Canadian horse racing is big business with at least $10 billion wagered on the sport every year. As there are numerous horse racing betting online sites all vying for your business and it can be difficult for beginners to know where to start. This is where we come in.
The minimum deposit eligible for participating in this promotion is C$ 15. The maximum bonus amount for this promotion is C$ 150. The maximum bonus conversion is 5 x the awarded bonus. General 1Bet Terms and Conditions apply unless otherwise stated.
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Minimum deposit of €20 to partake in the welcome offer. Wagering requirement of 10x both the Deposit and the Bonus amount on minimum 2 events each with at least 1.4 odds before withdrawal is possible. Expires within 30 days. Bets on Baseball, Tennis, Handicap or Draw no Bet will not be counted towards wagering requirements.
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The bonus expires 30 days after it is claimed. The bonus sum is provided in installments. Settled bets with coefficients of 1.3 and higher, regardless if they win or lose, contribute to the sum of the next installment. Free bets expire in five days after they are claimed. Freebets are claimed through the Promotion or Home page.
Players from Burkina Faso, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, cannot participate in this promotion.
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100% Sports Welcome Offer up to 100€
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High betting odds
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The bonus is 100% of a players first deposit up to 150 CAD. The players must play through the full amount of the first deposit at least once with odds no less than 1,50.
This online guide has everything you need to know about betting horse racing in Canada. We review the best betting sites and bonuses, provide a horse racing schedule along with strategies and tips, explain how the odds work, how to place bets and more.
WeltBet – Offers the best mobile betting experience
Club Riches – Huge selection of live streaming
31Bet – Good range of futures betting options
1Good.Bet – Top promotions
Rabona– Easy and user friendly system
Cobrabet – Low juice betting site
BetiBet – Great for live streaming and futures options
Reviews of the Best Horse Racing Sportsbooks
1) BetMGM – Best all-round sportsbook with low juice
With the opening of Canada’s new online gambling markets, players in the province now have a lot of legal ways to bet, but sadly horse betting is still not one of them. However, BetMGM still covers a solid range of sports betting markets with all the popular US sports including NFL NBA, NHL, MLB and UFC well catered for.
BetMGM are very competitive when it comes to their betting lines and welcome bonus. They also have a section called “Picks” where you can see what the experts think. This is a great site for sports wagering because it has a modern look, an integrated betting app, and quick links to both casino and poker.
Very competitive odds
Excellent range of sports from around the world
Integrated betting app
Responsive, 24/7 customer support
Not the best welcome bonus
No horse racing options available yet
2) Bet365 – Download an Exclusive Canadian bet365 Betting App
Bet365 is an online giant in the gambling world with a fantastic site and plethora of sports betting odds. However the regulated iGaming market framework in Canada does not allow for legal horse racing fixed-odds betting at this time and we hope to see that change soon.
In the meantime, new players can get on board with a ‘Bet $1, Get $250 in Bet Credits new customer offer. Once you have created your account you will need to deposit $10+ and then claim the offer. To claim your credits you need to place a qualifying bet of just $1. When your bet is settled $250 worth of Bet Credits will be added to your account. It’s that easy!
Huge range of markets to access from around the world
Excellent coverage of US sports
Unique markets & special bets
Exclusive bet365 Canadian betting app
Does not accept some eWallets
No horse racing options yet
3) Betway – Best online sportsbook for Live Betting
Betway has a great live betting section offering plenty of with in-play options complete with live pictures allowing you to place bet live whilst watching the action unfold. Each game also shows live stats/data which can aid you in your betting choices. Unfortunately there is no horse racing live betting.
Betway offers new customers a choice of two welcome offers. The first gives you a Bet Token up to $200 should your first bet lose. Alternatively you can opt for a 100% Deposit Bonus up to $200. For example, make an initial deposit of $50 and you will receive a $50 bonus. There are wagering requirements that have varying wagering contributions and also minimum odds requirements so be sure to check and understand the terms and conditions of the bonus before accepting it.
You can choose from a variety of promotions at Betway that are ideal for you. Everything is available, including cash awards, moneyback specials, free bets, and more.
Superb live betting section
Choice of welcome offers
Good range of ongoing promotions
Covers sports from around the world
No horse racing
Limits on some accounts
4) LeoVegas – Offers the best mobile betting experience
LeoVegas offers a bit of a “no frills” approach to betting in that, they don’t have the bells and whistles that some of the sportsbooks above have, but they allow you to get in and out quickly and without hassle. To make up for the lack of features, their pricing is very competitive and came out best-priced on several markets that we tested.
