Horse Betting Guide For Indiana
Before sports betting was legalized, horse betting was the only way to get some live action outside of a casino. While it isn’t Kentucky, horse racing in Indiana has a lot of history and is very popular.
You can bet on horses at two live locations, off-track facilities, or online. When in-state and off-track revenue are combined, Indiana residents bet nearly $300 million on horse racing.
While it is unknown how sports betting will affect horse-betting revenue, there will be some dropoff, but horse racing will not be going away in Indiana. Indiana Grand has some of the biggest purses in the nation and is well known nationally and internationally.
Live racing in Indiana
There are two locations in Indiana where live racing occurs. Both locations have a schedule of racing from late March or early April until late October or early November. Caesars Entertainment owns and operates both of the horse racing tracks in Indiana.
Harrah’s Hoosier Park
Harrah’s Hoosier Park is a racetrack and casino located in Anderson, Ind., 30 miles outside of Indianapolis. The 7/8-mile track features harness racing from April through November.
Its biggest racing event of the year is the Dan Patch Stakes with a purse of $300,000. Just like it did in 2017, the racetrack will host the Breeder’s Crown events in 2020. Harrah’s Hoosier Park opened in 1994.
The off-track betting is open year-round. Children are welcome at the racetrack and the restaurants, just not in the casino. Parking is always free. Racing begins this year on March 27.
Indiana Grand Racing and Casino is located in Shelbyville, Ind. Caesars bought the location in 2018. The horse racing is done on a one-mile horse track.
Racing action includes quarter horses and thoroughbreds. The location is open 24 hours a day. There is live on-track racing seven months of the year. Indiana Grand is the only Quarter horse and thoroughbred racing in Indiana. Indiana Grand has the fifth-largest purses in the United States.
The Indiana Derby, the premier event in Indiana horse racing, happens in July with a prize purse of over $500,000. Indiana Grand also has off-track betting all year long.
There are also horse races a few times a year at local fairs, as well as the state fair. All races are Indiana-sired horses only, and the purses are generally very small. Some do not even allow betting.
Online horse race betting
Like in most states, online horse betting is legal in Indiana. Online horse betting was legalized in 2015. The two largest online horse wagering sites in the U.S. are TVG and BetAmerica.
The online sites are like having an OTB at your fingertips. While you might be missing the betting sheets to help make your decisions, almost everything else you need is on the app.
Just like wagering in a casino, or on live racing, you must be 21 years of age to play.
OTB in Indiana
OTB, or off-track betting, is legal in Indiana. There are three locations besides the ones at the live racing locations. There are a few requirements for OTBs that must be met to open a location.
- Provide multiple TVs for gamblers to watch simulcasts
- Provide food
- Seating for 200 or more people
Winner’s Circle is the owner of all three locations.
Winner’s Circle OTB Clarksville
The location in Clarksville, Ind., not only has big-screen TVs but also personal monitors at betting stations. The location offers concession-type food and a full-service bar.
This location has added a sportsbook as well, making it an ideal location for some big-time action on the weekends.
Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille and OTB Indianapolis
The downtown Indianapolis location is by far the best location of the three. It has a full bar menu with lots of TVs to follow the races, or the games, depending on what you have bet.
Like the location in Clarksville, it also has a sportsbook at the location.
Winner’s Circle OTB New Haven
Just like in Indianapolis, the New Haven location has a full menu. The food is provided by the VooDoo BBQ & Grill. The location has tons of seating and also opened a sportsbook in September.
The HD video wall is great for watching all the football action on Saturdays and Sundays.
Big horse racing events
Indiana Grand has a lot of nice purse sizes for its regular races, as it is fifth in the nation on purse size. We will cover some of the bigger events at Harrah’s Hoosier Park and the Indiana Grand.
These are a great time to visit for some live racing as the crowds and money are both huge!
- Dan Patch Stakes: The event occurs in August and is held at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The harness races feature a purse of over $300,000. Dan Patch Stakes is the final race of the Dan Patch festival. It is a day-long race card that has activities for kids and even a concert to end the big day of racing.
- Indiana Derby: The 1 1/16 mile is held at Indiana Grand and features a purse of over $500,000. It is a 3-year-old race, and winners can advance to the Breeders’ Cup. If Hoosier Park is not hosting the Breeders’ Crown, this is the biggest purse race in Indiana. Breeders’ Crown: This race will be returning to Hoosier Park in 2020 after an appearance in 2017. The Breeders’ Crown is a $6 million event, and it is the premier event for harness racing. In 2017, $2.1 million was bet during the event.
- Indiana Oaks: This is Indiana Derby for fillies. A filly is a female race that is under 4 years of age. This race is also 1 1/16 miles with a purse over $200,000.
- Caesars Stakes: The name was changed from the Centaur Stakes when Caesars bought Indiana Grand in 2018. With a $200,000 purse size, it is the biggest turf race in Indiana.