUS – Best for existing Kentucky player promos
  8. BUSR – God range of races and sporadic promos
  9. – Best for existing player horse racing offers
  10. BetNow – Great link with horse racing betting and other sports

Reviewing The Best Sites for Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky

One of the areas that we pride ourselves on is being able to create independent reviews of betting sites. In this section our team has looked at dozens of sportsbooks and in return has come up with the best Kentucky horse racing betting sites on the market right now.

1. TwinSpires – Overall Best Horse Racing Betting Site in Kentucky

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

TwinSpires has strong links to Kentucky given they are owned by Churchill Downs Inc. The site has been operating since 2018 and has one of the best horse racing betting sections in the industry.

The racecard is one of the many highlights. Here you get access to runner and rider info, trainer form, sire/dam info, weight form, and lots more. You can switch the racecard between classic, basic, advanced, speed, class, pace, and tips. All this combines to give you all the info you need to make more informed betting picks

Once you’ve placed a bet you can get free handicap data sheets, as well as videos of past races for each horse, stats (position, track bias, run style, and success rates), results, and Bet Pad. The latter combines all this info to create what would be a plausible result for the race. If you’re new to horse racing, this is a great feature to use to make more informed picks.

Coverage comes from around the world. All races in the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and South Africa are accessible, as well as races from across Asia. Features include betting offers, VIP programs, news, handicapping features, betting tools, race events, and a superb customer support section.

Max bets are up to $2,500, reduced juice can be found on some races, and access to the site can be made online and via their betting app. Deposit options include Apple Pay, ACH, Credit Card, Check, Bank Wire, PayPal, and Skrill. Withdrawals can be made instantly from the Churchill Downs racetrack or within just a few hours if you use PayPal.

TwinSpires Review –
Overall Best Horse Racing Betting Site in Kentucky
Pros Cons
✅ Massive range of races from around the world ❌ Fees on credit card deposits
✅ Incredible racecard ❌ Huge range of data might be overwhelming if new to the sport
✅ Betting tools that allow you to make more informed picks
✅ Dedicated horse racing promotions
✅ Strong betting lines throughout the site

Welcome Bonus Offer:

New accounts to TwinSpires can claim a welcome bonus worth up to $200. The bonus will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered. You need to do this within 30 days before the bonus will expire.

2. TVG – Best for Live Streaming Horse Racing in Kentucky

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

TVG is second on the list but to be honest, there is very little between them and Twin Spires. The brand has been about since 1993 and was originally a dedicated horse racing TV channel.

An acquisition in 2009 by Paddy Power Betfair meant that the brand was moved into the online betting sector, specifically focusing on horse racing betting. They are now widely regarded as one of the biggest horse racing media outlets in the United States.

From a betting point of view, TVG comes packed with features. These include handicapping tools, betting picks, news, gossip, live streaming of their dedicated horse racing channel, and targeted horse racing promos.

They include strong betting lines and are earlier than most at releasing those lines. Margins are mid-range, at around 8% across the entire site from the bets that we tested.

Moving money in and out can be done using a range of payment options, including PayPal, Checks, Debit/credit cards and banking at one of a range of horse racing tracks.

TVG Review –
Best for Live Streaming Horse Racing in Kentucky
Pros Cons
✅ Dedicated horse racing channel for live streaming ❌ Fees on credit card deposits
✅ Early betting lines
✅ Huge range of futures bets for major races around the world
✅ Low margins attached to most lines
✅ Accessible on betting apps for iPhone and Android

Welcome Bonus Offer:

TVG allows new players to claim a welcome promo in the form of a risk-free bet worth up to $250. The bet is based on 50% of your first deposit and you get to keep any winnings that you receive from that bet.

3. BetOnline – Biggest Welcome Bonus for Kentucky Residents

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

BetOnline is the first dedicated sportsbook on our list. They don’t concentrate solely (for the most part) like TVG and Twin Spires, so what you get from them is a more rounded package.

What BetOnline does well is simply the art of horse racing betting. You get access to a clean racecard that usually comes equipped with a range of betting markets. It’s easy to use and not overwhelming, which is ideal if you’re new to betting on horse racing in Kentucky.