New players can claim the Sports Welcome Offer up to $500 maximum. To claim you need to opt in and deposit a minimum of $10 with the first 14 days. Thereafter you will have another 7 days to meet the 6x wagering requirements at minimum odds of 1.8 (4/5) to unlock your matched deposit reward.
Very easy to use, ideal if new to online betting
Excellent market depth
Good range of futures betting markets
Customer support accessible 24/7
Not many features
Limited in terms of props and market coverage
5) Unibet – Huge selection of live streaming
Established in 1997, Unibet is another top-notch sportsbook that excels in live betting. Canadian sports bettors can place real money wagers on a myriad sporting events and their Unibet TV service offers live NFL, NBA and Grand Slam tennis plus soccer from top leagues worldwide but sadly no horse racing live betting. There are also hundreds of casino games, a huge poker area, and a bingo section to keep players entertained.
New players at Unibet Canada can enjoy a $200 First Bet Insurance welcome offer. To claim it you need to select the offer in the Registration box. Thereafter you need to place a 1st cash bet of $10 or more. If your bet doesn’t win, you will receive a refund in bonus funds equal to the amount of your losing wager.
With headquarters in Malta, Unibet holds a valid licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), ensuring the site’s legitimacy.
Competitive sports odds on all markets
Fantastic live-streaming section
Excellent site design
Reputable site with long history
Long customer service wait times
No loyalty program
6) Royal Panda – Good range of futures betting options
Royal Panda was first founded in 2014 holds an operating license issued by the Malta Gaming Authority. They provide sports betting, casino, and poker and with a similar design to Unibet offers an excellent live betting platform for in-play sports wagering. Horse racing live betting is not available at the time of writing.
Your first deposit at Royal Panda is eligible for a 100% matched bonus up to a maximum of $500 but sadly it is not wagerable on sports. However, there is a good Royal Panda Loyalty Program which offers prioritized withdrawals, personalized cash bonuses, competitions and gifts.
Good live sports betting platform
High roller bonuses & VIP rewards
Works equally well on desktop and mobile
Odds lower than some major sportsbooks
Lack of betting on horse racing
FAQs about Horse Racing Betting Canada
Where can I bet on horse racing online?
International and offshore sportsbooks allow online horse betting and will accept Canadian horse bettors. Unfortunately, licenced operators have to comply with the current legal sports betting regulations which do not cover horse racing. In Ontario you can use one of the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets apps.
How do I bet on horse racing?
Unfortunately in Canada legislation dictates that you can only bet on horses via the pari-mutuel pool betting at your local race tracks or at a licensed retail betting establishment. However, if you want to bet on any other sports you can simply join one of the licensed betting sites listed on this page and make a deposit. Thereafter you are free to start placing legal bets in the sportsbook.
What is the best bet in horse racing?
The best bet in horse racing is a winning one! But seriously, there is no best bet as such as each bettor will have their own personal preferences and methods for choosing their bets. You can find some tips and betting strategies further down this page.
Is online horse betting legal in Ontario?
Limited online horse racing wagering is permitted in Ontario. The province is home to more than a dozen racetracks, a number of off-track betting establishments, and the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets apps. Regrettably, as of 4 April 2022 licenced Ontario sportsbooks are no longer accepting wagers on horse racing from residents of Ontario. This is because licenced sportsbook operators are required to abide by Canadian betting laws which prohibits it.
What does SP mean in horse racing betting?
Starting Price – The odds on a particular horse in the on-course fixed-odds betting market at the time a race begins.
How does each way betting work in horse racing?
US and Canadian horse racing uses Win, Place and Show bets instead of ‘each way betting’ which is mainly used in the UK to cover win and place bets.
How do you bet on horse racing for Woodbine?
The procedure for betting at Woodbine is the same as for any other racetrack that uses on-track pari-mutuel pool betting. In Ontario you can also use one of the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets apps to bet on Woodbine races.
Comparing the Best Horse Racing Betting Canada Sites
In the next table we compare that various betting sites in terms of the welcome bonus and any betting on horse racing options they currently offer Canadian bettors. Due to current legislation no online horse wagering is currently permitted on these sites.
