Missouri Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in MO

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

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US gambling by state varies and Missouri has a unique set of gambling laws, as while pari mutuel wagering is perfectly legal, there are no race tracks for you to place your bets. This also means that simulcasting, another legal betting option, is not available as it’s only permissible on live racing days. This article will provide an in-depth look at the legal gambling situation regarding land-based horse race track betting in Missouri.

Most Popular Missouri Race Tracks

While Missouri horse racing is allowed, there are no horse race tracks, so you’ll need to venture to a neighboring state like Kentucky to experience live horse race tracks. Check out all the details of three of the best horse race tracks in Kentucky:


Address: 4201 Versailles Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40510
Phone: 859-254-3412

Keeneland, located in the heart of Kentucky, offers both simulcast wagering and live racing, with a variety of bet types like Win, Show, Exacta, Superfecta, Quinella, and more. The track hosts thoroughbred betting including Grade I to III on a two-mile racetrack. With over 20,800 seats, you’ll never miss a moment of the action.


General admission is $7, or you can opt for a $40 season pass. Horse racing runs in October and April each year, from Wednesday to Sunday. Notable races include the Madison Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes, and Ashland Stakes.

Kentucky Downs

Address: 5629 Nashville Road, Franklin, Kentucky 42134
Phone: 270-586-7778

With simulcast wagering and live racing, you can place bets on Win, Place, Show, Quinella, Pick 5, and Superfecta. The track hosts thoroughbred races (Grade I to III) over a kidney-shaped course, complete with a unique bend to the right.

Kentucky Downs

Beyond racing, you can enjoy live music, entertainment, and charity gaming. Try your luck at over 1,000 gaming machines or savor a delicious meal at the Irons Steakhouse.

Ellis Park

Address: 3300 US Hwy 41 N, Henderson, Kentucky 42420
Phone: 812-425-1456

At Ellis Park, you’re invited to a day of horse racing betting. With no entrance fee, you can enjoy simulcast wagering and live racing on thoroughbred races (Grade I to III). Whether you’re a fan of Win, Show, Place, Quinella, Parlay, or Pick 3 bets, Ellis Park caters to all.

Ellis Park

The racetrack features a two-mile racetrack, offering a diverse racing experience. With 6,000 seats, there’s plenty of room for everyone. Beyond racing, you can try your luck at the casino games or sportsbook, and when you’re hungry, you can visit the grill.

Simulcast Wagering in Missouri

While simulcasting is legal in Missouri, a peculiar law stipulates that it can only occur on live racing days. Unfortunately, as there are no live Missouri race tracks, this effectively means there’s no simulcasting. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with great simulcast locations just over the border in Kentucky.

Betting LocationAddress
Derby City Gaming4520 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40213
Churchill Downs700 Central Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40208
Newport Racing1723 Monmouth Street, Newport, Kentucky 41071
Oak Grove Racing375 Thompsonville Lane, Oak Grove, Kentucky 42262
Turfway Park7500 Turfway Road, Florence, Kentucky 41042
Red Mile1200 Red Mile Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40504
Sandy’s Racing10699 US 60, Ashland, Kentucky 41102

Popular Horse Races in Missouri with Dates

Unfortunately, the state doesn’t host any Missouri horse racing events. This is due to the lack of live horse racing tracks. Instead, we’ve compiled a selection of exciting horse races taking place in neighboring Kentucky, complete with dates.

Horse RacesRacing DatesWhere to Bet
Blue Grass StakesAprilKeeneland, KY
Jenny Wiley StakesAprilKeeneland, KY
Madison StakesAprilKeeneland, KY
Keeneland Turf MileOctoberKeeneland, KY
Breeders Futurity StakesOctoberKeeneland, KY
Derby City Distaff StakesMayChurchill Downs, KY
Kentucky DerbyMayChurchill Downs, KY
Kentucky OaksMayChurchill Downs, KY

Types of Horse Racing Betting in Missouri

While Missouri does permit pari mutuel betting, the lack of horse racing tracks and simulcast locations means you can’t actually enjoy this form of betting within Missouri’s borders. Nearby states offer a plethora of betting options that you can partake in.

From Win, Place, Show, to more complex bets like Exacta, Quinella, Trifecta, Superfecta, and Daily Double, there’s something for everyone. You can also bet on a variety of horse breeds, including thoroughbreds and quarter horse racing.

Other Types of Gambling in Missouri

Let’s take a closer look at Missouri gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Missouri Horse Racing

Missouri has a complex history with horse racing. In 1984, a significant change occurred when a 60% majority vote approved pari mutuel wagering at horse racetracks. That same year, the MHRC was established and simulcasting was authorized, albeit only on live racing days.

In 2002, a measure was proposed to lift this restriction and allow year-round simulcasting, but unfortunately, it didn’t pass. A year prior, in 2001, Magna Entertainment Corp and other investors attempted to build a racetrack in Missouri, but their proposal hinged on the expansion of simulcasting, which never materialized.

Fast forward to 2008, the MHRC held its first meeting in several years to discuss reviving Missouri horse racing as well as introducing racinos. Despite this promising step, the group never reconvened.

Today, while pari mutuel wagering and simulcast betting are legal in Missouri, there are no Missouri race tracks or simulcast locations. This is partly due to the PASPA: Sports Protection Act, which has had a significant impact on the Missouri horse racing industry.

So, while you can legally bet in Missouri, you’ll need to visit nearby states to actually enjoy horse racing.

Missouri Gambling FAQ

Is Missouri horse racing legalized?

Yes, Missouri racing is technically legal. However, while pari mutuel wagering and simulcast betting are permitted, there are currently no Missouri race tracks or simulcast locations. This means that while you can legally bet on horse races in Missouri, there are no venues where you can actually watch and bet on live races. The lack of Missouri race tracks is due in part to various legislative and investment hurdles over the years.

Can I place bets on other states’ horse races?

Yes, betting on horse races from other states is permitted. However, even though Missouri law allows for simulcast betting, there are currently no active simulcast locations. This means you’d need to travel to a state with active race tracks or use an online platform that’s legal and available in Missouri to place your bets. Always make sure to practice responsible gambling.

What’s the biggest race track in Missouri?

There are currently no horse race tracks in Missouri. Despite the state’s legislation allowing horse racing betting, no such facilities have been established. Therefore, there isn’t a largest horse race track in Missouri because there are none in existence at this time.

Is online horse racing betting legal in Missouri?

Unfortunately, you cannot legally place bets online in Missouri. Despite the fact that horse racing is legal, online betting on these races is not permitted. Therefore, if you’re in Missouri, you’ll need to travel to a state where online horse race betting is legal if you wish to place such bets.

What are my horse racing betting options in Missouri?

Currently, there are no horse racing events to bet on within Missouri. However, you do have the option to travel to a nearby state where horse racing betting on these events is legal. This is currently the only legal option for you to bet on horse racing events if you are residing in Missouri.

What age can I bet on horse races in Missouri?

In Missouri, the minimum gambling age to participate in horse racing betting is 18 years old. The legal age requirement applies to all forms of gambling in Missouri. So, if you are under 18, you will have to wait until you reach this age to legally bet on horse races.

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