California is one of the primary focal points of American horse racing, offering some of the most exciting races and beautiful tracks in the country. The state also has one of the longest and richest histories surrounding the sport out of any state.
Betting on California horse racing events couldn't be easier. You no longer have to plan an entire day at the track for either live-racing or simulcast wagering. As long as you have access to the internet, you can bet online on any California horse race. Not to mention, you can bet on many other tracks around the country.
Here is what you need to do to begin betting CA horse racing online:
|Type of Betting Allowed:||On-site, off-track, online betting, out-of-state betting.|
|Notable Horse Tracks:||Cal Expo, Del Mar, Golden Gate Fields, Los Alamitos, Santa Anita|
|Gambling Age:||18 for pari-mutuel betting.|
|Authority:||California Horse Racing Board|
One of the most fundamental aspects of CA horse racing is learning how to read a racing program. As mentioned previously, the first step to wagering on online horse racing is to develop a strategy. That is highly dependent on efficiently being able to read a race program.
A horse program contains information about the race and the horse’s set to run in it, and it provides the best data for making a solid pick. Upon opening a racing program, you will encounter information such as the race number, type of race, and purse amount.
As you continue to look over the program, you will also see each horse listed according to its post position. The program lists the position directly to the left of the horse’s name. This area of the program also includes the trainer’s name, the jockey, the morning-line odds, and other valuable information about the horse.
There is one specific section of a race program that all California horse racing bettors will consider the most valuable: a horse’s past performances. You can find this information listed on the program as rows of information containing the runner’s record from the current year.
This section of the program can be confusing for beginners, as it includes information in the forms of fractions and decimals. These are simply the fractional times of a race and how long it took to finish. For example, the time at the quarter-mile, half-mile, stretch, and finish marks.
With just a little bit of studying, anyone can pick up a horse program and start analyzing it right away.
After you have developed a strategy, found an online racebook to suit your needs, choosing a track and race, and read the race program, you can finally decide on the type of bet you want to place for CA horse racing.
There are two main types of bets that are commonly used in CA horse racing online betting: straight and exotic bets. Most beginners will stick to straight bets, as they are the most straight-forward and easy to understand.
Straight horse race bets include:
Once you decide to move into slightly more complex betting habits, you can choose to place exotic horse racing bets on CA online horse racing. These carry the potential of paying out much larger numbers than what you encounter with straight wagers, but they also cost more to place. It is not uncommon to see some of the payouts be in the hundreds or thousands.
Let’s first look at the three most common exotic bets that you will encounter:
There are two more exotic bets that you will encounter when you bet on CA horse racing online. They have a different structure than the previous three:
Pari-mutuel betting was legalized in California in 1933. The betting system revolves around all bets placed into a pool, and the track receives money for running the races.
Before the legalization of pari-mutuel betting, there were various tracks already existing in California. However, the legislation made wagering legal at the tracks.
San Joaquin Fair became the first track to take legal wagers in 1933. Tracks that followed include Bay Meadows, Santa Anita, Pomona Fair, and Tanforan the same year, the state of California has since committed to the sport.
Most of the gambling at California horse racing tracks is for Thoroughbred racing. Harness racing also runs at various tracks, but it has never reached the same level of popularity in the state.
Despite the state allowing horse racing for decades, there could be some changes in the near future. As of right now, the sport is still safe in the state, but various regulations and an outright ban on CA horse racing have been sought by many. Most of this comes from the 2019 racing season, which saw 22 horse deaths within 2.5 months at Santa Anita track.
These events have led to the industry facing a crisis in the state, with a proposed ballot referendum to outlaw the sport. However, that type of action is still far from being likely. With independent tracks working hard together to improve industry safety, new reforms are being put in place to protect the horses.
California operates under the strictest regulations of any U.S. state. The industry is controlled by the California Horse Racing Board.
Most people never even show up to an actual racing track. This is with all the online sportsbooks on the market and the ease of being able to bet through the internet. Much of the wagering happens through these online sportsbooks. With that said, California does see a stronger on-track betting presence given the state’s conditions.
The CA horse racing tracks are considered some of the most beautiful in the world. Plus, with the state’s favorable weather for racing conditions, many do choose to spend a day at the tracks. If that is the case, you can start wagering in-person on either machine or through a betting booth.
However, online betting offers many advantages to both beginners and experts. It is undoubtedly more convenient, offering you the ability to watch and wager from anywhere. But besides that, the actual process is much more efficient. You can spend more time preparing, observing different CA horse races on the day, and developing a personalized strategy.
On-track betting rarely, if ever, offers you the ability to receive bonuses in any form. A track might offer some type of rewards program, but a beginner will undoubtedly be better off wagering online.
The most exciting part of CA horse racing is actually watching the races, so it is important to have a clear view of the running.
There are three main ways to watch the horse races:
You are going to come across a lot of horse racing jargon when reading a race program or betting on CA horse racing, but don’t let it be discouraging. Just like all sports, horse racing takes a little bit of time to understand. Once you learn the most common horse betting terms, you will be able to wager right away. You can learn more on how to bet on horses in our dedicated guide.
Let’s first look at terms regarding the horse:
Here are some common terms regarding the most common CA horse race types:
Here are some terms regarding common race tracks in CA horse racing:
There are many great CA horse racing tracks, with the state consistently hosting the best names in the sport. Some of the tracks in California are considered the most beautiful in the country.
Here are some of the top CA horse racing tracks:
The horse racing industry in California is regulated by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB).
Horse racing betting is legal in California, with the state being one of the focal points of the entire Thoroughbred racing industry in the United States. However, recent controversies and events throughout the last few years have threatened the industry in the state. Steps are being taken to improve racing, with new rules and regulations constantly being proposed.
California offers some of the most prominent horse races in the year, with many of the sports great runners traveling to the state. Some of the top races in CA horse racing include the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar and the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park.
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