There are lots of races covered on BetOnline and whilst the bulk are from the US, they do have a more than decent international coverage. Major races such as The Derby, Grand National, and The Gold Cup are backed up nicely by domestic racing such as The Kentucky Derby and The Belmont Stakes.

Betting lines are released early and BetOnline pricing is one of the best that we’ve seen. Payment methods include Bitcoin, Visa, and Mastercard, with no fees and quick withdrawals (processed within 48 hours) accessible throughout.

BetOnline Review –
Biggest Welcome Bonus for Kentucky Residents
Pros Cons
✅ Good international coverage ❌ Lack of features for horse racing
✅ Early betting lines ❌ Only 50% match for the welcome bonus
✅ Very competitive when it comes to pricing
✅ Tied into a massive sportsbook
✅ Huge $1,000 welcome bonus for new accounts

Welcome Bonus Offer:

BetOnline allows you to claim what we would call a “traditional” welcome bonus. It’s worth up to $1,000 and is a 50% match on your first deposit. It comes with just a 10x rollover, which is about as low as you’re going to find.

4. XBet – Huge Range of International Races

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

XBet is another great addition to horse racing in Kentucky and they are widely regarded as one of the best sportsbooks in the world these days. They’ve been open since 2013 and in that time have built a strong horse racing betting section.

The first thing you notice is the volume of races that they cover. It’s up there with BetOnline and again, they have a great international coverage that compliments the US coverage nicely.

Betting markets include straight bets, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, daily double, and pick 3. They also include parlay bets, which is a welcomed addition. Betting lines are good, and lines are genteelly released around 2 days prior to the race start unless they are part of any pool bets.

Banking options include Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, and bank wire, amongst others. There are no fees and deposits start from $45, which is on the high side.

XBet Review –
Huge Range of International Races
Pros Cons
✅ Good coverage of US and international races ❌ High min deposit of $45
✅ Great looking racebook on mobile and betting apps ❌ Strange customer ranking levels for “VIP”
✅ Low margins for a lot of the higher-profile race meetings
✅ Dedicated horse racing promotions
✅ Min withdrawal of just $50

Welcome Bonus Offer:

XBet users can claim a welcome bonus that’s worth up to $500. The promotions are a 100% match, and you need to wager through the full amount 10x within 30 days before it will expire.

5. Bovada – Best Looking Mobile Horse Racing App for Kentucky Players

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

Bovada is the final selection on our list, but they are still one of the best for horse racing in Kentucky. The site has been about in its current form since 2011 and they have created an exceptional horse racing section on the back of this.

US racing is the predominant coverage here and whilst you go get races from further afield, it’s not as well catered for as with the likes of Twin Spires and TVG. Races include win, place, show, and a mixture of all three for most.

Banking options with Bovada are excellent and include Visa, Mastercard, MatchPay, and various crypto payments. Deposits start from as little as $10 and withdrawals from just $20.

Bovada includes a range of horse racing betting promotions for major races, such as the Kentucky Derby. These have historically included money-back bets and enhanced odds.

Bovada Review – Best Horse Racing App for Kentucky Players
Pros Cons
✅ Excellent range of dedicated horse racing promotions ❌ Lack of horse racing-specific features
✅ Clean betting site, easy to use for new punters to horse racing ❌No live streaming
✅ Access to virtual racing
✅ Great for US-racing coverage
✅ Linked well with huge sports betting and online casino sites

Welcome Bonus Offer:

By registering a new account with Bovada you’re going to get access to a welcome bonus worth up to $1,000. The bonus is a 100% deposit match and comes with a 10x rollover attached.

More on gambling in Kentucky…

Learn about all types of online gambling in Kentucky in our expert guides below:

Comparing The Best Sites for Betting on Horse Racing in Kentucky

For each of our reviews, we work through a certain criterion that allows us to choose the best Kentucky horse racing betting sites. It’s not an exact science and some betting sites perform better than others in certain areas.

Below we’re going to take a closer look at some of the key points when choosing the best sites for horse racing betting and which sportsbook excels in these areas.

Please note that it may seem Twin Spires and TVG feature heavily here, but they are the best two Kentucky horse racing betting sites by some distance. They were both originally set up as a dedicated horse racing site, which means that they put a lot more resources into their coverage, and it shows.

