Betting on Kentucky-Bred Horses

The state in which a horse is bred can have an impact on its racing ability. That is the opinion of many professional handicappers. Most people who bet horse racing for profit would likely agree that horses bred in Kentucky have an advantage against horses bred in other states. They would also agree that this can sometimes create opportunities for profit when betting horses online.

What Is Special About Kentucky-Bred Thoroughbred Race Horses?

Kentucky has long been regarded as important to the world of American horse racing. It is the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, and many stud farms and breeding facilities. It is also the location of the Kentucky Horse Park which has been a retirement home to many famous race horses.

The state is so popular among horse racing trainers and owners that it attracts many studs and mares for breeding. The way that horse racing breeding is conducted follows a very strict process. There are rules which determine the location of breeding for a horse. According to those rules, a horse is considered to be bred in the state in which it is born.


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When you see an indication in the past performances of a horse that the animal was bred in Kentucky, this means that the horse was actually born in that state. Since many world champions and other very talented horses wind up at breeding farms in Kentucky, it only stands to reason that horses bred in Kentucky can have a very strong pedigree.

Does this mean that all of them can run? Does it mean that every Kentucky-bred horse is a champion? No. What it does mean is that the chances of success could be greater because the Kentucky-bred horse may be the offspring of a very talented sire and dam.

You may be asking, why doesn’t someone just take their mare to Kentucky and breed her to a Kentucky stud? They could then bring the mare home to their own state and let her foal there. This would make the foal bred in Florida, Louisiana, or wherever the mare’s owner lived. The sire would still be a Kentucky stallion, so wouldn’t this negate the advantage of Kentucky-bred horses?

Actually no. The same rules work to preserve the Kentucky advantage. Many states have a rule that only allows every other breeding to occur outside of the mare’s home state. In other words, you can take your Louisiana mare to Kentucky for breeding and return her home every other breeding season.

This may sound complicated, but there is a simpler way it relates to the process of handicapping and betting on horses.

State Bred Vs. Open Races – Things to Know

Each state that conducts live horse racing is generally expected to host a certain number of races each day which are restricted to horses bred in that state. The purses for these races are often higher, giving local horse owners and trainers an opportunity to earn needed money for their operations.

A horse bred in another state is not eligible for these restricted races. In an open race, horses that are bred in any state may compete. This means seeing horses bred in Kentucky compete against horses bred in Florida or New York.

Most successful horse trainers and owners prefer to keep their own state-bred horses in competition with other state-bred horses. This is considered to be a more level playing field that rewards genuine ability.

When Kentucky Bred Horses Have an Edge

When you are choosing to wager on races at your favorite online racebook, you will want to look for open races which permit horses from any state to enter. A Kentucky-bred horse in this contest running against horses from California, for example, may have an edge simply because of its breeding.

We want to state again that this is not always the case. There are plenty of occasions when a horse bred in Kentucky lacks ability. There is no guarantee being foaled in the home of American horse racing will make a horse a winner, but it does seem to increase the chances.

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