The popularity of horse racing betting has reached an all-time high in Canada, and to make things easy for new bettors, we have listed our top horse racing betting sites for you to choose from.
Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Canada
Top Horse Racing Betting Sites
If you are located anywhere in Canada excluding Ontario, then each of our top horse racing betting sites is available to you. The options in Ontario are much more limited, but Horse race betting is still legal throughout the province.
This page is your complete guide to horse racing betting in Canada. We breakdown the top sportsbooks, go over the top wagers to place, and highlight the most popular events in the world.
Best Online Horse Racing Betting Sites
You have seen our list of the best horse racing betting sites, but here is a detailed breakdown of each individual horse racing sportsbook.
Bet365: Largest Horse Racing Betting Market
Canada’s most popular online sportsbook has nearly everything you can ask from a sportsbook and features one of the largest sports betting markets in the world.
|Horse Racing Coverage: The largest online horse racing betting market we could find, Bet365 gives you the ability to make each way wagers with selections up to seventh place.||Features: You can live stream horse races through the app if you have placed a wager in the last 24 hours or maintain a minimum account balance.|
|Apps: One of the best apps in the industry, available for both IOS and Android.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, apple pay, iDebit, Instadebit, paysafecard, Maestro, Bank Transfer|
Betway: Daily Horse Racing Betting Boosts
An excellent sportsbook for both new and experienced bettors, Betway has a large sports betting selection to choose from and is easy to navigate.
|Horse Racing Coverage: Large online horse racing betting market and explanations of different markets for beginners.||Features: Live streaming is offered if you are signed into your account, and daily boosts are offered to existing customers.|
|Apps: Solid app that has a simple design and is easy to navigate. It is available for download on both IOS and Android.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, iDebit, Instadebit, ecoPayz, paysafecard, Neosurf, MuchBetter, echeck|
BetVictor: Daily Boosts and Virtual Horse Racing Betting
BetVictor is one the longest standing sportsbooks in the industry, and still ranks as one of the top options in Canada.
|Horse Racing Coverage: Great overall coverage but less options compared to Bet365 and Betway.||Features: One of the best horse racing sportsbooks for live streaming. Virtual horse racing betting is also available along with daily odds boosts.|
|Apps: Solid mobile app with a modern design, available for download on both IOS and Android.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, Maestro, paysafecard|
Bwin: Horse Racing Pick Recommendations & Odds Changes
One of the top betting brands in Europe, Bwin is looking to gain the same status throughout Canada.
|Horse Racing Coverage: Great overall coverage but less options compared to Bet365 and Betway. Trifecta bets are also not available.||Features: One of the most unique features Bwin has to offer is their pick recommendations. This section includes recent results as well as the specific tracks that horses have had the most success on in their career. You can also sort the horses by odds and see how the odds have changed overtime.|
|Apps: Solid app design but slow load times. It is available for free on both IOS and Android.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, MuchBetter, paysafecard, Bank Transfer|
888sport: Features Popular Horse Racing Bets
888sport is an award-winning brand with years of experience in online poker and casinos, and they are already one of the top choices in Canada.
|Horse Racing Coverage: Solid overall coverage but no trifecta bets or special bets.||Features: 888sport makes things easy with their bet finder tool and list of popular wagers.|
|Apps: One of the best mobile apps in the industry. It is available for download on both IOS and Android.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, Maestro, MuchBetter, Instadebit, iDebit, paysafecard, Instant Payments by Citadel, Purple Pay|
Sports Interaction: Great Experience for New Horse Racing Bettors
One of the longest standing books in Canada, Sports Interaction has an incredible reputation throughout the country.
|Horse Racing Coverage: Excellent for beginner bettors, the sportsbook offers exacta and trifecta bets and displays odds of the Kentucky Derby as early as any other sportsbook. They also provide markets for harness racing and greyhounds.||Features: Live betting and early cash outs.|
|Apps: Sports Interaction just introduced a mobile app this year and is available for download on both IOS and Android.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, ecoPayz, iDebit, Instadebit, MuchBetter, echeck, paysafecard.|
Pinnacle: Best Odds for the Kentucky Derby
Pinnacle has been around for 20 years and has consistently offered some of the best odds in the industry. The sportsbook was originally tailored only to high rollers, but it is now assessable to users of all levels.
|Horse Racing Coverage: While they do offer them well advance of the event, Pinnacle only offers futures bets for the Kentucky Derby.||Features: Live betting and virtual sports such as instant horses.|
|Apps: There is no mobile app available to download on IOS or Android, but there is an excellent mobile version of the website.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, Instadebit, MuchBetter, iDebit.|
LeoVegas: Award Winning Mobile App
LeoVegas has quickly emerged into one of the most popular sportsbooks in Canada, but sports betting still comes secondary to their online casino.