Horse Racing Odds

Horse racing odds is one of the easiest places to test. You’re essentially looking for the highest odds for the bet that you want to place.

It’s worth noting here that getting the best price every single time is tough. You would need an account with most sportsbooks in Kentucky to allow you to do this. Realistically, this is not plausible for most, so we advise that you create a betting arsenal of around 3-5 sportsbooks that you can access and get the best lines from those sites. Chances are that you won’t be far off the best price by doing it this way.

Twin Spires and TVG are our standout picks for best horse racing odds. They are consistently amongst the top 5 bets prices for just about all markets and races that we tested.

Horse Racing Betting Markets

Market coverage is split into two parts. One is the range of races that are covered and the second is the number of bets you can place on each race.

In terms of the sheer volume of races you can bet on, Twin Spires is our top pick. Racing coverage includes all the US, plus the UK, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa, Australia, France, Germany, and many more. It’s a truly international feel.

In terms of different bets, this would have to be TVG. Most races include the win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, and double down. You’ve also pool bets that include win place and show.

Live Horse Racing Betting

Live horse racing betting is where both TVG and Twin Spires excel. Live betting is limited amongst the rest of the field, so once the race starts this is going to be your best option to bet live.

Most of the races that they cover will turn live, but please note that there will be a delay if you’re following the live stream. The odds will be updated in real-time, without delay.

Horse Racing Betting Promotions

In terms of promotions, BetOnline is the best horse racing betting site for Kentucky residents. You’re going to get access to a $1,000 bonus which works as a 50% deposit match.

On top of this, BetOnline allows you to claim a 10% crypto bonus when you deposit using Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, or Chainlink.

Special Features for Horse Racing

TVG has an incredible range of special features for horse racing and generally goes above and beyond most of the competition.

The racecard is the highlight for us and here you’re able to access a ton of information such as horse details, form, past results, videos of previous races, trainers, weights, snapshots of the race, speed and class, and jockey/trainer stats.

On top of this, you get access to live streaming, handicapping stats, past performances, race replays, picks, horse racing news, and a betting guide. The best part? It’s all free-to-access for TVG accounts.

Horse Racing Welcome Bonus

If you’re setting up a new account with a Kentucky horse racing betting site, then you’re going to be eligible to claim a horse racing welcome bonus. These bonuses are to entice players in and can bet worth thousands of dollars.

Below we’ve included the top three welcome bonuses for Kentucky residents:

  • BetUS – Up to $2,500 in bonus cash
  • Bovada – Up to $1,000 in bonus cash
  • BetOnline– Up to $1,000 in bonus cash

User-Friendly Design

Layout and design are key elements for any betting site. For this, we like to look for how clean a betting site is in terms of looks and how easy it is to use.

Our number one rated horse racing site for this is Bovada. Not only does the online platform have incredible aesthetics, but the mobile app is one of the easiest to use that we’ve tested.

Live Streaming

Live streaming for horse racing is one of the best features of any Kentucky betting site. Being able to bet and watch a race live makes the whole experience much more immersive.

Both TVG and Twin Spires offer a live streaming platform. With both, you get access to races from all over the world, expert analysis, and free access when you open an account with either site.

Comparing The Best Sites for Betting On Horse Racing In Kentucky
Live Streaming   Racecard Enhanced Lines Welcome Offer Mobile App Handicapping Sports Betting Casino
Twin Spires

How We Rated the Best Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Sites

Above we’ve explained what we’re specifically looking in terms of horse racing features, but now we want to look at more generic things associated with the betting site.

Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is essentially how much we trust the brand. All the Kentucky betting sites that we recommend on this page we are happy to recommend, and we trust them 100%.

Payment Methods

Getting money in and out of a betting site should be relatively straightforward. We like to see as many payment options as possible and these might include credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, checks, and crypto, to name just a few.

However, it’s equally important to see processing times that are favorable for the user. Anything that is back into the payment account within 5 days is acceptable. Ideally though, within 48 hours is a sign that the betting site is switched on.

Safety & Security

One of the easiest ways to check safety is by looking at the license that the betting site has. All quality horse racing betting sites will be fully licensed, which then shows that they have an obligation to make sure that all betting practices and banking processes are safe.

As a user, make sure that you use a unique password for your account, changing the password every month or so to keep your account secure.

