Best Online Horse Racing Betting Canada

Horse racing betting sites are not all created equally. Different access to top tracks and wagers, different level of service, and various factors that separate racebooks amongst the best online horse betting in Canada. Online horse betting has become increasingly popular over the years, with the internet and smartphones giving people more options than ever to get in on the action. On this page, you’ll learn how to bet on horse racing online, what the best online horse racing betting sites in Canada are, the legality of online horse betting in Ontario, and much more.

How to Recognize the Best Online Horse Racing Books in Canada?

How to recognize the Best Online Horse Racing Bookies?

A variety of horse racing betting sites provide outstanding horse racing and betting options, similar to sports betting for all major wagering events from major North American and European sports leagues.

However, the best online horse racing betting sites typically feature promos or less expensive lines for marquee events, such as the Kentucky Derby. As such, domestic and international horse betting fans will benefit from browsing through these outstanding online sportsbooks.

How to Bet on the Horse Racing in Canada

The first step to betting on the Horse Racing in Canada is to find the right racebook for you. You should use sites that are recommended by experts, so that you know they are safe.

You can check out any of the recommended Canadian horse racing betting sites that we recommend on this page to bet on Horse Racing in Canada. Signing up is a breeze.

Depending on when you sign up, you can either investigate some of your early betting options and get in on the futures, or you can check out the specials that become available during race week. Developing a betting portfolio based on the horse racing field is your next step.

Then you can start selecting bets, placing them in your bet slip and finalizing the deals.

  1. Sign up at a top racebook like Bet365
  2. Research bet options and strategies (Read CSB!)
  3. Select bets to put into your bet slip
  4. Input your risk and review the bet details
  5. Finalize the bet

Betting on Horse Racing in Ontario

Betting on horse racing is finally available to Ontario race fans courtesy of the newly established partnership between bet365 and Woodbine. As such, the pair will combine to provide bet365 horse racing pari-mutuel betting in association with Woodbine Entertainment Group.

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After a big announcement in the lead up to the 2023 King’s Plate, Bet365 has reached an agreement with Woodbine to provide Horse racing markets to betting fans in Ontario.

Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson made the announcement during the King’s Plate Breakfast press conference.

‚ÄúThis is a historic announcement in my perspective, and we will look back over the years at this moment. Woodbine is officially announcing today, that horse racing, including the King‚Äôs Plate, will be available to Ontario sports bettors through the licensed bet365 platform,‚ÄĚ a cheerful Lawson announced. ‚ÄúThis is huge. It‚Äôs a huge win for the Ontario horse racing industry and the 25,000 jobs that this industry supports in the province.‚ÄĚ

In addition to Bet365’s online sportsbook, Ontarians can bet on horse racing as they would have before the opening of the market, through trusted Canadian purveyor; Woodbine Entertainment Group.

Woodbine offers Ontario bettors two options for all levels of horse racing knowledge and experience.

Dark Horse offers bettors a sleek and modern betting app (iOS and Android) complete with information, tips and coaching geared towards newcomers to Horse Racing. Live streaming compliments the offering and makes Dark Horse a one stop shop for all your horse racing needs.

HPIbet represents a longstanding and comprehensive racebook experience for Ontarians. A browser based platform, HPIbet offers a more stats based experience catered to horse racing veterans. Live streaming is a key feature of the platform and makes for a great betting/viewing destination for race fans.

Horse Racing Betting FAQ

What are the best rated online horse racing betting sites?

In Ontario, bettors can find horse racing on bet365 or bet through Woodbine Entertainment’s race bet platforms; HPIbet and/or Darkhorse Bets.

Which racebook should I use?

Choose the betting site that best meets your needs. For customers in Ontario you’ll have access to horse race betting through bet365 or Woodbine Entertainment’s race bet platforms; HPIbet and/or Darkhorse Bets.

Is horse racing betting legal in Canada?

It is indeed! Provided you’re betting on an authorized and regulated betting platform in your chosen province, horse race betting is 100% legal in Canada.

Where can I bet on horse racing in Canada?

With so many sportsbooks on offer, it can be a daunting task to find the right place for betting on the Sport of Kings, so be sure to shop around! For customers in Ontario, you’ll have access to horse race betting through bet365 or Woodbine Entertainment’s race bet platforms; HPIbet and/or Darkhorse Bets.

Why can’t you bet on horses in Ontario?

It may have been a little tricky to bet on horse racing online in Ontario up until recently but that’s all changed as of August 2023. Now horse racing fans in Ontario can enjoy betting on trusted online sportsbook bet365 or through Woodbine Entertainment’s race bet platforms; HPIbet and/or Darkhorse Bets.

When did the Triple Crown start?

The Kentucky Derby was the latest Triple Crown race to be inaugurated, with the Run for the Roses starting in 1875. The Preakness Stakes began in 1873 and the Belmont Stakes started in 1867, making the Belmont the oldest of the Triple Crown races. Sir Barton was the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 1919.

