Horse Racing Betting In New York

Not many realize that New York has a longstanding history with horse racing in America. In 1665, the first horse race in the US was run in Hempstead Plains, near current day Garden City. Since then, New York has become home to the historic Belmont Stakes, which is the oldest and lengthiest of the Triple Crown racing events. It has been a long journey since the first run in 1867, but horse racing betting in New York is now a major part of the state’s culture. There are now several Thoroughbred and harness racetracks, off-track betting locations, and various racinos to support New York’s thriving horse betting community.

Navigating NY’s horse betting scene can be overwhelming when you consider that there are dozens of land-based and online options. Our guide to New York horse racing betting will help you find live racetracks and the best online horse betting sites. By the time you are done reading, you will know how to wager on the Belmont Stakes and other horse racing events with ease!

Online Horse Racing Betting Sites

Online horse racing betting sites allow bettors to bet on the horses without any limits. You are not limited to where you bet, as your virtual racebook goes wherever you do. You are not restricted in how you can wager, as horse betting sites accept both straight and exotic bets like trifectas, quinellas, and even Pick 6’s. Using an online racebook to bet on the Belmont Stakes and other races gives you an exciting experience like no other. You can watch the race live without having to leave your home, and you can also receive horse racing tips and picks before the race even begins.

There are also great bonuses and rebates that are exclusively offered to online horse bettors. It does not matter if you win or lose, online racebooks will give you a percentage of your bet back. New Yorkers have several great options when it comes to choosing the best online horse racing betting sites, and we can point you in the right direction. Top sites like Bovada, SportsBetting, and MyBookie have the wagering, banking, and bonus options that New York horse bettors need!

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Is it Legal To Bet On Horse Racing in New York?

There may be restrictive laws when it comes to sports betting in NY, but there are no such laws when it comes to horse racing betting in the state. Horse betting was, in fact, the first form of gambling to be legalized in the Empire State. Residents have been able to legally bet on the horses for some time now, and this is in part to pari-mutuel wagering laws.

NY and the majority of other US states permit and promote this type of betting, so much that there was a federal law enacted to help further horse betting. The Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 authorized states with legal pari-mutuel betting operations to both accept and place wagers with participating states. It is completely legal to spend the day watching the races and bet on horses in New York.

Betting On The Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the final jewel of the Triple Crown and is the most highly-anticipated leg of the journey, provided there is a Triple Crown contender in the field. It is the oldest of all three Triple Crown events and brings hundreds of thousands of spectators to Belmont Park each June. The 1 ½ mile horse race is the longest of the series and requires intense endurance and stamina. The fastest win at the Belmont Stakes was by Secretariat, who set a record time of 2:24.00 and became the 9th winner of the Triple Crown. The race is the pinnacle of the three-part journey, and that is why Triple Crown betting odds go hand in hand with Belmont Stakes betting odds. You can bet on each leg of the event to net a potentially enormous payoff.

If you attend the race at Belmont Park, you can of course visit a clerk to make a wager. Off-track betting locations are also available, and these most commonly have kiosks for assembling and submitting your horse betting tickets. While these are great options, most horseplayers prefer to use a horse racing betting site on the Internet.

Online horse betting allows you to place multiple bets and keep your tickets in one secure virtual location. You will also get extra horse betting value with special rebates and the best odds when you opt to use the most reputable offshore racebooks. With an online horse betting site, Belmont betting is so much more than just handing your money over. You get track information, horse picks, and even handicapping tips on your favorite horses.

How To Bet On The Horses

Before you can bet on the Belmont Stakes, you have to understand the types of wagers that you can make. Horse betting wagers are simple to make once you have the basic concepts down. There are straight bets, which include Win/Place/Show wagers (sometimes referred to as WPS wagers, for short). Of these, the Win bet would yield the highest payout. There are also “across the board” bets to consider, as well as exotic wagers (which are basically parlay-style or “stacked” bets). Exotics have better payouts than straights, but they are much harder to hit.

  • Win – Betting on your horse to finish first.
  • Place - Betting on your horse to finish first or second.
  • Show – Betting on your horse to finish first, second, or third.
  • Across the Board - Betting on your horse to Win, Place, and Show. This means that if your horse comes in first, you receive the payoffs for all three wagers. If the horse comes in second, you receive the Place and Show winnings. A third-place finish would net you the payoff for the Show. Betting “across the board” will cost you more when buying your ticket, given that you are essentially making three separate bets.

Exotic wagers are more complex, but they also have much higher payoffs than straight bets. You can include several different horses in exotic bets, or even different horses in different races. While there are horizontal wagers that happen in a single race and vertical wagers that include multiple races, we will cover exotic horizontal wagers. You have the option to “box” any of the bets mentioned below, which means that instead of having to bet the exact place a horse will finish, your horses can finish in any order. Boxed wagers can be very expensive but also quite profitable.

  • Exacta – You select a horse to finish first and a horse to finish second, in that exact order. An example of a boxed exacta would be betting on two or more horses, and you win as long as they both finish in the top two.
  • Trifecta - You pick which horses will finish first, second, and third in that exact order. You can box a trifecta with 3, 4, 5, or more horses to increase your chances that any three will Win, Place, or Show, but these bets costs more for each horse you add to the mix (as you pay for each possible combination, of which there can sometimes be hundreds).
  • Superfecta – You bet on the first four finishers of the race, in their exact order. When boxing a superfecta, you can choose 4, 5, 6, 7, or more horses. Again, with each added horse, your odds to win rise, but the ticket’s costs also goes up.

Where Can I Bet On Horse Racing In N.Y.?

New York is home to several different racetracks, among them some of the most popular racetracks in the nation. The state has a somewhat unique structure where the three main Thoroughbred racetracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course) are operated by the New York Racing Association. Belmont Park in Elmont, NY, is the most notable racetrack, as it is home to the famed Belmont Stakes. Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs happens to be third-oldest racetrack in the US and hosts the Travers Stakes each year.

There are a number of casino-racetracks in NY, as well, such as the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, which brings together the best of both worlds in offering horse racing betting and casino gaming. The Empire State has an impressive selection of racetracks throughout the state, and other than the top three that we already listed, here are some of the more notable racetrack venues that you can visit for the best horse betting action.

  • Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack TB (Farmington, NY)
  • Batavia Downs Gaming SB (Batavia, NY)
  • Vernon Downs Casino & Harness Racing SB (Vernon, NY)
  • Monticello Casino & Raceway SB (Monticello, NY)
  • Buffalo Raceway SB (Hamburg, NY)

OTB Locations in New York

On the days that you cannot make it out to the track, New York has you covered via off-track betting (aka OTB) locations. All of the OTB facilities are spread out across the state, but they all offer music, food, and oftentimes full bars. There will typically be self-service kiosks where horse bettors can wager on live races happening at major tracks across America. Being that there are 100+ off-track betting locations in New York, we will list just a few of the most popular spots. The following offer the best OTB horse betting experiences.

  • Clubhouse Race Book (Albany, NY)
  • Pioneer Sports Bar & Grill (Elmira, NY)
  • Trinity Restaurant and Bar (Floral Park, NY)
  • The Dr’s Inn Grill & Tap Room (Rochester, NY)
  • Rocky Point Ale House (Rocky Point, NY)