Speed & Design

How the site looks can be make or break. Bovada is a prime example of a betting site that not only looks great but is incredibly easy to use. This needs to transpire to mobile betting as well, given that the majority of users now bet on their phones as opposed to online.

Customer Service

The best Kentucky horse racing betting sites will have exemplary customer service. There should be multiple points of contact (email, phone, live chat, physical address, etc.) and you should be able to speak to someone within a matter of minutes.

Overall Value

The best in the business offer value to you as a player. It’s not always about one of two things that makes a site stand out, but instead, multiple things.

With horse racing, this could include access to races, the quality of the racecard, live streaming, payment options, good-looking site, great customer service, and so on.

Use the table below to see what we look for when choosing the best Kentucky horse racing betting sites.

What To Look For In The Best Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Sites
Brand Recognition  

  • Trustworthy
  • Reliable


Payment Process  

  • Safe Payment Options
  • Fast, Secure Payouts


Safety & Security  

  • Safety & Security
  • Protecting Privacy & Personal Information


Speed & Design  

  • Fast Software
  • User-Friendly Design


Customer Service  

  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • Friendly Customer Service


Overall Value  

  • Best Odds
  • Live Streaming
  • Promotions Offers
  • Special Features


Is Horse Racing Betting Legal in Kentucky?

Yes, horse racing betting is legal in Kentucky. In fact, betting is the only form of gambling that is legal in Kentucky with the likes of the casino, poker, and bingo all illegal.

One of the main reasons why horse racing is one of the few legitimate online gambling options in Kentucky is that it’s not a game of chance. The state has determined that to win you need to research bets and this requires skill, as opposed to casino games that are almost all completely games of chance.

To find out more on the legalities of horse racing in Kentucky, check out the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission website.

Horse Betting Guides State by State

Horse Racing Betting Guide – How to Bet on Horse Racing in Kentucky

One of the major upsides to horse racing betting in Kentucky is access. You’re going to be able to choose from a plethora of offshore betting sites that cover horse racing incredibly well.

All you need to do to bet on the outcome of races is to have a funded betting account. All the recommendations that we make on this page we stand by, but the two standout sites are that of Twin Spires and TVG.

Between the pair, they offer access to more races than any other site, plus they have a huge range of features such as live betting, live streaming, interactive racecard, and highly competitive betting lines.

Check Out Our Popular Horse Racing Guides

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How Does Horse Racing Betting Work in Kentucky?

The first thing to note about horse racing betting is the type of race. Generally, you get jumps (National Hunt) and flat racing. The latter is much more popular in the US.

Each race comes with a set number of horses involved. You then need to do your research to see which horse you want to bet on.

The most common bet is the outright winner, often referred to as simply “win”. When you place a bet on this market you bet on that horse to win.

Alternatively, another common bet is to place. This is where you bet on the horse to finish within a certain number of places. Usually, you find that this is the top 2 or 3 places, but the final number is determined by the number of runners in the race.

Once you’ve picked your horse and your market, you now need to place your bet. To do this, simply choose your stake and enter your bet.

It’s worth noting that the odds for each horse are likely to fluctuate. This can be for several reasons, but the most common include money coming for this or other horses, how the horse looks before the race, and the going (firmness/softness of the ground).

Horse Racing Betting Explained

Let’s look at an example of how horse racing betting works.

An example of a Kentucky Horse Race Card

The image above is of a typical racecard. As you can see, there is a lot going on here, but don’t get overwhelmed as a lot of it is self-explanatory.

The key area that we need to look at to place a bet is the “odds” column. Here you can see the price for each horse represented as a decimal. For example, Easy Day is the favorite for this race priced at 4.00. This would mean that if you placed $10 and the horse won, you would get $40 in return.

To place the bet all you need to do is click on the odds. This adds the bet to your betslip and then you can choose your stake from there.

Horse Racing Betting Odds

Kentucky Horse Racing sites like TwinSpires offer lucrative odds and bonuses

The layout of horse racing odds will vary from site to site. In the above section, we spoke about how that specific betting site used decimal odds. However, most US-based sports will use American odds, which looks a little different.

American odds are represented as positive and negative numbers. The positive is the amount you get back for every $100 staked. The negative is the amount you need to stake to make a $100 profit.