Where do the Triple Crown races take place?

The Kentucky Derby takes place at the Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, while the Preakness Stakes is run at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The final leg of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Why do horse racing odds change?

Horse racing odds change most often because of the number of wagers that bettors place on horses. If a lot of people bet on a favourite, the odds to bet on that horse will become more expensive and the rest of the horses are more likely to have their betting odds become less expensive. Other changes in horse racing odds may occur because of the fitness of a horse, or changes in the weather during the run-up to the contest.

How do I bet on horse racing? Where can I bet on horse racing in Canada?

In addition to betting at the track and through off-track brick and mortar sites, players have the option of betting over the internet. Wagering on horse racing through online sportsbooks gives you access to a wide variety of races and betting choices.

What is win place show?

Win refers to the winner of the race, place refers to the second-place horse, and show is the horse that finishes third, similar to how the Olympics give gold, silver, and bronze medals for competitors.

What is a trifecta?

Trifecta refers to a bet where you predict win, place and show for a single race. The difficulty of predicting the first, second, and third place winners gives trifecta bets a much higher payout than regular wagers. Exactas involve betting on the top two horses, reducing the risk and the reward.

What is superfecta in horse racing?

A superfecta bet raises the stakes higher than a trifecta bet, requiring the players to correctly predict win, place, show, and the horse that finishes fourth. Predicting the order of the top four finishers is even more difficult than predicting the top three, creating a bigger payout for superfectas compared to trifectas.

What does box mean in horse racing?

When you box a bet in horse racing, you’re predicting the horses that will finish the top two, top three, or top four, but not the order in which the horses finish. This reduces the difficulty of winning a trifecta, superfecta, or an exacta.

Can you bet on horses online in Canada? Can you legally bet on horses online?

If you want to bet on horse racing online, you have Canadian options, though how they line up with regulations is complicated. Sites that work across Canada will tend to have options for horse racing betting online, though Ontario regulated sites won’t have them.

Is horse racing betting legal in Canada? Why can’t you bet on horses in Ontario?

Online horse race betting is, in most provinces, the same as sports betting in Canada – not every platform is regulated, but on the user end, it’s legal. In person, obviously, it’s 100% legal and regulated.

It may have been a little tricky to bet on horse racing online in Ontario up until recently but that’s all changed as of August 2023. Now horse racing fans in Ontario can enjoy betting on trusted online sportsbook bet365 or through Woodbine Entertainment’s race bet platforms; HPIbet and/or Darkhorse Bets.

Can you make a living gambling on horses? What is the most profitable way to bet on horse racing? How do you win big in horse racing?

Like all forms of gambling, it is possible to make significant amounts of money if you make the right plays. At the same time, it is very difficult, as the operators and books are ultimately trying to win their share, and results are unpredictable.

The best choice is to treat horse race betting as entertainment, with profit being a fortunate windfall. If you’re looking to play it smart as well as fun, keep up to date with the goings on before events, so you’re not just picking names out of a proverbial hat. Research doesn’t guarantee you anything, but it does help you stay in tune with the odds.

What is the easiest bet in horse racing? What is the safest bet in horse racing?

The safest bet will almost always be the odds-on favourite, particularly if news leading up to the event remains good for that horse. It’s not a super profitable route, but the safest route rarely is. Remember to be responsible and to consider profit to be the icing on the cake – the main goal here is the extra entertainment!

What Makes the Best Horse Racing Betting Site

What Makes the Best Horse Racing Betting Site

Comparing horse racing betting sites includes a variety of different preferences for your betting style and experience. Some bettors will appreciate bonuses, rebates, and free bets, while others prefer discounted odds, special betting events and help with winning accumulator or parlay wagers.

Here are the eight main criteria that we use when reviewing and recommending the best horse racing betting sites on the Canadian web:

In addition to odds, our horse racing page will link you to reviews for sportsbooks, including a breakdown of the mobile offerings for top horse racing online betting sites. Doing a bit of research ahead of time will ensure that you pick the best online sportsbook for your own wagering preferences.

Find the Best Horse Racing Bets

Straight Bets

Straight bets are some of the simplest in all of horse racing betting. There are not too many moving parts when it comes to straight bets. In reality, you can think of them as the building blocks for many of the other, more complex bets. This is why they are a great place to start.

The first of the straight bets is called a win bet. This is exactly what you would imagine: you pick one horse to come in first place. If they do, you win the bet, if they come in second, third, or worse, you lose the bet. It is really quite straightforward.

In a place bet, you pick a horse to finish either first or second. And in a show bet, you pick a horse to finish first, second, or third. They are like win bets, but with a wider target. The odds are often not quite as profitable, as they carry less risk.

Exotic Bets

Exotics are similar to parlays in that you are betting on how multiple horses will finish. this can be either in one horse race, or across multiple. If it is across multiple races, they are known as horizontal exotics.

In horizontal exotic bets, you pick the winner of several races. This is basically a parlay or multiple bet. If even one of your picked horses does not come out on top, you will lose the entire horizontal exotic.