|Horse Racing Coverage: Only harness racing and trotting are offered – no thoroughbred racing.||Features: Live betting, live streaming, early cash outs.|
|Apps: LeoVegas has an award-winning mobile app that is one of the best in the industry. It is available for download on both IOS and Android.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, MuchBetter, iDebit, Instadebit, paysafecard|
BetMGM: Horse Betting Specific App
BetMGM is a favourite amongst sports bettors in Canada and for good reason. They have a great reputation and offer one of the best all-around services you will find.
|Horse Racing Coverage: The horse racing betting coverage at BetMGM is on par with anyone else in the industry. They have a wide range of races to bet on and a wide selection of bets that includes pari-mutuel betting and many more exotic options.||Features: Live streaming and race replays are available for the top event in the world.|
|Apps: BetMGM has a betting app exclusive to horse racing that you can download on both IOS and Andriod devices.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, Paypal, Apple Pay.|
Bodog: Horse Races that Span Across the Globe
Bodog was once one of the fastest growing betting sites, but their reputation has decreased over the years as they refuse to adapt to industry standards.
|Horse Racing Coverage: Bodog offers a wide range of horse betting markets with races that span across the globe.||Features: Virtual horse race betting is offered along with a help section for beginners. They also provide detailed information about each track along with expert recommendations.|
|Apps: There is no dedicated mobile app, but the sportsbook has a mobile version of their website that you can access through your handheld device.||Deposit methods: Visa, Mastercard, Interac, Bitcoin|
How We Rank the Sportsbooks
We have listed our best betting sites for horse racing, but what goes into these rankings? Here are the most important factors we considered when reviewing each sportsbook. Also make sure to check out our top overall sports betting sites and our top betting sites in Ontario.
- Markets and odds - Some sportsbooks have a better reputations than others when it comes to offering competitive odds. Getting the best odds in the industry for each of your wagers will have a significant impact on your profit margins in the long run.
- Horse Racing coverage - If you are choosing between the best horse racing online betting sites, you want to have the most possible options available to you. For this reason, sites that offer a wide range of markets and cover all the races across the world come out on top of our rankings.
- Bonuses and Promotions - Bonuses are a huge deal in the betting world, and if you play your cards right, they can really help increase your profits annually. We search for betting sites that offer favourable welcome bonuses and promotions specific to horse racing.
- Mobile Experience - Phones are the primary use of technology in today’s society, so finding a horse racing sportsbook with a solid mobile app is a must. Being able to adjust wagers or cash out of bets while you are out on the go is a great luxury to have.
- Banking and Payout Speed - Sports betting shouldn’t feel like a second job, so we look for sportsbooks that take the stress out of money transfers. Our top-rated books have quick processing times and offer a wide range of deposit and withdrawal methods.
- Security and Trust - Having a good reputation is a huge factor in the betting world. We only recommend fully legal sportsbooks with top notch security systems put in place.
- Customer Support - Problems are bound to arise, so having a 24/7 customer service team at your disposal is a great feeling
- Key Features - We search for sportsbooks with industry leading features such as live betting, cash outs, live streaming, same game parlays, etc.
Is It Legal to Bet on Horse Racing in Canada?
Horse racing betting is legal and offered throughout Canada in all 10 provinces in three territories. Ontario has the strongest regulated market for sports gambling, but the options for horse betting online are much more limited compared to the rest of the country.
Is Horse Racing Betting Legal in Ontario?
Horse racing betting is legal in Ontario, but it has its limitations. There are currently only two legal sites available in the province. HPI bet is recommended for experts and Dark Horse is recommended for beginners. Both companies are owned by Woodbine Racetrack.
Horse Racing Promos and Bonuses
Taking advantage of promos and bonuses is an excellent strategy in the betting industry. The more you can reduce risking your own money the better in our eyes, so make sure to check out our top sportsbook bonuses and take advantage of as many offers as you can.
Here are some of of the most popular horse racing promotions.
- Welcome Bonuses - The most advertised bonuses in the industry – welcome offers are only available to new customers upon signup and they will have an expiration date. There is no limit to how many sportsbooks you can register for, but we recommend reading the terms and conditions of the offer before you opt in.
- Friend Referrals - This bonus is harder to obtain because it requires you getting someone you know to sign up, but if you can convince a friend it can be extremely beneficial to you both.
- Free Bets - These are often offered to existing customers during large sporting events such as the Superbowl or the Kentucky Derby, so make sure to keep an eye on your daily promotions and take advantage when the opportunities arise.