For example, +300 odds would mean that you would win $300 for every $100 you wagered. -150 would mean that you need to stake $150 to make a $100 profit.

There are two sites that stand out for the best horse racing betting odds, which are Twin Spires and TVG. They have consistently come out at the top of the pile from our extensive testing and comparison across dozens of Kentucky horse racing betting sites.

Fixed Horse Racing Betting Odds

Fixed horse racing betting odds are where you take the price before the race starts. You can include taking the starting price here, which is the price that the horse is the second that race starts.

Pari-Mutuel Betting

Pari-Mutuel betting is where your bet gets combined with other bets and your payout is determined by the number of people who are betting on that result. The fewer the number of people who’ve bet, the more your share of the pot will be.

Pool Betting

Pool betting is very similar to pari-mutuel, but it’s usually used to describe variations of pool bets. These include things like place pool, exacta, trifecta, and jackpots. The premise of how each of these works is the same, but you need to include more selections in your bet and sometimes the order in which the horses will finish.

What Are the Different Types of Horse Racing Bets?

The best Kentucky Horse Racing sites offer a wide variety of betting options

Most people aren’t aware that there are lots of betting markets attached to horse racing. We’ve included some of the most popular (and some not so popular) below.


The win is where you bet on that horse to win the race. No other result will get a return on your bet other than the horse finishing first.


Place is where you need the horse to finish within the top two places. They can finish in any order and the payout is the same regardless of if it’s 1st or 2nd.


Show is where the horse needs to finish in the top three spots. Like the place bet, they can finish in any order and you don’t get extra money if they win.


The exacta bet is where you pick two horses to finish in 1st and 2nd in that race. You need to have the correct order for each horse for this bet to win.


The trifecta is an adaptation of the Exacta and for this, you need to pick the top three horses for the race in the correct order.


The superfecta is where you need to choose the top four finishers in the correct order.

Daily Double

The daily double requires the bettor to pick winners in back-to-back races from the same meeting. They can choose any race from the card but it needs to be the same day and same racetrack.

Pick 3/4/5/6

The “pick” bet is where you need to pick the winners of consecutive races. So, for pick 3 it would be 3 races in a row, pick 4 would be four races in a row, and so on. These bets go up to the pick 6 which is usually the max number of races in a single meeting.

Comparing the Different Types of Horse Racing Betting Options

Bet Type


Overall winner of the race


To finish inside top 2 places

To finish inside top 3 places


First two horses in correct order

First three horses in correct order


First four horses in correct order
Daily Double

Winner of two consecutive races from the same meeting

Pick 3

Winner of three consecutive races from the same meeting
Pick 4

Winner of four consecutive races from the same meeting

Pick 5

Winner of five consecutive races from the same meeting
Pick 6

Winner of six consecutive races from the same meeting

Horse Racing Betting Terms

There’s a wide range of terms that are linked to horse racing. In the section below we’ve included some of the most common that you will need to be aware of.

  • Colors – The silks/colors that the jockey wears
  • Dead-heat – Two or more horses finishing in a tie
  • Furlong – 1/8 of a mile. Often used to measure horse racing tracks
  • Handicap race – A race that includes handicaps for all horses based on their rating.
  • Long shot – An unexpected winner at long odds
  • Purse – The amount of money that the winning owner will win
  • Scratch – A horse that is removed from the race
  • Tote Board – Computer that displays odds from the Tote and place pots

Horse Racing Betting Calculator

Calculating horse racing betting odds is not something that you’ll need to do. Once you enter your stake on most sites, you’re going to see the return from your investment. It’s also worth noting that a lot of betting sites include the odds prior to the race starting.

Keep reading for a look at how you can calculate horse racing betting odds.

How To Calculate Horse Racing Betting Odds

There are two types of horse racing betting odds: Decimal and American.

The key thing to note is that they both mean the same thing, but they might be displayed differently.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, American odds are the amount you get back based on either $100 wager for positive numbers and the amount you need to wager to make a $100 profit for negative numbers.

Decimal numbers require you to simply multiply your stake by the decimal. So, if you were to bet $100 at odds of 3.0, you would get $300 in return (includes stake, so $200 profit and $100 stake).