Horse Racing Promos
Live Horse Racing Betting
Live Horse Racing Streaming
100% Risk-Free First Bet up to $1,000
Bet $1, Get $250 in Bet Credits
50% up to $1,000
Sports welcome offer up to $500
50% up to $1,000
100% up to $500
How we Rank the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites
Next, we will breakdown the criteria we use to rank the best Canadian horse racing betting online sites. We consider the following aspects:
Bonuses & Promos
We look at the range and quality of promos offered by a sportsbook, from the Welcome Bonus to ongoing offers like Racing Rebates. Value, though, as well as how simple a racebook promotion is to use and the eligibility restrictions, are obviously crucial.
From a Welcome Bonus to long-standing offers like Racing Rebates, we look at the variety and quality of promotions at a sportsbook. But, of course, value is important and how easy a racebook promo is to use and the qualification requirements.
Choice of Bets
All the standard type of bets like straight win bets, across the board, place bets and show bets are available on most international racebooks. The best horse racing sites will also allow you to place exotic bets such as the Exactor, Quinella and Triactor and allow you to place multi-race bets or parlays.
The number and type of wagers available is a key factor for rating Canadian racebooks.
Choice of Races
In addition to on-track betting and legal horse racing apps like Ontario’s HPIBET and Dark Horse, you can bet on US and Canadian horse racing at worldwide and offshore sportsbooks You can wager on more horse racing events by doing so at foreign sportsbooks. Additionally, good bonuses and competitive odds are common features of international sportsbooks.
Given that gambling involves real money, it is essential for your protection to place your sports or horse racing bets from a fully licenced and regulated online sportsbook. Therefore, a key factor in evaluating the sportsbooks we recommend is their range secure banking choices in addition to crypto options.
You can bet on horse races anywhere if you have access to a racebook at your fingertips on a mobile device. Since most modern online betting sites are now optimized to work perfectly well on smartphones many sportsbooks do not offer a dedicated mobile betting app. We evaluate how well the mobile website version works on various devices.
Sometimes it’s necessary to contact customer service, whether it’s for help with account administration or a general enquiry. We conduct tests during our reviews and rate the customer support on factors such as the variety of customer care options, the hours available and the speed of response.
Is Horse Racing Betting Legal in Canada?
Yes. It is legal so long as you place your wagers either at the track or at licensed off-track betting establishments. For decades, pari-mutuel / pool betting on horse racing has been one of the few forms of legal gambling open for Canadian bettors.
As of 4 April 2022, licenced Ontario betting sites no longer accept wagers on horse racing from residents of Ontario. This is because licenced operators have to abide by the current legal sports betting regulations which do not cover horse racing. In Ontario you can use one of the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets apps. We will update these pages with the latest information as and when the legal situation changes.
Additionally, the minimum age required to gamble legally varies between 18 and 19 depending on the Canadian province. You have to be 19 years old to legally bet on horse racing with the exception of Alberta, Calgary, Manitoba, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec where the legal gambling age is allowed at 18.
How do you Bet on Horse Racing?
The next section will explain how to bet on horse racing. Betting online at a sportsbook is usually a pretty straightforward process. We’ll outline the basic steps needed to get up and running at one of our recommended betting sites. Here, we’ll be using BetMGM as an example and show you how to sign up and start placing bets. At the moment, BetMGM only offer sports betting options.
Step 1 – Sign Up
BetMGM ranks as the best online sportsbook overall, so joining them is a great place to start. Visit BetMGM and click on the Register button in the top right hand corner to bring up the registration form.
Step 2 – Register Your Details
After clicking ‘Register’ you will enter the registration screens where you will need to submit your email address and set a password. Your password must be eight characters or more and include an upper and lowercase letter and a number.
Step 3 – Complete Your Registration
Continue through the registration screens entering your address, phone number and marketing email settings. There is also a box to enter a promo code so if you have a registration bonus code make sure you enter it here to claim your welcome bonus. Hit ‘Continue’ when you complete each section.
Step 4 – Make a Deposit
One you have completed registration you will need to make your opening deposit. Head to the Cashier and choose Deposit where you can choose your preferred payment method. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete your transaction.
Step 5 – Start Betting
Once you have a funded account you can start browsing the betting markets and place bets.
