New Jersey Racebooks

Horse racing is one of the most exciting sports to bet on, and with the rising popularity of online sportsbooks, it’s easy for anyone to start. New Jersey, or The Garden State, is one of the most liberal states in the U.S. when it comes to gambling. Unsurprisingly, New Jersey racebooks and betting on horse racing are extremely popular.

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How to Bet at New Jersey Racebooks

Betting on horses has never been easier now that there is an impressive online space for the sport. With many New Jersey racebooks offering everything required to bet remotely, you never need to visit an actual track unless you want to.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to betting at New Jersey racebooks:

1 - Find a Racebook

The first step to betting online on horse racing in NJ is to find the best sportsbook that fits your needs, as there are many different ones with unique features. Some of the most important factors to look out for when searching for good New Jersey racebooks are track and race selections, expert picks and analysis, odds, live streaming, race replays, sign-up bonuses, and promotions. 

2 - Deposit Funds

Once you have decided on a suitable racebook, you will need to deposit funds. The best sportsbooks will offer sign-up bonuses, so you begin earning money right away.

3 - Select Track and Race

Most New Jersey racebooks will display the tracks and their races for that day, along with the post times. This makes it easier to place your wagers in plenty of time. Start by selecting the track that you are interested in. Then select the race that you want to bet on. 

4 - Place a Bet

Once you have selected a track and race, you will be presented with a list of the horses running. Next to each entry is the name of the horse and jockey, the current odds, and boxes to place a wager. Enter the stake you want to bet in the box associated with your pick and submit the bet.

How to Read a Horse Racing Program

Before betting on horse racing in New Jersey, it is important to know some basics. First, you should learn how to read a race program. A horse racing program has two major components: information about the day's races and details about the form (or past performance) of every runner. These are crucial for making strong betting choices. 

After you open a horse racing program, the first thing you will see is the race number. This is usually in bold and located in the top-left corner. Next to that, you will see the type of race, such as a claiming race, and the purse amount. 

Underneath this information will be the required age of the runners, weight, and the length of the race. Other basic information located at the top includes the racetrack name. 

You will then encounter each horse and post position. Information presented here will include the trainer, breeder, jockey, silks/saddle color, morning-line odds, medication, sex, and age. 

The most important aspect of a horse racing program for bettors is the previous performance of each runner. Directly under a horse's name, you will see rows of information showing the horse's record from races that year, listed from most recent to least recent. 

You will also see the date of the race, race number, track condition, distance, fractional times for the horse, the final time, and the type of race. Another important piece of information for those getting started with a horse racing program is the sectional timing data. This shows the time as the runner left the gate, hit the quarter-mile mark, half-mile, stretch, and the finish. 

Bets at New Jersey Racebooks

The first set of wagers are straight horse racing bets, which are the most common for beginners. 

Straight Horse Racing Bets

Now that you know how to get started with online betting on horse races, you should become familiar with the types of bets offered.

Here are the requirements of the main straight horse racing betting markets at New Jersey racebooks:

  • Win: You must select a horse to win the race.
  • Place: You must select a horse to finish either in first or second place.
  • Show: You must select a horse to finish in first, second or third place.
  • Across the Board: Also called the Win, Place, Show bet, this wager combines multiple bets into one for a chance at a greater return. You will win the payouts for all three Win, Place, and Show bets if your horse finishes first. If the horse finishes second, you will win the Place and Show, and if it finishes third, you will only win the Show element.

Exotic Horse Racing Bets

After becoming familiar with the straight wagers, you can move on to exotic bets or non-straight wagers. These are more complex, but can offer higher payouts. It is usually exotic bets that are most often responsible for big paydays. 

Here is a look at the most popular exotic horse racing bets at New Jersey racebooks:

  • Exacta: Select two horses to finish in first and second place. Then specify the exact order in which they will finish. 
  • Quinella: Select two horses to finish in first and second place. You don't have to specify their finishing order for this bet. 
  • Trifecta: Select three horses to finish in first, second and third place. Then specify the exact order in which they will finish. 
  • Superfecta: A Superfecta bet has the potential to provide massive winnings. You must select four horses to finish in first, second, third and fourth place. You also need to predict the exact order win which those horses will finish.
  • Daily Double: Your task here is to pick one horse in each of two consecutive races. If both of them win their races, the bet wins.
  • Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6: This bet is similarly to the Daily Double. Here you must select the winner in each of three, four, five or six consecutive races. 

New Jersey Racebooks 

New Jersey has a long history involving horse racing, and it offers various tracks for both harness and Thoroughbred racing. It is home to some of the major races like the $1 million Haskell Invitational. 

The New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) is responsible for regulating the safety of the horseracing industry in the state, and it conducts regular monitoring. The Division of the New Jersey Racing Commission has jurisdiction over the state's Thoroughbred and standardbred permit holders, and it regulates racing at the state's three Thoroughbred tracks. 