Horse Racing Odds Chart:

Use our chart below to see how horse racing odds work and the payout that you will get on a $2 bet. We’ve also included the implied winning percentage based on the initial odds. This offers a good representation as to the chance that the horse has of winning.

Horse Racing Betting Odds Chart
Odds Payout on $2 Bet Implied Winning Percentage
-500 $2.40 83.33%
-400 $2.50 80%
-300 $2.60 75%
-200 $3.00 66.67%
-150 $3.33 60%
-100 $4.00 50%
+200 $6.00 33.33%
+300 $8.00 25%
+500 $12 16.67%
+1000 $22 9.0%
+5000 $102 1.96%

Horse Racing Tracks in Kentucky

Churchill Downs is one of the most famous Kentucky Horse Race Tracks

Kentucky is home to six horse racing tracks. They just so happen to be some of the best racing tracks in the world and is one of the main reasons why so many people flock to the state when there is a major meeting.

Below we’ve included a look at each of the tracks along with a table that provides an overview of where to find each track and what sort of races are being run.

Churchill Downs – 700 Central Ave, Louisville, KY 40208

Churchill Downs is not just one of the most iconic horse racing tracks in Kentucky, but the world. It’s best known for being home to the Kentucky Derby, which is often referred to as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sport” which is a nod to the fact that the race lasts for almost exactly two minutes.

The track plays host to a plethora of high-quality thoroughbred races, with massive purses.

Ellis Park – 3300 US Hwy. 41 N. Henderson, KY, 42420

Ellis Park was one of the first racetracks in Kentucky to be converted to a simulcast tracks. This means that there is no live racing, but there are live streams of dozens of races from around the world. The track gives users access all year long and it includes gaming and dining options.

Keeneland – 4201 Versailles Road, Lexington, KY 40510

Keeneland is one of the most beautiful racecourses you’ll find anywhere in the US. It’s set within a national park and outside of race season (April to October) they conduct tours and walks around the track. Racing

List of Kentucky Horse Racing Tracks
Horse Racetrack Address Phone Number Notable Races
Churchill Downs 700 Central Ave, Louisville KY 40208 502-636-4400 Kentucky Derby
Ellis Park 3300 US Hwy. 41 N. Henderson, KY, 42420 270-826-0608 Simulcast Only
Keeneland 4201 Versailles Road, Lexington, KY 40510 859-254-3412 Ashland Stakes
Kentucky Downs
5629 Nashville Rd.
Franklin KY 42135
270-586-7778 No notable horse races
Oak Grove
777 Winners Way
Oak Grove KY 42262
270-984-4200 No notable horse races
The Red Mile
1200 Red Mile Rd.
Lexington KY 40514
859-255-0752 No notable horse races
Turfway Park
7500 Turfway Rd.
Florence KY 41042
859-371-0200 No notable horse races

Kentucky Horse Racing History

Kentucky is steeped in horse racing tradition. It dates back as far as 1828 and is a state that is very proud of their history and the traditions that they still hold today. Below is a table regarding the history of horse racing in Kentucky.

A Timeline of the History of Kentucky Horse Racing
Date Description
1828 Lexington hosts the first race to be held in Kentucky
1875 The Red Mile was the second race track to be opened in the state
1875 The first Kentucky Derby was held at the then Louisville Jockey Club.
1936 Keeneland Racecourse was opened. Attracts crowds of 300,000+ over two race weekends.
1986 Latonia Race Track renamed Turfway Park
2020 Racing in the state surpasses $6.5 billion in economic revenue

Kentucky Horse Racing Schedule 2023

In the table below we’ve outlined the horse racing schedule for the year in Kentucky. All of the races listed here are the top races in the state and some of the biggest in the world.

Kentucky Horse Racing Schedule 2023
Kentucky Horse Race  Kentucky Horse Race Track Date
Bluegrass Stakes Keeneland April 9
Ashland Stakes Keeneland April 8
Kentucky Oaks Churchill Downs May 6
Churchill Downs Stakes Churchill Downs April 4
Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs May 7
Shadwell Turf Mile Keeneland October 9
Breeders’ Futurity Stakes Keeneland October 9
Clark Handicap Churchill Downs November 27

Kentucky Derby 2023

The best Kentucky Horse Racing Sites give bettors access to Kentucky Derby 2021 odds

The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest horses races in the world and is undoubtedly the biggest in Kentucky. It’s run at Churchill Downs and makes up part of the Triple Crown, along with the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes.

