On the third Saturday every May, fourteen thoroughbreds meet at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore to run 1 and 3/16ths miles in the prestigious Preakness Stakes. A $1.5 million purse makes this one of the most lucrative racing events in the world for horse racing teams and gamblers alike.
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown of North American horse racing and boasts the second-highest attendance in the USA, behind only the Kentucky Derby. Needless to say, the Preakness Stakes is a major betting event.
Best Betting Sites for the Preakness Stakes
There’s no need to travel all the way to Baltimore to test your handicapping skills in the Preakness Stakes thanks to online betting. There are currently dozens of legal, US-based horse racing sites that would like to bring the thrill of betting on one of the biggest racing events in the world to your computer. The best part of all is that it’s completely legal.
However, I do urge you exercise some caution in choosing where you play. There are a lot of options out there and not all were created equal. If you live in one of the 30-odd states that permit online horse racing betting, it would serve you well to stick with one of these licensed horse racing sites.
You can read more about our top picks below.
BetAmerica is licensed in North Dakota and has been offering real money horse racing betting since 2008. Over that time, the website has established a reputation for always providing players with fair odds, fast withdrawals and a high quality experience. When you sign up for an account, BetAmerica will match your first deposit with a 100% bonus for up to $300 extra.
Visit now: www.betamerica.com
TwinSpires is headquartered out of California and holds an online racing betting license in Oregon, which allows the website to offer real money wagers to customers in 30 states. This betting site was established in 2010 when the Churchill Downs company bought YouBet.com. If you sign up for an account here, you’ll get a signup bonus worth up to $100.
Visit now: www.twinspires.com
The reason I recommend these sites is because they are actually headquartered here in the US and are licensed by local gaming commissions. If you look around, you’ll find lots of other sites that claim to offer online horse racing wagers. The only problem is that most of those are unlicensed sites that operate overseas.
When you bet at US-based sites, your wagers are comingled with all wagers accepted in-person at the track. As a result, your winning wagers are paid at full track odds. Betting online at a licensed racing website is just like doing it in person; you get all the same wagers and odds that the people at the track get.
Most importantly, licensed sites are safe. They’ve already been screened by state racing commissions and have been deemed to be financially viable and fair. Betting at a license site is as safe as visiting the track in person and filling out a betting slip at the cashier’s window.
Offshore betting sites operate under a whole different set of rules. Namely, “no rules.” It’s best to avoid offshore sites as they are completely unregulated and the legality of unlicensed sites is questionable at best.
How It Works
Betting on the Preakness Stakes online isn’t much different than doing it in person. The location may be completely different, but everything else works in pretty much the same manner. Any bet that you would place at the window at the track is also available online. Furthermore, all wagers taken online are added to the same pool as the wagers that are taken at the track.
Even if you’re on the other side of the country, your money goes to the track just like it would have had you placed your bet in person. If your bet is a winner, you are paid at the same odds that everyone else receives. This is perhaps the best thing about legal horse racing in the United States. Wagering pools are bigger than ever thanks to all the money that comes in from around the country.
If you log in to your betting site during the run-up to the Preakness Stakes, you’ll be greeted with a list of available tracks and upcoming races. One of those will be Pimlico Park. Choose that park and then you’ll be taken to a list of races and all the available wagers.
The actual betting screen will show you a list of horses and an option to select your bet-type. First, choose the type of bet you’d like to place. Then, you will select the horses you wish to add to that bet. You can play around with the various types of bets and selections for as long as you need to get everything right. When you’re satisfied with your bet, click on the “add to bet slip” button and your bet will be saved.
You can create as many wagers as you want and each one will be added to your bet slip. When you’re finished adding wagers, take a look at your bet slip on the side of the screen. If everything looks good, click on “submit bets” to confirm your selections. All you have to do now is watch the races and hope for a win.
Each online betting site does it a little different, but that’s the basic idea. You won’t have any problems as long as you understand how the various types of wagers work. Speaking of which, feel free to take a look at our horse racing page if you need a refresher on how each bet works.
Understanding the Odds
It’s important to have a solid understanding of the odds so you can plan your wagers properly. Horse racing payoff odds are expressed in the “fractional” format. You can figure the payout of any bet by multiplying your intended wager by the fraction.
Longshot horse odds are the most intuitive and often times aren’t even depicted as fractions. For example, if the odds of a horse are listed as simply “25,” it means you’re getting 25/1 or 25 to 1 on your money. A $10 wager at these odds would result in a $250 profit ($10 x 25).
Horses viewed as favorites pay less than even money. Examples of these odds would include 1/3, 3/5, 7/5 and so on. If you’re planning on betting $10 on a 3/5 horse, all you do is multiple your wager by the fraction. In this case, $10 times 3/5 results in a net profit of $6. Your total return would then be $16 (your original wager plus $6 in winnings).
If this sounds complicated, just remember this: multiply your wager by the odds and that’s how much profit you stand to make.
Is it legal to bet on the Preakness Stakes online?
Yes. Online horse racing betting is legal in the United States thanks to an exemption granted by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). When that piece of legislation was passed in 2006, its intent was to crack down on offshore gambling, sports betting and poker.
Owing to longstanding connections in Congress, the horse racing industry managed to convince lawmakers to grant an exemption to online horse racing betting. So, you’re free to bet on horses all you want without any fear of the feds coming and knocking on your front door.
There’s just one caveat. Individual states still retain the right to prohibit online horse betting. Any betting site that wishes to offer internet wagering must receive approval from each state in which it wants to solicit customers. It’s a long process to get this state-by-state approval, so not all horse racing sites have the same list of accepted and restricted states.
If one horse betting site doesn’t allow you to sign up, give it a shot at your second choice site. If you find that your state is blocked by all US-based horse racing sites, you may be out of luck until the law changes in your state.