How to Read Betting Odds in Horse Racing
Although it may look complicated to newcomers, understanding how to read horse racing odds is actually simple. The odds shown represent the horse’s chance of winning the race. The lower the odds the more chance the horse has of winning, the bigger the odds the less chance it has.
In Canadian horse racing the US and decimal format of odds are most commonly used. Other formats are fractional odds which are used in mainly the UK & Europe.
For an example, we’ll use the decimal format and we’re betting on a horse with odds of 3.00. This figure represents the amount you will receive for a $1 stake. So in this example if our horse wins we will get $3 for every $1 staked. So if you staked $50 you would receive $150 back for a winning bet giving you $100 profit.
In another example, if the odds are say, 1.40 then you would only collect $1.40 for every $1 bet. So if you placed a $50 bet at odds of 1.40 you would collect $70 on a winning bet, yielding $20 profit.
Popular Types of Horse Racing Betting Markets
You can make your horse betting as complicated or simple as you like. Many gamblers never stray far from the standard wagers of Win, Place, or Show bets for horse racing but there are many other exotic bets available. Here, we examine a few alternative bets that you may come across when betting on horse races.
These are the simplest bets which are typically available at major racetracks and online racebooks. The most basic example is the straightforward Win Bet but others include Place Bets and Show Bets. We will go into more detail on the most common standard wagers along with examples below.
The win bet is a popular wager because it’s the most straightforward. You are simply required to select one horse to win the race.
Example: Horse to win the Woodbine Mile @ +650
With the Place Bet your chosen horse is required to finish 1st or 2nd. If it finishes in any other position the bet is a loser.
Example: Horse to Place in the Canadian Derby @ +400
The Show Bet is similar to the Place Bet but it requires the chosen horse to finish in the top three.
Example: Horse to Show in the King’s Plate @ +275
Across The Board
An Across The Board bet (or ‘ATB’ for short) is three bets which combines the Win, Place and Show bet into one. A win would see all three bets win. A second-place finish would collect on two bets (place and show), and a third-place finish collects just the show. In the UK the equivalent would be the each-way bet.
Example: Horse ATB in Race #1 at Woodbine @ +200
The double combines two horses from different races into one bet. Both horses have to win their respective race for the bet to win. The attraction of double bets is the possibility of a big payout as all the winnings from race one goes onto race two.
Example: Horse A to Win Race #1 Woodbine at @ +200 and Horse B To Win Race #2 Fort Erie @ +450
When betting on horse racing, exotic bets cover a lot more than just single bets like the basic ones described above. When you click on an Exotic bet on a racecard, radio buttons appear instead of stake boxes. Then, make the selections you want to fill the bet requirements.
The Exactor bet is the equivalent of the Exacta in the US. It has the smallest configuration for horse racing combination bets since you have to predict the first and second-placed finishers for a race in the exact order to collect.
A variant of the Exactor bet but in this case it requires selecting the first and second placed horses race but in any order.
The Triactor bet is the equivalent of the Trifecta in the US. For this bet you have to pick the first three horses home in the correct order. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult bet to win.
The Superfecta is a bet in which you have to pick the exact order of the top four finishers in a race. This is a hard bet to win.
Super 5 Bet
The Super 5 Bet is the next step up in horse racing online betting. In this bet, your task is to pick the exact order in which the top five horses finish. This is a very hard bet to win. The equivalent bet in the US is called the Super High Five.
This is, as the name suggests, involves picking the winners of more than one race. Bettors can make their own “Win Bet” choices from different races and combine them into a “Parlay Bet.”
Best Horse Racing Betting Strategy & Systems
Some horse bettors like to employ a horse racing betting strategy or ‘system’ to select their daily bets. In the next section, we’ll look at some of the most popular betting systems for horse racing.
The Dutching System
Dutching in sports betting is one of the oldest horse racing betting systems in which you bet on more than one runner in a race to return the same profit regardless of which horse wins. You need to work out the implied probability of the runner’s odds. Then you divide the probability of Horse A by the total of the two probabilities and multiply that by 10. Next, do the same for Horse B.
There are online dutching calculators available that will help you calculate your stakes quickly. Dutching may have any amount of horses selected in a single race, but the more horses the more stakes and the greater risk.
The Beaten Favorite
The Beaten Favorite system is a common horse racing betting strategy with some bettors. It involves betting on certain horses who were beaten as favorites in their last race. Following solid horses who may have had valid excuses for being beaten last time out can lead to value odds for their next race. A Beaten Favorite strategy relies on a losing favorite being overpriced next time out.
