Minnesota is best known for its plenitude of lakes, which also figure in its history of horse racing.
Because Minnesota has long allowed residents 18 and older to wager on horse races, most providers of online horse betting through advance-deposit wagering (ADW) websites accept customers from the state. The big four horse racing betting sites – TwinSpires.com, TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, and NYRABets.com – currently provide service for Minnesotans.
These sites offer a variety of signup bonuses and rewards programs to attract and retain customers, so it pays to shop around before you settle on a provider.
Minnesota Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Minnesota||Other Promos|
|Nyra Bets||$200 deposit match||Odds boosters, daily offers|
|TVG||Get up to $200 back||Get a $25 Bonus for every friend you refer|
|TwinSpires||$200 sign-up offer||Free play daily & weekly options|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|123bet||$1230 new member bonus||Refer-a-Friend bonus: get $50|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
|WatchandWager.com||Bonus up to $25||The weekly 3-2-1 Bonus, no maximum payouts on cashback|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Minnesota?
Horse racing betting features for Minnesota
- Nyra Bets Minnesota Features:
- Free live video streaming (HD live and replay) on Thoroughbred, Harness and Quarter horse racing and race replays nationwide
- Free handicapping tips
- Swap positions quickly for Exacta, Tri & Supers
- Weekly live money handicapping contests with cash prizes
- TVG Minnesota Features:
- TVG Expert Picks for everyday
- Free Past Performances Program
- Live streams from tracks around the US and beyond
- Money Back Special on select races
- Twinspires Minnesota Features:
- First Race Freeplay: get $100 in Free Bets
- 15% boost on a winning Trifecta bet every Tuesday
- Exacta insurance: get a bet back of up to $10
- Live races and highlights of previous races, both on the website and the app
- Bet Back offers (receive a refund for your bet if the horse you bet on to win the race finishes in second or third)
- Daily Double bets
- Xpressbet Minnesota Features:
- Horse racing’s leading loyalty program (receive two XB Rewards Points for every dollar you wager)
- Cash prizes in regular handicapping contests
- Deposit by mail
- Bet the horse races over the phone
- 1st/bet Minnesota Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products: Toteboarding, Free Daily Race Analysis, and “Race of the Day” Past Performance
- 123bet Minnesota Features:
- No fees Friday (deposit $10 or more on Fridays via credit card or Paynearme)
- Loyalty Reward Points
- Handicapping products from Equibase (available only on the web)
- Watch and Wager Minnesota Features:
- Horse Racing Contests Daily for free
- Refer-a-Friend Bonus
Horse bet types available online
In Minnesota, you can place different types of horse wagers. The most popular online bets are
- Win (the horse you bet on must come first)
- Place (the horse must finish first or second)
- Show (the horse must come either first, second, or third)
- Win Place (places a win and a place bet in one bet)
- Win Show (places a win and a show bet in one bet)
- Win Place Show (aka “across the board”; combines Win, Place and Show into one bet)
- Exacta (you bet on horses to come first and second in that order)
- Quinella (the same as exacta, but horses can finish in any order for you to win the bet)
- Trifecta (three horses should finish first, second and third in that order)
- Superfecta (the same as trifecta but here you bet on four horses)
- Super High 5 (you have to choose the winner of five races in a row)
- Grand Slam (pick a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, capped by the winner of the fourth race in the sequence)
- Parlays (combine multiple selections on the same ticket, even if the races aren’t in sequential order).
- Credit and Debit Cards
- ACH Bank Transfer / eCheck
- Wire Transfer
- Green Dot
- Check or Money Order
- By mail: Xpressbet
Minnesota Horse Betting Overview
Some of the earliest horse races in Minnesota were run on ice, a plentiful commodity in the winter months in the so-called “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Some historians believe the practice, which began before Minnesota became a state in 1858, was imported by lumbermen from Maine, where the winter version of the sport also was popular.
But racing also found its way onto firmer ground, with the state hosting numerous harness racetracks for standardbreds before adding thoroughbred racing following the formation of the Twin City Jockey Club in 1887.
The inaugural Twin City Jockey Club meeting was awarded eight dates from July 23-31, 1889, at a fairgrounds track near Hamline University in St. Paul, which resulted in the track being known as “Hamline.”
Today the state is home to two horse racetracks: Canterbury Park in Shakopee, about 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis, and Running Aces, a similar distance from the city to the northeast.
The former typically conduct thoroughbred races from mid-May through mid-August. Its signature race is the Mystic Lake Derby, which is typically run in late June.
Running Aces generally conducts racing from mid-May through mid-September.
Fun fact about horse racing in Minnesota
The first reference to the slippery sport of horse racing on ice was found in the pages of the Saint Paul Pioneer and Democrat on Jan. 14, 1856, according to a 1969 article in Minnesota History magazine by Robert M. Irving and Kenneth Carley.
The event involved a match race on Mississippi River ice between a stallion owned by Capt. William R. Dodd and a gelding, Tom Brown, owned by John W. Cormack, according to the newspaper. The account said that Tom Brown, who pulled his rider in a modified sulky, emerged victorious by about 30 feet over Dodd’s stallion, whose name was not recorded in the article, who was tethered to a “cutter” sleigh. “It is said that $1,000 was put up, on the result of the race, by the respective owners of the horses,” the paper reported.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Minnesota
- The Mystic Lake Derby
- The Claiming Crown
- Mystic Lake Northern Stars Turf Festival
- Minnesota Derby and Oaks
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Royal Ascot
- Cheltenham Festival
- Travers Stakes
- Pacific Classic Stakes
- Haskell Invitational
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Minnesota
- Canterbury Park
- Running Aces
Yes. You must be 18 or older to place online horse bets in Minnesota.
Yes, Minnesota allows horse racing betting online and through mobile apps.
Yes, OTB is legal in Minnesota. Simulcasting is offered at the state’s two racetracks, Canterbury Downs and Running Aces Casino.