The busiest time of year is nearly upon us for fans of horse racing in the United States. With each of America’s three biggest racing events (The Kentucky Derby, Maryland’s own Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) loaded into five action-packed weeks across May and early June, racing fans have plenty to tide them over during late spring and the American Triple Crown season.
It’s early yet, with a little more than a month to go before the Kentucky Derby kicks off the action at Churchill Downs on May 6, but betting odds are already starting to filter out for the big event. Thoroughbred trainer Todd Pletcher’s Forte is listed as the early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby this season, given odds as high as 3-to-1 at sportsbooks in Maryland. Pletcher has had 62 horses enter the Derby in his more than 30 years as a trainer, but only two have actually managed to win the event: despite more than 5,000 career wins, the pinnacle of the sport has remained relatively elusive for him. Stay tuned to see if he can buck that trend with Forte, or if the horse’s popularity isn’t deserved.
When it comes to racing, of course, the actual action is only part of the fun, especially in a sport where races last a couple of minutes, maximum. One reason that horse racing has maintained its popular position in the United States is the way the sport is intertwined with betting: bookies are as intrinsic to the Kentucky Derby as Mint Juleps are.
Be sure to use a Maryland Sports Betting promo code at any number of betting apps if you want to wager on horse racing or any other sport this season. Odds can vary dramatically from sportsbook to sportsbook (as can promotions and bonuses), so make sure to shop around if you think you’ve got a winner to ensure you lock in the best possible odds.
While it’s always been a staple to some degree, horse racing in the United States has lagged behind the rampant popularity it holds in places like the United Kingdom and Australia, but we could be staring down a pole shift in that regard: instead of only the most famous of the Grade 1 Stakes entering the public consciousness, we could see more of the main circuit (and some of the Grade 2 and Grade 3 races pick up popularity in the coming years, and an added focus on popular races elsewhere in the world like the Royal Ascot.
With the advent of mobile sports betting, sportsbooks are taking over the nation in ways previously unheard of as each betting establishment tries to draw in as many fans as quickly as possible. Horse racing stands as one of the next fronts in the virtual betting arms race. Betting staple DraftKings is currently trying to make its way into the world of horse racing with their new DK Horse app, live in 12 states so far. By specializing in horse racing with a racing-centric app (instead of just lumping the horse racing betting lines in with the rest of the sports they list on the main app) DraftKings is showing their devotion to making this work, making use of a consistent but as of yet untapped market for bettors.
Where DraftKings has gone other apps are sure to follow, so we could see horse racing explode in popularity over the next two Triple Crown cycles. It takes time for app designers to work out the flaws of their latest offerings, and it takes time for state gaming boards to decide what they will or won’t approve as it pertains to betting, so while DraftKings corners the market for now, they could see their competitors catch right up ahead of the 2024 Triple Crown races.
Sports betting moguls turning their sights toward horse racing is good news for fans of the sport, even if they don’t partake in gambling. Horse races occur nearly daily across the United States during the spring, summer and early fall, but don’t get any attention whatsoever unless it’s one of those aforementioned big three races. As betting apps step into the world of horse racing, though, they’re going to want as many eyes as possible on the racetracks to ensure they’ve got a massive consumer base built up, and with Vegas pouring advertising money into promoting the races, we could see a leap in popularity that brings the sport closer to the vaunted place it holds across the pond.
The are lots more interesting articles in our section on Racing & Wagering.