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Known as “The Sport of Kings,” horse racing has never been easier to wager on, thanks to online and mobile betting. Just as exciting, incentives have never been greater or more rewarding for our horseplayers at Bookmaker. Among the benefits of playing with us are up to eight percent in daily rebates, full track odds, the most major and minor tracks offered in the industry, up to post-time wagering, and daily head-to-head horse matchups.

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Dubai World Cup

2024 Dubai World Cup

Date: Saturday, March 24, 2024

Location: Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai World Cup TV Coverage: TVG

The first major horse race of the year is the prestigious Dubai World Cup. As we have seen in other sports, the Dubai World Cup has taken on increased importance because of massive prize pools that attract the top thoroughbreds in the world to the United Arab Emirates to take part in this event. The 2024 Dubai World Cup is the marquee race of Dubai World Cup Night, which has eight thoroughbred races and one Purebred Arabian race. The Dubai World Cup has a prize purse of $12 million dollars with the winner taking home $7.2 million. The 2024 Dubai World Cup is a 2,000 meter (approximately 10 furlongs) race that will be held at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on Saturday, March 30, 2024.

Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Saturdays are back at BookMaker with all Saturday races featuring raised limits from $30K max payouts to $100K max payouts. The Saratoga racing summer season begins in early July each year and runs through early September with more than $20 million dollars in stakes races including the Travers Stakes and Whitney Stakes in August.

Triple Crown Races

The Triple Crown of horse racing features three of the biggest United States races on the annual calendar. It all begins on the first Saturday in May with the Kentucky Derby. It continues two weeks later with the Preakness Stakes and wraps up with the Belmont three weeks later. Any horse that can win all three races earns the rare Triple Crown. There was a long Triple Crown drought, as from 1979 to 2014, there was no winner, but American Pharoah ended the famine in 2015, and Justify won the Triple Crown in 2018. The Belmont Stakes is where the Triple Crown is clinched or lost.

150th Kentucky Derby

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024

Location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY

Race Distance: 1 1/4 miles ( 10 furlongs ), dirt track

Purse: $5 million

The 150th running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 4th, 2024 and the early favorite is Fierceness. The Todd Pletcher trained horse is coming off a dominating win in the Florida Derby, winning by 13.5 lengths. Other top contenders to win the Kentucky Derby include Sierra Leone, Dornoch and Forever Young. Sierra Leone and Dornoch were pointing to the Blue Grass Stakes for a Kentucky Derby prep, while Forever Young is coming off a dominating win in the UAE Derby. While the favorites will get a lot of attention in Kentucky Derby odds, it should be noted that the Kentucky Derby betting favorite has lost in each of the last five years. The last Derby favorite to win was Justify in 2018 and that horse went on to win the Triple Crown.

149th Preakness Stakes

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024

Location: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD

Race Distance: 1 3/16 Miles

Purse: $2 million

The 149th running of the Preakness Stakes will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness Stakes is the second race in horse racing’s Triple Crown, following the Kentucky Derby which is held on the first Saturday in May and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes in early June. The Preakness Stakes almost always has added excitement because the Kentucky Derby winner will be trying to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive, but whether that happens this year is in question, as 2024 Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan may not run in the 2024 Preakness. His connections may wait up until the last minute before deciding whether or not to enter Mystik Dan in the Preakness. In the last five years, all of the Kentucky Derby winners failed to win the Preakness. One of the main reasons for that happening is that all five Derby winners went off as longshots and that is the case again in 2024, as Mystik Dan was an 18-1 longshot winner of the Kentucky Derby. It is tough enough for a horse to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and even tougher when the horse wasn’t even expected to win the Derby. Early contenders to win the 2024 Preakness Stakes are the Bob Baffert trained Muth and Imagination, Mystik Dan, if he runs, Seize the Gray, Copper Tax and Tuscan Gold.

156th Belmont Stakes

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2024

Location: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, NY (Belmont Park Construction)

Race Distance: 1 1/4 miles ( 12 furlongs ), dirt track

Purse: $2 million

Known as “The Test of the Champion,” the Belmont Stakes is the longest of the Triple Crown races. Many horses have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but it’s uncommon to see a horse that can complete the final marathon leg and all of its pressure. Secretariat’s 31-length win at the 1973 Belmont remains one of the most awe-inspiring performances in sports history.

There will be an interesting twist to the 2024 Belmont Stakes. Due to renovations at Belmont Park, the Belmont Stakes will be run at the famed and historic Saratoga Race Course. Also, the race is expected to be shortened to a mile and a quarter because of the Saratoga track configuration.