- Odds Boosts - Many of our top horse racing sportsbooks will offer daily odds boosts, which essentially means you are getting a better price on a specific wager. We don’t recommend opting into every one of these offers, but if it was a wager you would have considered betting on without the promotion attached, than you should take advantage.
How to Bet on Horse Racing Online
Here we explain how to bet on horse racing with signup instructions. We also list the types of wagers you can place and the different types of horse racing you can bet on.
To place a horse racing bet all you need to do is:
- Signup for a sportsbook that offers online horse betting
- Make a deposit: You can transfer money to your account through numerous different methods. The most common include Visa, Mastercard, and Interac.
- Select from the numerous betting options offered for each track. Horse racing odds are offered in a pari-mutuel format (explained below) and sportsbooks must come to terms with the host racetrack in order to provide odds.
Horse Racing Betting Markets, Types & Odds
Here are some of the most popular betting markets horse racing sportsbooks have to offer.
- Win - Simply choose the horse you believe will win the race and you will receive a payout if you are correct.
- Place - If your horse finished in first or second you will receive a payout.
- Show - If your horse finishes first, second, or third, you will receive a payout.
- Exacta - You must choose the first and second place finishers in their exact order to receive a payout.
- Quinella - You must choose the first and second place finishers, but the order is irrelevant.
- Trifecta - You must predict the top three finishing horses in the correct order.
- Each Way - Your wager is split in half, meaning half of your wager will be placed on the horse to win and half will be placed on the horse to place. The odds for the place portion and the number of places offered will vary between sportsbooks, but they will commonly pay 1/5th the win odds for 3-5 places.
Example: $10 Wager each way for a horse to win at (+500)
This is $20 total with $10 on the horse to win at (+500) and $10 on the horse to place in the top four at (+100). You will receive your money back if the horse places within the top four and you will make a $60 profit if your horse is the winner.
Horse wins: $10 at +500 = $60 and $10 at +100 = $20…$80 total.
Horse places top four: $10 at +100 = $20.
Horse places fifth or lower: $0.
- Ante-Post - This is when you place a wager well in advance of the scheduled date to obtain much more favourable odds. The risk you take is your horse withdrawing from the race, which most sportsbooks count as a loss.
- Match Betting - Horses are placed head-to-head and given a specific set of odds for the matchup. You must choose which horse you believe will finish higher.
- Distance Betting - This takes a win wager a step further, by predicting the winner will win by a large margin measured in lengths.
- Betting without the favourite - Sometimes if there is an extremely heavy favourite, horse racing sportsbooks will take them out of the equation. If you bet on a horse to win, they just need to finish second or higher.
Horse Racing Betting Types
These are the two major betting categories for horse racing gambling.
- Straight Bets - These wagers are fairly simple, and often used as building blocks to more complex wagers such as parlays. Some examples are win bets, place bets, and show bets.
- Exotic Bets - These wagers are similar to parlays, as you are betting on how multiple different horses will finish. The two types of exotic bets are horizontal and vertical.
- Horizontal exotic wager - This is a bet on the winner for multiple different races. Each selection must be correct to receive a payout.
- Vertical exotic wager - This is a bet on the placements of multiple different horses from the same race. You can add as many placements as you choose or just stick with the top two, but each selection must be correct or you will receive nothing.
Horse Racing Betting Odds
Here are the main two ways that odds are displayed in the horse betting world.
- Fixed odds - This is the most common form of odds in the sports betting world, but it is less common than pari-mutuel betting for horse racing. You are betting directly against the house at odds that will not change once you lock in your wager.
- Pari-mutuel - A common term to horse racing gamblers, this form of betting is much more complex than traditional fixed odds. All the money from a market is pooled together and the house takes a percentage of the total.
The remaining pool is distributed evenly amongst the winners based on how much they wagered, and odds are calculated based on the amount of money that was wagered on each horse. The benefit of this is you are not competing with expert oddsmakers, but the downside is the odds are constantly changing even after you lock in your wager.
Types of Horse Racing
There are many different types of horse racing for you to wager on. To help give you a good understanding, here are the three most popular categories.
- Thoroughbred racing - Many are familiar with the term thoroughbred, which refers to a horse of pure breed. Jockey’s ride these types of horses and compete against one another by racing on flat ground. Tracks can be dirt or grass surfaces and generally from 5/8 of a mile to 1 1⁄2 miles.
- Harness racing - In harness racing, horses pull a two-wheeled cart often referred to as a sulky or chariot. Jockeys steer the wheeled vehicle sitting down and compete against one another. Dirt tracks often spanning one mile are common in North America, but distances are much longer in other parts of the world such as the United Kingdom.
