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What Bettors Need to Know about the Breeders' Cup Races

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports betting events in history and has always attracted a global audience. While there are dozens of different competitions held every day at hundreds of tracks around the world, the annual Triple Crown events and the Breeders' Cup championship typically draw the largest crowds and the most wagers.

21 different countries host their own version of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, but the Breeders' Cup is international, held in North America, and accepts entrants from any location. The competitions began in 1984 and are held at different tracks each year. The location is usually in the United States, except for the 1996 events which took place at Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario, Canada. Currently, there are 14 different contests with purses ranging from half a million to 5 million dollars.

When it first began, it consisted of 8 separate Grade I legs and was known as the richest day in sports, awarding more than $20 million to the collective winners. In 2007, 3 new contests were added to the lineup and the festival was extended to a 2-day event. Three more competitions were added the next year, making the 2nd day of the championships the second richest day in sports. The Dubai World Cup Night, another thoroughbred event consisting of 6 different legs, now holds the title of the richest day in sports.

The first night of the championships usually consists of 5 competitions, typically those with the smallest purses. It all kicks off with the Marathon, followed by juvenile turf contests, the Dirt Mile, and the Ladies' Classic. On Saturday, the remaining 9 are held, with more than $18 million awarded in prizes. Both days generate plenty of excitement among bettors. Online horse racing sites usually start promoting the event at least a month in advance so players are prepared to make their wagers.

If you plan to bet on the Breeders' Cup race card, you will want to stay current on all of the season's thoroughbred happenings. Keep an eye on European contenders, particularly those who have had a few months to rejuvenate since their last competition. The most popular contests for wagering are the Turf, the Mile, and the premier race of the year, the Classic, but all 14 of the contests are available through most online sportsbooks. Some sites provide live coverage of the festival, while others offer real time updates. It is also televised in case your sportsbook doesn't have a way for you to keep up with the action.

People have been making wagers at the racetrack for decades, from the renowned Kentucky Derby to the Hong Kong Gold Cup at the Sha Tin Racecourse. Today, the industry generates billions of dollars in revenue. Online betting makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to gamble on nearly every equine happening that takes place throughout the year, whether it's a North American race or a competition in Australia.