Seven of the World’s Best Horse Races

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to some of these most popular horse races in locations around the world. These races are steeped in history and tradition, as well as full of energy and ambience that attract the masses year after year.

  1. Breeders Cup: This race is held as the final to the flats season each other. It BreedersCupLogo2013_298moves around from track to track each year, but has recently been held at San Anita Park in Arcadia, California multiple years in a row. At the end of each season, the Breeders Cup brings together some of the best thoroughbred horses from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.

The event began in 1984. While it is one of the newest races relatively speaking, it is also one of the top grossing events each year, with top winners taking home over 15 million dollars.

  1. Dubai World Cup: The Dubai World Cup is known for being the richest horse race in the world. The total prize money is often more than $17 million dollars. The Meydan Racecourse in Dubai was built specifically for this event. The capacity of the Meydan Racecourse is more than 60,000 people.
  2. Melbourne Cup: This race held in Melbourne, Australia is well known for being one of the most famous and richest “handicap” races in the world. It is over two miles long, which is considered to be a very grueling distance. It takes place on the first Tuesday of each November and has been deemed the race that “stops the nation”. Each year, there is a four daylong carnival held around the race consisting of horse racing, fashion, entertainment, culture, music and food.
  3. Kentucky Derby: The Kentucky Derby held at Churchill Park in Louisville, Kentucky each May might arguably be the most well known horse race in the world. The race is popular across the entire United States. Many people get caught up in the hype and many people dress up to play the part. Big hats, mint juleps and a carnival like atmosphere are signature trademarks of Derby day.
  4. L’Ormarins Queens Plate, Cape Town: This race, which is held in South Africa best-dressedeach January, takes place at the Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town. The dress code for the event consists of only the colors blue and white. There is a prize given for the best outfit. This is one of the older annual races that still continues to be held even in the modern day. The first race was run in 1862 in honor of Queen Victoria. If you ever make it to South Africa, this race is considered to be one of the top events in the world and one of the most opportune places for people watching.
  5. Haskell International: This race is the main event each summer at American_Pharoah_Haskell_Horse_Racing-0ca9cMonmouth Park. Originating in 1968, this event is held on the last Sunday in July every summer in order to avoid conflicts with the other important stakes event going on during the season. One of the coolest things about this race is the hat giveaway, which began in 1988. This fan favorite event has become wildly popular, and you can see the hats being worn in abundance every summer after the big race. This event usually draws around 40,000 people each summer.
  6. Belmont Stakes: Originating in 1866, Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the three races in the Triple Crown and the only one of the three races which can be won. Winning the Triple Crown is considered to be the ultimate of all achievements. There have only been eleven Triple Crown winners in history. Twenty-two of the Derby/Preakness (first two races of the Crown) have failed to win at Belmont. Eight of them finished in second place. Undoubtedly, the most famous moment in Belmont history was Secretariat’s performance in 1973.
Growing up in Louisville, it was hard for me to escape all things horse racing. With a father who made it his yearly tradition to go out and bet on the Kentucky Derby and his weekly tradition to sip on some honey and bourbon, play the guitar and talk about all of the horse races happening throughout the year with his drinking buddies, I grew up with the talk of horse racing in my blood. This tradition and culture has followed me in to my thirties.