Our modern streaming world has been a boon for horse racing. It is no longer necessary to leave home to keep up on this active sport. And you not only don’t need cable, but you’ll find better options online.
In a hurry? To watch all the big races and coverage of the day-to-day races, you need to have access to NBC and FanDuel. These streaming services offer these:
- Fubo: The best streaming service for international sports also provides 150+ well-selected channels. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Get a great channel lineup with the best selection of RSNs in the industry. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
- Hulu + Live TV: This total entertainment streaming service provides a great on-demand selection and all the essential live TV channels.
If you can’t watch your favorite sports because of your location, get ExpressVPN to access the content you deserve.
Unfortunately, we don’t know a streaming service in that covers this sport. But if you’ve already paid for the right service, and just can’t watch because of your location, there is an easy way to get the content you deserve. You need a VPN, like one of the following.
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If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, you’ll find all the answers in our full VPN guide.
Table Of Contents
Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the world. This is at least partly because it is so easy to wager on the outcome of a race. And with off-track betting, you don’t even need to be onsite.
Of course, there are some races such as the Kentucky Derby or Melbourne Cup that tend to be more popular than others. Let’s take a look at why racing is so popular, provide some more details about the top races, and provide some more information about how you can keep track of all of the action.
Horse Racing Basics
As a general rule, most of the races that take place on any given day have relatively low stakes. In most cases, the minimum bet is $1, and you can place bets on as many different horses as you want.
There are a variety of betting types with the single being the most popular. To win, you must simply choose the horse that will win, place, or show (come in first, second or better, or third or better). Parlays are also popular among bettors. These bets require picking the winner of multiple events.
If you are betting online, you’ll typically need to fund your account prior to making a wager. This is typically referred to as advance deposit wagering (ADW). This is different from how it is normally done at the track where you generally hand over the funds for each bet.
Racing websites and magazines can be important sources of information if you are trying to determine which horses are most likely to win. You will often be able to learn more about what happened in its most recent starts and how a given horse has fared on the track it is racing on.
These sources may also provide data about jockeys, trainers, and own the horses. And this may help you gain an edge that might make you more successful as a bettor.
The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes are perhaps the three most important horse races in the United States. They feature 3-year-old thoroughbreds and are collectively known as the Triple Crown. Only 13 horses have managed to win all three races starting with Sir Barton in 1919. However, winning any of these races is generally considered to be a high honor.
Each year, the Breeders’ Cup features competitors from multiple countries and continents. The event is held over the course of two days at various tracks throughout the United States.
The Grand National is the biggest horse race in the UK. It’s a handicap steeplechase open to horses seven years old and older.
The Dubai World Cup is held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the final race of nine that take place over the course of a single day. It has one of the biggest purses of any race at $12 million.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes place in France each October and is open to horses of all ages.
Finally, the Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday of each November in Australia. It is such a popular event that local businesses typically grind to a halt at 3 pm so that people can watch it.
Horse Racing Schedule
- Jan 28 — Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes: Relatively new thoroughbred race over 9 furlongs from Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, Florida.
- Mar 25 — Dubai World Cup: A 2,000 meter (~10 furlong) thoroughbred horse race from Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Apr 15 — Randox Grand National: A 4 miles and 514 yards (~4.29 mile) steeplechase race from Aintree Racecourse, Aintree, Merseyside, England.
- Apr 15 — Nakayama Grand Jump: A 4250 meter (~2.64 mile) thoroughbred steeplechase race from Nakayama Racecourse, Funabashi, Chiba, Japan.
- May 6 — Kentucky Derby: A 10 furlong (1.25 mile) thoroughbred race from Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky — the first of the Triple Crown races.
- May 20 — Preakness Stakes: A 9.5 furlong (~1.19 mile) thoroughbred race from Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland — the second of the Triple Crown races.
- Jun 3 — Epsom Derby: A 2,423 meter (~1.5 mile) thoroughbred race from Epsom Downs, Epsom, Surrey, England.
- Jun 10 — Belmont Stakes: A 12 furlong (1.5 mile) thoroughbred race from Belmont Park, Elmont, New York — the last of the Triple Crown races.
- Sep 30 – Oct 1 — Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe: A 2,400 meter (~1.5 mile) thoroughbred race from Longchamp Racecourse, Paris, France.
- Nov 3-4 — Breeders’ Cup: A series of thoroughbred races ranging from 5.5 to 12 furlongs from various locations (usually California or Kentucky).
- Nov 6 — Melbourne Cup: A 3,200 meter (~2 mile) thoroughbred race from Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes is the first major event of the year, taking place at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Next up, the Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates hosts the Dubai World Cup.
As it has been for almost two centuries, Aintree Racecourse learn Liverpool, England is home of the Randox Grand National. And fittingly, Nakayama Racecourse is home to the Nakayama Grand Jump.
Churchill Downs is the home of the Kentucky Derby, which draws the largest crowd of any horse race in North America. This track also hosts a series of other important races such as the Kentucky Oaks and the Turf Classic Stakes.