The Paroli System is another way to bet on horse races. It is based on how to manage your bankroll. Every time a horse wins, the base bet is doubled, but only up to three times. The process starts over again. If you lose, you have to start over at the first base stake.
Our Top 5 Horse Racing Betting Tips
Everyone who bets on horses wants to win and make money in the long run. Each bettor will have their own methods of selecting their horses whether it be through form study, using a betting system or by following free betting tips for horse racing. Here are our top five tips for horse betting.
1. Study The Form
One of the best ways to pick your horses is to believe in yourself, learn how to read form and experiment with different bet types that fit your preferences. Studying the form helps predict the morning line odds and market movements. The downside is that it can be time consuming as there are many factors to consider such as a the horse’s fitness, previous performances at the track, preferred surface conditions, the weight carried and the trainer & jockey form.
2. Expert Picks
If you don’t have the time to study form you can always use a proven tipster to do the hard work for you. Using expert tipsters can give you expert insights and other key information you may have missed. If you are looking for free betting tips on horse racing, you need to first make sure they have a proven track record and are fully transparent.
3. Money Management
The management of a bankroll is a key component of betting advice for horse races. Why? Making responsible bets and maintaining control are important. Having a stake limit can help prevent you making emotional wagers like trying to chase losses or staking all on a “hunch” bet. It’s much better to keep things under control and stick to a plan.
4. Choice of Bet
There are lots of different horse racing bets to choose from. However, keeping things simple with standard wagers is usually the best policy. Generally speaking, for serious bettors simple bets with a high probability are better than exotic bets with a low probability.
5. Use Bonuses
Using bonuses, free bets or other sportsbook promotions to give yourself an extra edge is sure-fire way to improve your overall long term profits. For instance, you may get a free bet if you choose a selection with a money-back guarantee and they finished second in the race. Betting with free bets gives you a chance to win for no risk.
Biggest Horse Racing Events to Bet on
Horse racing is popular all around the world and the biggest races offer some enormous prize money. In addition to Canada and North America there are notable races from Europe and Australia. Here we look at some of the biggest domestic and international horse races.
Top US and Canadian Horse Races
First run in 1860 the King’s Plate is also the oldest continuously run race in North America. It’s run over a distance of one and a quarter miles at Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario in either June or July each year and is the first race of the Canadian Triple Crown. Formerly known as the Queen’s Plate, the race was renamed the King’s Plate following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022 and subsequent ascension of King Charles III.
Prince of Wales Stakes
Run every July at Fort Erie Racetrack in Ontario, this Thoroughbred horse race is restricted to three-year-old horses bred in Canada. Run on dirt over one mile, one and a half furlongs, it’s the second race of the Canadian Triple Crown.
First held in 1889, the Breeders’ Stakes is a stakes race for Thoroughbred race horses foaled in Canada over a distance of one and a half miles. It has served as the third race in the Canadian Triple Crown for three-year-olds since 1959. The Breeders’ Stakes is held each year in August at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, following the King’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes in June and July, respectively.
First run in 1988, the Woodbine Mile is a Grade 1 stakes race over one mile for Thoroughbred horses aged three years and older. Part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, it is held annually in September at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto and has a prize purse of $1,000,000.
The Canadian Derby is a Grade 3 race for three-year-old horses run annually every August over a distance of one mile and a quarter. Since 2019, it takes place at the Century Mile Racetrack in Leduc County, Alberta. Prior to this it was run at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta from 1957-2018 and at Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1930-1956.
The Kentucky Derby is one of the most exciting races in the world, despite the fact that it is not the race with the biggest prize money. It is also impossible to think of a race that is more legendary and well-known than the Kentucky Derby. The winners of the race are showered with rose petals, giving rise to the race’s popular nickname, “Run for the Roses”.
The Preakness Stakes is an American thoroughbred horse race that takes place on the third Saturday of May every year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Belmont Stakes is a Grade I event for 3-year-old thoroughbreds at Belmont Park in New York and is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. The race is also known as the “Test of the Champion” and “The Run for the Carnations”. It is usually hosted three weeks after the Preakness.