The 2022 race will be held on May 7th. The top 20 horses will qualify for the race with up to four eligible. Some of the early hot favorites to win the race include Pappacap, Rattle N Roll, and Jack Christopher.

Kentucky Derby 2021 Results
Kentucky Derby Results 2021 Kentucky Derby 2021 Horses Kentucky Derby 2021 Odds
1st Medina Spirit 16.0
2nd Mandaloun 13.0
3rd Hot Rod Charlie 9.0
4th Essential Quality 3.00
5th O Besos 21.0
6th Midnight Bourbon 21.0

Comparing Betting at the Racetrack with Online Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky

There are several key differences between betting online and betting at one of the many Kentucky racetracks. There are pros and cons for each, and in the table below we’ve highlighted exactly what they are.

It’s worth noting that betting online is going to give you access to more races and generally at better odds. If we were to choose one, we would pick betting with either TVG or Twin Spires over betting at the racetrack.

Comparing Betting at the Racetrack with Online Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky
Betting at the Racetrack Online Horse Racing Betting
✅ Better feel for how horses look before the start of the race ✅ Easier to find the best price for your bets
✅ Allows you to see multiple prices from multiple bookmakers without the need to register an account. ✅ Lower juice charged with online bets generally means better value
❌ Rarely get the best price ✅ Can claim welcome and betting bonuses for your bets
❌ Limited to what races you can bet on ✅ Lots of choice of races to choose from
❌ No bonuses or promotions to access ✅ Safer than carrying around large sums of cash at racetracks

General Terms and Conditions at Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

When you register for a new account at a Kentucky betting site, you’re going to need to tick a couple of boxes prior to getting accepted. The first is that you need to be aged 21 or over, which is required by state and federal law.

You need to be a resident of Kentucky and you will need to prove this. Driver’s license and utility bills are usually how you go about confirming your account.

If you’ve already registered an account with that betting site, then you cannot make another one. Multiple accounts will get all accounts blocked and you will be blacklisted.

Rollover Requirements

If you sign up for a new account, then you’re going to get access to the welcome offer. These offers come with a rollover requirement attached and you must hit this before you can withdraw the bonus money as cash.

For example, if a bonus had a 10x rollover, then this would mean that you need to place 10x that mount in wagers before the bonus money is yours. A $1,000 bonus with a 10x rollover means that you need to place $10,000 worth of wagers to clear the bonus.

Comparing Welcoming Bonuses at The Best Online Horse Racing Sites in Kentucky
Brand  Welcome Bonus Offer Rollover Requirement
Twin Spires Up to $200 Bonus Money Risk Free Bonus
TVG 50% Deposit Match up to $250 Risk Free Bonus
BetOnline $1000 Welcome Bonus 10x Rollover of Bonus
XBet 100% Up To $500 – No Code Required 7x Rollover of Bonus
Bovada Up To $1,000 – BVD1000 10x Rollover of Bonus
MyBookie 100% Deposit Bonus Up To $1000 10x Rollover of Bonus
BetUS 150% Up To $3,000 15x Rollover of Bonus
BUSR 20% Up To $500 – WELCOME20 5x Rollover of Bonus 100% Welcome Bonus Up To $1000 – KICK100 10x Rollover of Bonus

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Bonuses

Kentucky Horse racing betting give special bonuses and promotions

There’s a range of promotions that you can claim when betting on horse racing. Some are more lucrative than others, but all will have some value if you’re able to claim and clear them before they expire.

Below we’ve included a list of these horse racing betting promotions and a table to give you an overview of who is offering what.