In vertical exotics, you will only have to focus on a single race. However, you will have to know every single horse in that race. You can choose how deep your vertical bet goes. You can bet on first and second only, or you can go all the way down to last place.


quinella is a very special horse racing bet type. It combines a few different other bet types to create a whole new style. A quinella is a little bit like a vertical exotic bet and a little bit like a place bet.

In a quinella, you pick the first and the second horse. What makes it different from a place bet is that you do not have to get the order correct. As long as the first two horses are the ones you selected, you win. it is irrelevant which one finishes first and which one finishes second. 

Pari-mutuel Betting

Parimutuel betting or pool betting is a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and the house-take are deducted, and payoffs are calculated by sharing the pool among all winning bets. In some countries it is known as the tote after the totalisator, which calculates and displays bets already made.

These are the different formats that the sportsbooks present. Choose the one which is clearer for you:

Fractional Betting

Fractional bets are historically the most common bets in horse racing and are given in a fractional format, from 1/9 to 99/1 and higher. A $2 Win bet on a horse at 5/1 will pay $12 for the win including the original bet.


Decimal is the most straightforward type offered, usually in UK racebooks, and include the original bet in the final payout. For example, a $1 Win bet on a horse at 5.00 will pay $5 if the horse wins. 


As the name implies, these are most often used in US-based racebooks and are also known as “money-line”. Designated with a plus-or-minus sign, $1 bet to win on a horse at +500 returns $6.00 if the horse wins the race, including the original amount bet. 

Horse Racing 101

The biggest horse races are generally grouped into threes. They then name these triple Crowns of different sorts. In order to win the Triple Crown, the horse must come in first place in all three races. Needless to say, this does not happen every year.

In fact, it almost never happens. Since 1932, the Canadian Triple Crown has been awarded 12 times. The three races in the Canadian Triple Crown are:

The full list of Candian Triple Crown winners:

  1. Queensway in 1932
  2. Archworth in 1939
  3. Uttermost in 1945
  4. Ace Marine in 1955
  5. Canadian Champ in 1956
  6. New Providence in 1959
  7. Canebora in 1963
  8. With Approval in 1989
  9. Izvestia in 1990
  10. Dance Smartly in 1991
  11. Peteski in 1993
  12. Wando in 2003

These are the horses who have swept the Canadian Triple Crown. There was one jockey who was able to sweep the Canadian Triple Crown with three different horses. This feat was accomplished by Luis Contreras in 2011.

The Biggest Events in Horse Racing

The Kentucky Derby

Every first Saturday of May, the Kentucky Derby is held in Louisville, Kentucky. This annual race has been run since 1875 and is widely regarded as the most prestigious horse race in the world. It marks the beginning of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby is a cultural phenomenon, drawing more than 150,000 spectators to Churchill Downs every year. It is steeped in history and traditions, making it an exceptional and memorable event that should not be overlooked.

The Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is an annual horse race held in Baltimore, Maryland, on the third Saturday of May. It was first run in 1873, making it the second-oldest Triple Crown race, after the Belmont Stakes. The Preakness Stakes is run over a distance of 1 3/16 miles and is known as the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans”, in honor of the state flower of Maryland. The race has a rich history and has produced some of the most memorable moments in horse racing, including Secretariat’s record-breaking performance in 1973. Today, the Preakness Stakes remains a beloved and highly anticipated event in the world of horse racing.

The Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is an annual horse race held in Elmont, New York, on the first or second Saturday of June. It was first run in 1867, making it the oldest of the Triple Crown races. The Belmont Stakes is run over a distance of 1 1/2 miles, making it the longest race in the series. The race is known as the “Test of the Champion” and has produced some of the sport’s most iconic moments. Belmont is the final leg of the triple crown and garners major attention when a horse has a chance to win all three jewels.

The Breeder’s Cup Classic

The Breeder’s Cup Classic is an annual Grade I stakes race for thoroughbred horses, typically held in November. The race was first run in 1984 and has quickly become one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world. The Breeder’s Cup Classic features a purse of several million dollars and is open to horses three years of age and older. The Classic comprises the fourth and final leg of horse racing‚Äôs Grand Slam (along with the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) which only one Thoroughbred, American Pharoah in 2015, has achieved.

The Queen’s Plate / King’s Plate

In 2022, the Queen’s Plate reverted to the King’s Plate (which it was named from 1901-1952) upon the accession of Charles III.

Closer to home, the Queen’s Plate is Canada’s oldest and most prestigious thoroughbred horse race. First run in 1860, the race is held annually in June at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, and is open to three-year-old Canadian-bred horses. The Queen’s Plate has a long and storied history, and its winners include some of the greatest horses to have ever raced in Canada. The race is attended by thousands of spectators and has become a significant cultural event in the country. Today, the Queen’s Plate remains a highly anticipated race for Canadian horse racing fans, with a purse of over $1 million.