Published on February 19, 2024

The Biggest Horse Racing Events in the US

Horse racing has remained an integral part of the US sporting sector as some of the most widely coveted and distinguished racing events continuously attract suitors from various parts of the globe who frequently enjoy catching a glimpse of their favorite stallions and jockeys in action whilst also wagering with some truly high stakes odds ahead of race day.

Throughout history, various US-based racing venues have kept spectators enthralled and entertained ahead of any upcoming horse racing event, with over tens of thousands of fans often flocking out to watch some of the best talent that the industry has to offer.

Racing has become increasingly popular throughout the years due to its unique traditions of appeal and attire which sets it apart from numerous other sporting events, as well as the long withstanding culture that surrounds betting on some of the outings that are set to begin.

There are many iconic and memorable events that are well worth the price at admission for any eager racing fans to attend during their lifetime, with the US bolstering several prestigious showings on a regular basis.

For any racing fans or punters who are interested in jetting out to watch some of the best racing action that is frequently present within the US, these are some of the top horse racing events that any sports fan should be sure to have marked on their bucket list for a variety of reasons.

  • Kentucky Derby:

The most iconic and instantly recognizable US racing event, and one that is also likely to be named as the most prestigious amongst all other racing competitions, is the acclaimed Kentucky Derby which takes place every year during the spring month of May and is the opening event of the esteemed Triple Crown.

There are many individual reasons and records as to why the Kentucky Derby is the true pinnacle of all US horse racing, yet fans will be most affiliated with the historical stature of the hosting venue Churchill Downs in Louisville, as well as the unfathomable amount of fan investment that such an event garners on a yearly occurrence.

The Kentucky Derby draws in an astounding 170,000 spectators a year and has remained a staple of the horse racing sector since its inception back 1875 with the upcoming 2024 event set to mark the 150th running of this highly illustrious race. The Kentucky Derby odds attract plenty of attention and the unpredictable nature of the race means that an outsider is often victorious. 

In terms of the historical stature, the Kentucky Derby has treated fans to a plethora of action-packed races throughout the course of history which includes several noteworthy performances from a variety of beloved stallions over the years, with a recent notable showing coming from 2008 winner Big Brown who clawed back from 20th place to win the entire event making this noteworthy achievement as one of the rare occasions that such a feat has been accomplished.

  • Preakness Stakes:

Held on the third Saturday of May every year, Preakness Stakes remains as one of the US’ most storied racing events and as the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Located at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, the event centers around a Grade One run over a mile across a dirt course with the event continuously garnering a widespread amount of fan support from all different facets of the racing scene.

Preakness Stakes is ranked as one of racing’s most beloved and illustrious events ahead of every major calendar year, with the Maryland-based showdown being a consistent figurehead of all US racing events no matter the initial rivalling odds, which could signalize whether fans could be treated to a truly significant upset outcome or a lobsided showing depending on the racers involved.

  • Belmont Stakes:

The third and final racing event that makes up the prestigious Triple Crown, Belmont Stakes is always upheld throughout the month of June at the Belmont Park racecourse located in Elmont, New York.

This event has since remained a monumental part of the racing scene since its inaugural outing back in 1867 as it features a one and a half mile dirt track with all qualified thoroughbred racers. 

Belmont has witnessed its fair share of sublime encounters over the past 150 years of the event’s existence, which includes the 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat who still currently holds the record of the fastest completion in track history with just two minutes and twenty four seconds.

  • Breeders’ Cup:

Unlike all other venues featuring the aforementioned Triple Crown, the hosting site for the always established and beloved Breeders’ Cup differentiates with every passing season, which can result in some truly unique encounters featuring an audience from a variety of racing fanatics all over the nation.

The Breeders’ Cup is one of racing’s most distinguished accolades due to its continuous increase in available prize money and its vast variety of events that continue to showcase the very best talent in the racing scene today.

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