  • Welcome Bonus – These are generally the biggest bonus you can claim and are for new accounts. Most of these are deposit matches, meaning the sportsbook will issue your account with a bonus based on how much you deposit.
  • Loyalty Bonus – For players who play a lot or who are consistent, then a loyalty bonus may be accessible. These promos are not as common as welcome bonuses but usually work in the same way.
  • Racebook Welcome Bonus – This welcome bonus is linked only to bets that are placed on the racebook. It means that to clear the welcome bonus you need to wager within the racebook.
  • Money-Back Specials – Generally these offers are linked to high-profile races where they offer you your money back if a certain horse wins the race.
  • Enhanced Odds – This promotion is where the betting site will increase the odds for a specific horse. It usually makes the odds the best in the industry and can be highly lucrative, but are often limited in terms of the amount you can stake.
Comparing The Best Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Bonuses
Welcome Bonus   Loyalty Racebook Moneyback Enhanced Odds
Twin Spires

Virtual Horse Racing Betting

Virtual horse racing betting is quickly becoming an incredibly popular form of betting. This is all about computer-generated races and you simply bet on the outcome of the race as they start.

The games are random and there is no skill involved. However, graphically they are very good and do offer a good amount of entertainment.

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Apps

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Apps Like TwinSpires offer mobile betting options

Mobile betting is now more popular than online betting and the development of the mobile betting app has been huge to the future success of betting sites. All the betting platforms that we’ve reviewed on this page have either a horse racing betting app or a mobile site that is accessible on mobile.

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Apps for iPhone

All the betting sites on this page are accessible via iPhone. The only horse racing betting apps that you can download as a dedicated app via the App Store are TVG, Twin Spires, and Bovada. For the rest, you will need to use your mobile browser and then log in to the site that way.

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Apps for Android

Android is more accessible than iPhone and one of the main reasons is that apps are easily accessed via betting apps that don’t need to be hosted in the Google Play Store. However, the same three apps – Twin Spires, TVG and Bovada – are all downloadable direct from the Google Play Store.

For the rest when you open the mobile site on your phone, simply save the site to your home screen and it will create a makeshift betting app for you.

How To Start Betting on Horse Racing Sites in Kentucky

Betting on horse racing sites in Kentucky is a simple process. We’re going to walk you through the steps you need to take to create an account and place your first horse racing bet online.

Step 1 – Open a New Account

To place a bet you first need to open a new betting account. We’re going to use BetOnline as our example here and to do this you can simply click on this link to start the process. Once there, click on the “Join Now” button at the top of the page.

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

Step 2 – Find the Horse Racing Section

Most sportsbooks will have dedicated horse racing sections that you can access from the menu bar. Some may have horse racing included with general sports. With BetOnline, they have a dedicated “Racebook” that will give you access to all upcoming races.

Step 3 – Choose Your Race

Once into the racebook, it’s time to choose which race you want to bet on. Use the menu system down the left to choose the meeting and then click on this meeting to reveal the races that are running.

The best sites for horse racing in Kentucky make it easy to sign up

Step 4 – Choose and Place Your Bet

Once you have picked the race, choose the betting market you want to bet on at the top. Then enter your stake in the box that is appropriate for that bet. For example, an outright winner bet would be in the “Win” column.

Once you’ve entered the stake, click on “add to bet slip” and then “Submit” your bet.

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting – Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Kentucky

Other Types of Gambling in Kentucky

The horse racing betting sites that we’ve discussed on this page aren’t just limited to horse racing. You’re going to get access to dozens of sports with an incredible coverage of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, soccer, tennis, golf and so many more. Sports fans can bet on individual games or make futures bets, including Super Bowl bets, with the click of a button.

Most of them have amazing casino access, with thousands of casino games between them. It’s worth noting that a lot of the welcome offers for sports and online casinos in Kentucky are different and you’ll likely find that the casino welcome offers are considerably bigger than sports.

What Is the Best Site for Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky?

We’ve created a list of what we think are the best Kentucky horse racing betting sites. We always stress that there is no right or wrong answer as to which is the best as players’ needs can differ dramatically.

However, if we were to pick one, it would have to be Twin Spires. The fact that the site has global coverage of races, an incredible racecard, handicap betting tools, live streaming, and a $250 welcome bonus makes this our number one pick for the best horse racing betting site in Kentucky.

Is betting on horse racing legal in Kentucky?

How many horse racetracks are in Kentucky?

What horse race is in Kentucky?

Jonathan has been working within the iGaming sector since 2007. After graduating with a BA Hons in Marketing from Northumbria University, he's been able to set up his own online content business, working with some of the biggest brands in the iGaming sector. Outside of work he enjoys any type of sports, especially cricket, golf, football and darts.

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