The state uses a pari-mutuel wagering system for horse racing, which is the most common form of horse racing betting. This means when you place a bet you are betting against other bettors rather than against the track. 

For 2021, the NJRC approved Thoroughbred dates at Monmouth for 53 days and at Meadowlands for nine days. 

New Jersey is also on its way to becoming the first state in the U.S. to allow fixed-odds wagering on in-state horse races. Fixed-odds wagering is a form of betting against odds offered by a bookmaker or an individual. In other words, you are betting on an event in which there is no fluctuation on the payout. This type of wagering is already extremely popular in Australia. 

By allowing fixed-odds betting, NJ horse racing will be countering a major problem in American racing, which is large odds drops in the pari-mutuel pools on horses after the race starts. This is often a major complaint by bettors all around the country. 

Online v On-Track Betting

A big advantage of NJ horse racing online betting is that you don't have to worry about going to a track. As long as you have an internet connection, you can bet from the comfort of anywhere. 

If you go to NJ horse racing tracks, you will be placing bets in-person on either a machine or at a wagering booth.

This process takes longer than online betting if you have to stand in line, and you already have to be careful not to miss the post time of a race.

When you go to place the bet, you will select the race number, type of wager, horses, and bet amount before receiving a betting slip. 

Off-track betting in online sportsbooks is much more convenient, which has led to most people never even going to a track.

By relying on online betting for NJ horse racing, you have more time to develop your picks and strategies. 

The other significant advantage of online betting is that online sites and sportsbooks offer various promotions and bonuses.

This is especially helpful if you are a beginner, as you already start out winning. 

Where to Watch Horse Racing

Some bettors may wonder how they will watch the horse races if they don't go to a track, especially since the major TV networks only broadcast the most prestigious races. You have a few options. The first is by looking towards one of the stations dedicated to horse racing, which will offer a larger selection of racing.

However, if you want access to nearly all of the races running in New Jersey and the entire country, you will want to rely on a sportsbook. The top online sportsbooks will offer live streaming of NJ horse racing, so you will be able to watch whichever races you decide to wager on. 

The top New Jersey racebooks also offer replays of horse races. This allows you to analyze a race and your picks after the event has concluded. This will help you develop a stronger strategy for the next time you wager. 

Horse Racing Terms Explained

It is very useful to understand some of the most commonly used horse racing terms when betting at New Jersey racebooks. These can often be confusing to beginners, but they shouldn't be. With just a little bit of studying, you will be ready to wager right away. 

Here is a look at some of the most common horse betting terms:


A type of synthetic racing surface that can handle harsher weather conditions. 

Allowance Race

These races have special conditions that give certain allowances to competing runners. The horses in these races cannot compete at the stakes level. 

Claiming Race

The horses for the race are offered for sale at a 'claiming price' right before it runs.


A colt is one of the main types of Thoroughbred racehorses. It is an uncastrated male that is 4-years-old or younger. If a male racehorse exceeds this age, it is referred to as a horse or stallion.


A race track is referred to as dirt track when its surface consists of dirt rather than turf.


Another one of the main types of racehorses. A filly is a female horse that is age 4-years-old or younger. 


One of the most common units of measurement used in horse racing. It is the same as 1/8 of a mile.


A gelding is a racehorse that has been castrated.

Graded Stakes

There are many different types of horse races, including non-graded, regular stakes, and graded stakes. Graded stakes top the list and can be broken down into Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3. They often feature the highest purses and best runners. A Grade 1 race is the highest of all.


The term maiden refers to a racehorse that has never won a race.

Maiden Race

These are races that are restricted to horses which have yet to achieve a win.


For a female racehorse to be called a mare, it must be 5-years-old or older. 

Optional Claiming Race

This is a mix between an allowance and claiming race. If the runner does not meet the conditions, it is required to be offered for a claiming price.


A racing surface of grass is referred to as a turf track. 

Horse Racing Tracks in New Jersey

There are three main choices when it comes to NJ horse racing tracks for Thoroughbred and harness racing:

Freehold Raceway

Located in Freehold and established in 1853, its live racing season runs from August through early June. The track is open every day and night, and it offers year-round Thoroughbred and harness racing simulcasts for North American tracks. 

Monmouth Park

One of the top Thoroughbred racing tracks in the country, Monmouth Park has been around since 1870. It hosts the $1 million Haskell Invitational every August.

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment

Horse racing at Meadowlands features live harness and Thoroughbred racing. The track also hosts the Hambletonian, which is the world's top trotting event.

New Jersey Racebooks FAQ

Is horse race betting legal in New Jersey?
Horse race betting is legal in the state of New Jersey. As a matter of fact, New Jersey is the most liberal gambling jurisdiction in the U.S.
Which betting system is used in New Jersey?
While the state has traditionally used a pari-mutuel system (which is the most popular in the country) it is on its way to allowing fixed-odds wagering.
Who regulates horse racing in New Jersey?
The horse racing industry in New Jersey is regulated by the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC).
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