Breeders’ Cup World Championships
With 14 horse races over 2 days, the Breeders’ Cup is considered the World Championship of horse racing. Founded in 1984, the event now boasts almost $30 million in total prize money and draws the top racehorses from all over the world. It takes place a different US racetracks each year such as Santa Anita, Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Top 5 International Horse Races
The Grand National is held annually in England at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool and is a unique and historic event. First run way back in 1839, it’s run over a gruelling 4 miles, 2 ½ furlongs with 30 fences. Compared to typical UK National Hunt fences, the Grand National fences are much larger and it presents the ultimate test for horse and rider.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, also referred to as simply ‘The Arc’, is one of Europe’s most prestigious and richest Group 1 flat races. It is run every October at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France over a distance. of 1.5 miles and is for horses aged three years and older.
Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup event was first staged at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates in 1996. With one of the biggest purses in the world, it is a true spectacle that draws participants from all continents.
One of the richest handicap races in the world, Australia’s Melbourne Cup is the country’s most famous horse race. It’s open to horses aged three years and older and is run over a distance of two miles at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. It takes place on the first Tuesday of November and is the highlight of the Spring Racing Carnival. It’s known locally as “the race that stops the nation”.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the highlight of the famous four-day Cheltenham Festival for jump racing. Run over a distance of three miles and two furlongs, it’s the pinnacle of National Hunt racing in the UK with a long list of legendary winners. The race has a rich history dating all the way back to 1819 but it was first run as a jumps race in 1924.
2022 Horse Racing Schedule
The table below lists some of the key Canadian and US horse races that take place annually.
Prince Of Wales Stakes
Northern Dancer Turf Stakes
E.P. Taylor Stakes
Canadian International Stakes
Horse Racing Betting Terms
Understanding horse racing betting terms and jargon will give you a better, more complete understanding of the sport of horse racing. Here are some commonly used racing terms.
Acceptor – a runner that is officially entered to run in a particular race
Across The Board – a 3-way ‘ATB’ bet covers a horse to finish anywhere in the top three (win, place & show)
Age – All Thoroughbred horses have their birthdays on 1st January
Banker – A banker bet is one that is fully expected to win
Blanket Finish – A very close finish involving many horses vying for the top positions
Blinkers – a piece of headgear that partially covers a horse’s eyes to narrow focus
Buck – a bet of exactly $100
Colt – a male horse that hasn’t been gelded (castrated)
Dead Heat – When two or more horses finish equal
Derby – stakes race for 3-year-olds
Dime – a bet of exactly $1,000
Filly – a young female horse aged 4 or younger
Furlong – a distance mark of 1/8 of a mile
Gelding – a castrated / gelded male horse
Going – what the conditions of the racetrack surface are like (fast, slow, soft, firm etc)
Grade – the quality level of race, Grade 1 is the top
Handicap – weight adjustments to ensure a fair contest
Juvenile – a 2-year-old horse
Maiden – a horse that has yet to win a specific type of race
Mare – a female horse aged 5 or older
Miler – a horse whose preferred distance, is one mile
M/L – shorthand expression used to denote a horse’s opening morning line odds
Oaks – stakes race for 3-year-old fillies
OTB – Off-track betting
Pari-mutuel – a form of pool betting with French roots in which the winners split the total amount wagered in the pool (minus taxes and other deductions) among themselves
Place – a first or second-place finish
Post – the starting gate in a race
Purse – the prizes awarded for a race
Scratch – a non-runner that has been withdrawn from the race
Show – a first, second or third-place finish
Stewards Inquiry – an investigation of a horse race for foul play
Trip – the distance of a race
Horse Racing Betting Promotions & Bonuses
There are many different types of promotions, free bets and bonuses available at online sportsbooks. Welcome Offers are one of the most popular types of bonuses on offer, and they are just one of many sports betting bonuses that we detail in the next section.
A new customer’s first bonus action with a sportsbook will be to take advantage of their Sign-Up welcome offer. A first-deposit bonus is a common incentive for opening an account with a sportsbook. Bear in mind the offer terms that will require that you to roll over / play bonus funds a certain number of times before they can be withdrawn.
Free Bets are extra bets that are given by the sportsbook or racebook. They are usually given as bonus funds don’t have any monetary value as any winnings from a free bet will not include the value of the free bet stake. They will also have rules about how and when they can be used.
The Rebate Bonus is another popular incentive at racebooks where a cash rebate is given on any weekly losses on horse racing. The value of the rebate will vary but it is usually around the 8-10% mark on all qualifying horse racing bets, win or lose.