- Jump racing - This form of racing is much more complex as horses rode by jockeys must leap over obstacles such as fences and ditches. Jump racing is also referred to as National Hunt Racing, and both terms are used when referring to Hurdle Racing and Steeplechases collectively.
The difference between Hurdle Racing and Steeplechases lies in the size of the obstacles, as hurdles are much smaller for Steeplechases. Jump races are generally two miles or longer in total.
Horse Racing Betting Features
These are some of the best features in the industry that we look for when ranking our top horse racing betting sites and betting apps.
- Live Betting - This is something we expect all sportsbooks to feature, but some set themselves apart with live betting sections that are updated quickly and easy to navigate through.
- Live Streaming - This feature is much rarer to find, but it can be extremely beneficial and really set a horse betting app apart. You can save money on expensive streaming services and have the chance to earn money at the same time.
- Cash-out - This is not always the most optimal choice in the long run, but having the ability to back out of a wager for a small loss or small gain is a great feeling of assurance.
Horse Racing Betting Strategies & Tips
Here are some basic tips and tricks from our betting experts to help you profit in the horse betting world.
- Do your research - Horse racing programs can be found online, and they are free and easy to download. They contain all the information you need to know about an event, including important statistics that will help you make decisions.
- Limit your wagers - It’s never a good strategy to place a ridiculous amount of wagers each day. Be picky and limit your wagers to only a couple each time you choose to bet. We also advise against chasing losses by placing more wagers after you lose to break even. Choose a betting strategy you believe in and stick to it for a while regardless of the results. Things tend to even out in the long run.
- Take recent performance into account - Things change quickly in the world of sports, so staying up to date with the most recent races and riding the hot hand can really give you a leg up on the competition.
Major Horse Racing Events
Here are some of the most popular horse racing events both in Canada and worldwide.
Canadian Triple Crown
The largest Horse races are generally grouped into threes, and if you win all three events in the same year, you are awarded the Triple Crown for your specific country. There have been 12 triple crown winners in Canadian history and the three races that must be won are:
- Kings Plate
- Prince of Wales Stakes
- Breeders’ Stakes
The Kentucky Derby
Highly regarded as the largest horse racing event in the world, the Kentucky Derby kicks off the American Triple Crown for Thoroughbred racing. It takes place on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Preakness Stakes
The second race for the American Triple Crown takes place in Baltimore, Maryland at Pimlico Race Course on the third Saturday of May.
The Belmont Stakes
The final race for the American Triple Crown takes place in Elmont, New York at Belmont Park on the second Saturday of June. This is the longest race of the three.
The Breeders Cup
The race occurs annually at different locations throughout the United States. It is typically held in November and completes the American Grand Slam for Thoroughbred racing. American Pharoah is the only horse to achieve the Grand Slam, accomplishing the feat in 2015.
Horse Racing Betting Terms
Here are some key terms we recommend reading through to help you with horse betting. Also make sure to check out our sports betting terms page.
- Blinkers: this blocks the horse’s peripheral vision, helping them focus only on running straight ahead.
- Bridle: the piece of equipment that goes over the horse’s head. It is connected to the reins, allowing the jockey to steer the horse.
- Classic: multiple flat races that only three-year-old thoroughbred horses can compete.
- Furlong: Equal to 1/8 of a mile, this is used to measure the distance of a horse race.
- Handicap: When higher rated horses are required to carry weights in order to even the playing field.
- Non-Runner: A horse that has withdrawn from the race.
Horse Betting FAQ’s
Is horse racing betting legal in Canada?
Yes. Betting on horse racing is legal in all 10 provinces and three territories in Canada as long as you are of legal age which is above 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, but above 19 throughout the rest of the country.
Is horse racing betting legal in Ontario?
Yes, but your options are limited. There are currently only two legal sites available in the province. HPI bet is recommended for experts and Dark Horse is recommended for beginners.
What races make up the Canadian Thoroughbred Triple Crown?
Kings Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes, and Breeders’ Stakes are the three races you must win in order to achieve the Canadian triple Crown.
What races make up the American Thoroughbred Grand Slam?
The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes, and either the Tavern Stakes or the Breeders Cup must all be won in a season to achieve the American Grand Slam.
Can you live stream horse races thought betting sites?
Yes, there are multiple companies on our top horse racing betting sites list that offer live streaming services.
What is the safest bet in horse racing?
Each way bets are incredibly safe. Your wager is split into two parts (Win and place), and oftentimes you will break even or walk away with a small profit as long as you horse finishes in the top four. The amount of places will vary between sportsbooks.
- MyBetting Canada
- Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Canada