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Breeders' Cup

2024 Breeders' Cup

Date: November 1-2, 2024

Location: Del Mar Racetrack, Del Mar, California

Horse racing rarely draws mainstream attention outside the Triple Crown, but the Breeders’ Cup is one exception. For two days, the greatest horses, trainers, and jockeys in the world convene for a level of quality that is unsurpassed in the sport. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is a pivotal race with the greatest living horses of any age running for glory.

Top Contenders for the 2024 Triple Crown

The first two spots for Triple Crown chalk were essentially a photo finish between Remsen Stakes winner Dornoch and Kentucky Jockey Club victor Honor Marie.

As much enthusiasm as horse handicappers have for Honor Marie’s potential, they are slightly higher on Dornoch’s chances to develop into an elite 3-year-old in 2024.

When looking over the Remsen Stakes winner Dornoch, he has a habit of erratic or, more accurately, immature behavior in his races, specifically losing focus in the stretch. He showed incredible resilience after he was passed (not headed but actually passed) in the Remsen stretch by Sierra Leone, then fought back gamely on the inside to push his nose in front in the closing strides of the one 1/8-mile, Grade 2 test. The fact that he had significant fuel left in the gas tank after setting the pace through a half-mile in:46.97 really stood out as an indicator of quality.

He earned a new career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure for the Remsen and a 97 Equibase Speed Figure that was a few ticks off the 101 he earned for a six ½-length maiden romp on Oct. 14 at Keeneland. Given the immaturity and Dornoch’s pedigree — he’s a full-sibling (same sire father, same dam mother) to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage — it’s pretty easy to envision a path to success on the 2024 Kentucky Derby trail and beyond.

Sharps don’t typically love one-run, deep closers like Honor Marie for the Kentucky Derby, but recent history has shown that closers like Country House (2019), Rich Strike (2022), and Mage (2023) can win on the first Saturday in May.

Likewise, even in years when speed has been potent in terms of determining the winner, closers frequently pass tiring horses in the Churchill stretch to fill out the trifecta or exacta.

Honor Marie delivered a breakout race in winning the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes by two lengths on Nov. 25, going 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs. The Bay Honor Code colt improved his Equibase Speed Figure 11 points to a career-best 101 and boosted his Beyer Speed Figure 13 points to a new top of 92.

Trainer D. Whitworth Beckman is a former assistant to Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown, so he’s been around quality Derby candidates, and this one is bred for stamina. Sire (father) Honor Code, by 1992 Horse of the Year AP Indy, won the 2015 Whitney Stakes, and Honor Marie’s dam (mother), Dame Marie, is a Grade 2-placed winner at 1 1/8 miles and a three-quarter sibling to Rule of Law, winner of the 2005 English St. Leger at one ¾ miles.

He's not quite fast enough yet, but with two wins, a second in three starts, and a Grade 2 victory on the host track of the Kentucky Derby, there is significant reason for optimism.

In previous years, many gamblers did not consider horses from the barn of Bob Baffert because they were ineligible to accrue Kentucky Derby qualifying points or to compete in the first jewel of the Triple Crown while under his care as part of a ban instituted by Churchill Downs in the wake of Media Spirit’s disqualification for a medication violation in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

But we’ve seen in the last two years that if a Derby prospect has demonstrated the ability to compete in marquee races on the road to the Triple Crown, they will be transferred to another trainer (primarily Tim Yakteen in 2022 and 2023) to qualify and compete in the Kentucky Derby.

Nysos looked like that type of highly regarded runner in winning the Grade 2 Bob Hope Stakes at seven-eighths of a mile on Nov. 19 at Del Mar. The bay colt by Nyquist won his debut by 10 ½ lengths in October at Santa Anita and followed with an eight ¾-length runaway in the Bob Hope, stamping himself one to watch heading into 2024.

Tactical speed is a valuable asset for Nysos, but cappers are not as sold on Nysos as a one ¼-mile horse based on what they have seen from him on the racetrack and his pedigree.

Sharps do think the colt by 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist has a solid chance to be successful navigating two turns as there is some stamina on the bottom half of his pedigree, including third dam (maternal great-grandmother) Unbridled Elaine, winner of the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Like Dornoch and Honor Marie, Nysos will need to improve to be a top Derby candidate in 2024, but you have to like what he’s shown in two starts to date.

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