Risk-free bets are often awarded as part of a promotion or competition and are often given out if a particular scenario happens. For example, a sportsbook may refund losing stakes on specific races or if a certain horse wins.
Money Back as Free Bet
Similar to risk-free bets a money back offer is a concession that returns your stake in the form of a free bet. They are often given out for near misses or if one leg or your parlay bet lets you down for example. Bets will have to meet qualifying criteria to be triggered.
The Best Payment Methods for Horse Racing Betting Canada
There are numerous online gambling banking methods available to Canadian bettors. The best betting sites in Canada will all generally accept bank cards, eWallets and cryptocurrency.
Traditional Payment Methods
The most common payment methods at a Canadian betting site are the same as for any e-commerce site, namely bank cards (credit and debit) such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Mastercard. These options are safe and convenient for most players and with debit cards you can usually withdraw funds back to the same card.
eWallet Betting Options
If for any reason you prefer not to use a bank card most reputable sportsbook also accept funds deposited via eWallets. These include PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard and Instadebit.
Crypto Betting Options
Some betting sites will accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Tether, and USDC. However regulated American sportsbooks BetMGM and FanDuel and some well-established European ones such as Unibet, bet365, Betway, and LeoVegas still do not accept cryptocurrency. Generally, they can only be used to fund accounts at Caribbean and Central American sportsbooks, but they may be offered at the best Canadian racebooks in future if crypto becomes more widely accepted. You can learn more in our crypto betting guide.
Best Horse Racing Betting Apps & Mobile Sites
More and more people are choosing smartphones over desktops to access the internet. Placing bets on a mobile device is just as easy, if not easier and it can also be done on the move. Betting apps are available but most good sportsbooks websites are fully-optimized to work perfectly well on mobile devices or tablets so it’s usually not necessary to download a dedicated betting app.
Mobile websites will instantly adjust to the smaller screen size, making them just as useful as a betting app. All site features, bonuses, and account management tools, such as deposits, will also be available.
If there is a betting app the sportsbook website will have links on their site to get it, or iPhone users can do a search for it in the App Store. For Android users, things are slightly different since betting applications aren’t usually hosted through Google Play and occasionally an APK file is required.
Betting on Horse Racing Near Me
You can bet on horse races using the pari-mutuel pool betting options at your local racetrack, and retail sports betting is also available all over Canada at places like Proline and Mise-o-jeu which are run by the lottery.
Seven provinces already have licensed betting sites run by their governments that allow people to bet on single sports games online. These are British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. For now betting on horse racing is excluded but there’s two betting apps offered by operator Woodbine Entertainment Group, HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets that allow horse betting in Ontario.
Virtual Horse Racing Betting
What is virtual horse racing online betting? It’s a betting on computer-generated horse races that use a Random Number Generator (‘RNG’) to create imaginary horses and odds that represent the horse’s chances of winning.
You get to watch a virtual race horse race play out on the screen. While the winner will be generated at random, the favorite will have more chance of winning that the outsiders. To play you bet in the usual way, by picking your horse and setting your stakes. Races are run every few minutes.
The Best Horse Racing Betting Site in Canada
Horse racing betting online in Canada is a very grey area with the sport currently excluded from licensed Canadian online sportsbooks. Due to current legislation, horse betting is limited to pari-mutuel pool betting at Canadian racetracks or at retail betting establishments. Another option is to use a reputable offshore betting site which allow online horse betting.
Of the licensed and regulated betting sites presented on this site, BetMGM rates as our best online sportsbook for Canadian sports bettors. It’s a superb all-rounder with a good range of markets and very competitive low juice odds. It also comes with a dedicated BetMGM betting app that will use less data than their mobile site.
BetMGM is only available in Ontario at the time of writing but are expected to be rolled out into other regions as they open up to legal online sports betting. If you are based in another part of Canada, you can use one of the other sports betting sites featured on this page.
An industry veteran with over 30 years experience in the betting and gaming, both as bookmaker and punter. Darren previously worked for Ladbrokes and the Racing Post in London before becoming a freelance writer from 2015. Darren enjoys a range of sports, his favourites being Formula 1, football / soccer, horse racing, NFL and the specials betting markets. When not watching or betting on sports, he enjoys live music and yoga. Namaste!