The Preakness Stakes takes place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore — the site of the famous race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral in 1938. The Belmont Stakes takes place at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.
Other important race tracks located in the United States include Aqueduct Racetrack, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Golden Gate Fields, Gulf Stream Park, Santa Anita Park, and Saratoga Race Course.
The Epsom Derby takes place at one of the oldest tracks in the world, the Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, England.
Flemington Racecourse in Australia is the host for the Melbourne Cup. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is hosted at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris.
The Breeders’ Cup changes location from year to year. In 2022, it was at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. But in 2023, it will be at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California — where it has been held 8 times before this century.
Where to Watch
NBC has exclusive rights to all three Triple Crown races, and these events will also be available to those who have a subscription to Peacock. NBC also has the exclusive rights to Breeders’ Cup events. It has been broadcast on NBCSN in the past so will most likely air on USA in the future.
- Sat Apr 15: Grand National
- Sat May 7 : Kentucky Derby
- Sat May 21 : Preakness Stakes
- Sat Jun 11 : Belmont Stakes
- Sat Nov 5 TBD: Breeders’ Cup
If you have access to Fox, FS1, and FS2, you may be able to watch limited coverage of various events that take place throughout the racing year. There is also a section on the Fox Sports website that provides content that may be of interest to racing fans.
However, you should have no problem watching the majority of races either live or soon after they finish by subscribing to FanDuel. This is because the network offers live horse racing from dozens of tracks in the United States and throughout the country. It also provides race replays from the current day.
Finally, if you use services such as NYRABets or Twin Spires, you may be able to watch live coverage of any race that you are betting on. The same may be true if you use Xpressbet to make your wagers.
If you are in the UK, you can watch racing content on Sky Sports (stream on NOW) or on Racing TV. The Grand National was on ITV and Racing TV in 2023. In Australia, it may be possible to watch live races on Channel 7 or through live streams offered by tracks in that country.
How to Stream Horse Racing
The biggest races will air on NBC, so if that’s all you care about, you can watch over the air (OTA) with an antenna. And this is a great option for most people. Don’t think about the old days of analog rabbit ears. Modern OTA broadcasting is digital and in HD. See our antenna guide on getting set-up.
If you want to stream NBC (with an antenna or not), Sling TV and Fubo are great choices. In fact, we’ve got guides for watching the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes on Sling TV. But if you want FanDuel, you need one of these streaming services:
- DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV): The Choice plan comes with FanDuel for $108.99/mo. In all, you get roughly 100 channels including the industry’s best selection of regional sports networks (RSNs). It also comes with unlimited cloud DVR storage (online orders only) and stream on unlimited at the same time. (DIRECTV STREAM review)
- Hulu + Live TV: This is a great overall service with 85+ live TV channels, the industry-leading on-demand library, Disney+, and ESPN+. You get all that for $76.99/mo. If you want FanDuel and FanDuel Racing, you need to upgrade with the Sports add-on for $9.99/mo extra. It comes with unlimited cloud DVR with 9 months of storage and streaming on up to two devices at once. (Hulu + Live TV review)
- YouTube TV: This plan is similar to Hulu + Live TV but without Disney+ and ESPN+ for a bit less, $72.99/mo. The Sports Plus add-on ($10.99/mo) comes with FanDuel (but not FanDuel Racing).
- FanDuel TV+: You can get FanDuel directly and watch via it’s app.
Superpower Your Sports Streaming With a VPN
For the sake of privacy, security, and access, you should be using a VPN. They are low-cost and easy to use. We’ve been using them for years and our top pick is ExpressVPN. Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.
i Our VPN Buyer’s Guide provides a complete introduction and all you need to know to choose the best VPN for your needs.
Streaming Devices for Horse Racing
The following devices are supported by all the live TV streaming services:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile devices
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
- Samsung smart TVs
- Web browsers.
DIRECTV STREAM also supports its own device, which you can buy directly from them.
Additionally, Fubo, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV support these devices:
- LG smart TVs
- VIZIO smartcast TVs
- Xbox One.
Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV support the gaming system PlayStation. Hulu also supports the Nintendo Switch.
For complete lists of supported devices, see our streaming service reviews.
What is advance deposit wagering?
Advance-deposit wagering simply means that you have to deposit funds into your account before you make a wager. If you submit bets from outside the track, you’ll usually do so electronically, and you’ll typically link your betting account to a debit card or bank account. Any money that you win will be deposited into your betting account before being transferred to a bank or bank card.
What is off-track betting?
Off-track betting, or commonly OTB, is a legal form of betting on horse races away from the venue itself. Instead, OTB locations provide live video feeds from different tracks and allow patrons to bet on them. In that way, they are similar to sports betting bars in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
How can I find out more about watching horse racing without cable?
We have other resources for watching horse racing without cable. You can find out all about gaining access to different channels, including FanDuel and NBC. Currently, we only have two pages on watching a particular race: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes viewers guides and our guide to Live Streaming the Grand National. But we are always expanding, so check back for more.
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