Alabama Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in AL

Learn about Alabama's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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Even though land-based horse race betting is legal, you won’t find any live Alabama race tracks within the state’s borders. But don’t worry, you can still place your bets on out-of-state horse races through simulcast locations. Despite its popularity, if you wish to experience the adrenaline rush of a live race, you’ll need to venture beyond Alabama’s state lines.

Most Popular Alabama Race Tracks

While there are no physical Alabama race tracks, here are some live horse racing tracks in neighboring states:

Kentucky Downs

Address: 5629 Nashville Rd Franklin, KY 42134
Phone: (270) 586-7778

If you’re an Alabama horse racing enthusiast, Kentucky Downs should be on your bucket list. Operating just one week in September, it hosts one of the most exclusive thoroughbred horse racing events in North America.

Kentucky Downs is unique in that it’s America’s only European-style racecourse. The track, one mile and five-sixteenths in length, is one of the longest in the nation. Its kidney-shaped design features a unique right-hand bend, unlike other racetracks.

Kentucky Downs

As a ticket holder, you’ll have access to the Mint Gaming Hall, a covered race viewing platform, betting machines, and a variety of entertainment, food, and beverages. For a special experience, consider their VIP package. This includes VIP parking, entrances, shuttles to and from the venue, and a VIP experience at the Finish Line.

Iroquois Steeplechase

Address: 2500 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37221
Phone: (615) 591-2991

The Iroquois Steeplechase, hosted annually at Percy Warner Park, offers a unique Alabama horse racing experience. This one-day event, which is a fundraiser for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and other local non-profit organizations, provides a full day of entertainment, starting at 8:00 a.m. and concluding around 5:30 p.m.


The world-class races attract top-notch horses and jockeys, offering you a variety of betting options. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a novice, wagering on these high-stakes races is unparalleled.

The event caters to all types of spectators with a range of ticket options including private parties, general admission, tailgating, and party tents. For a more exclusive experience, there’s a VIP area that offers a premium viewing experience.

Oak Grove

Address: 777 Winners Way, Oak Grove, KY 42262
Phone: (270) 984-4200

Experience the thrill of horse race betting at Oak Grove. From the spacious 13,000-square-foot Grandstand, you’ll have a clear view of the Homestretch, Finish Line, and Winners Circle.

Oak Grove

With free admission and parking, you can immerse yourself in the excitement without any hassle. After the races, try your luck at the casino with over 1,200 slots to choose from. If you wish to extend your stay, there’s a hotel on-site for your convenience.

Popular Alabama Horse Racing Events with Dates

As there are no horse racing tracks available in Alabama, explore some of the most popular live racing events that you can bet on from other states.

Horse RacesRacing DatesWhere to Bet
Kentucky DerbyFirst Saturday in MayKentucky
Grand NationalAprilOnline
Belmont StakesJuneOnline
Melbourne CupNovemberOnline
Epsom DerbyFirst Saturday in JuneOnline
St. Leger StakesSeptemberOnline
Cheltenham Gold CupMarchOnline
Ascot Gold CupJuneOnline
Pegasus World CupJanuaryFlorida

Types of Alabama Horse Racing Betting

While there are no live horse racing tracks in Alabama, neighboring states offer a variety of options. You can place different types of bets, including win, place, and show bets. A win bet means you’re betting on a horse to come in first, a place bet is for a horse to finish first or second, and a show bet is for a horse to finish anywhere in the top three.

You can also explore exotic bets like exactas, trifectas, and superfectas, where you’re predicting the top two, three, or four finishers in exact order. In terms of the horses, you’ll find races featuring different breeds, including the fast and agile Thoroughbred horses, and the powerful, sprinting Quarter horses for quarter horse racing.

You might also encounter Harness racing, where the horses pull a two-wheeled cart, or sulky, at a specific gait. Remember, while betting can be fun, it’s essential to bet responsibly.

Simulcast Wagering in Alabama

In Alabama, simulcast horse race betting is legal and available in a few locations throughout the state. With no live race tracks in Alabama, simulcast wagering serves as the best option for land-based betting facilities.

Here’s a list of all simulcast wagering locations in Alabama:

Betting LocationAddress
Birmingham Race Course Casino1000 John Rogers Dr, Birmingham, AL 35235
Mobile Greyhound Park7101 Old Pascagoula Rd, Theodore, AL 36582
Victoryland Casino8680 Co. Rd 40, Shorter, AL, 36075
Greenetrack524 Co. Rd 208, Eatuw AL, 35462

Other Types of Gambling in Alabama

Learn more about Alabama gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Alabama Horse Racing

In 1901, the Alabama State constitution first banned all forms of gambling determined by chance. This legislation put a halt to the budding industry of horse race betting in the state. Fast forward to 1971, a landmark year for Alabama’s betting scene, as the state legalized pari mutuel wagering at horse and dog racetracks. This was a significant step forward, paving the way for the creation of the Alabama Racing Commission, a body appointed to oversee these activities.

You might find it interesting that Alabama has only ever had one horse racing track, the Birmingham Race Course. However, it’s a bittersweet memory for the state’s racing enthusiasts, as this track closed its doors in 1995.

Around the same time, The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal law enacted in 1992, restricted all but a handful of states from legalizing sports gambling. This law affected Alabama’s gambling scene significantly.

However, in 2018, a significant change occurred when this law was overturned, opening up new possibilities for the future of sports gambling in Alabama.

Alabama Gambling FAQ

Is Alabama horse racing legal?

As gambling laws vary by state, it’s important to understand what you’re allowed to participate in. Horse racing is perfectly legal in Alabama, but there are no live Alabama race tracks. So, while you can legally bet, you’ll have to find alternative methods.

Can I bet on horse races in other states?

Yes, you can bet on horse races in other states while being in Alabama. This is made possible by the state’s allowance of simulcast wagering. With this system, you can place bets on different tracks across all states.

What’s the largest race track in Alabama?

Despite the legality of Alabama horse racing, there are currently no live horse race tracks operating in the state. So, you won’t find a physical race track in Alabama, let alone the largest one. It’s a unique situation, given the state’s legislation.

Can I bet on horse races online in Alabama?

Yes, you can bet on horse races online in Alabama. While online gambling isn’t explicitly permitted in the state, there’s a loophole that many residents take advantage of. You can use offshore betting sites to place your bets. These sites offer plenty of options for betting on horse races.

How can I bet on Alabama horse racing events?

Because there are no live Alabama race tracks, your options for betting on horses are limited to simulcast wagering. This allows you to place bets on races happening in different states. Online gambling isn’t regulated in Alabama, so you’ll need to use offshore betting sites to place your bets. These sites provide a legal and accessible way for you to participate in horse race betting.

What’s the minimum age to bet on horses in Alabama?

The legal age to gamble varies by state, but you must be at least 18 years old to place bets on horse races in Alabama. This is the minimum age requirement set by the state for participating in any form of gambling, including horse race betting.

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