The Craziest Bets In The History Of Horse Racing

Billionaires who make million dollar horse racing bets at the drop of a hat. Stable boys who got lucky and horses winning at impossible odds. These are all a part of the craziest bets in horse racing. Most of us only dream of making some bets like these. The following people made their dreams a reality.


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The Groom Who Became an Instant Millionaire

Horse racing grooms have one of the toughest jobs on the race track. They are tasked with taking care of race horses 24/7. Many of them actually live on the track in tack rooms located in horse barns. This allows them to provide care for the race horse at all hours of the day and night.

Conor Murphy of Ireland was a groom, or stable boy as it is known in Europe. His stable duties allowed him very little time to actually enjoy the sport he loves as a bettor. On a rare occasion when Murphy was able to make wager, he decided to bet what is known as an accumulator in Europe. This bet is similar to the Pick 5 or Pick 6 in America, and it is a challenging bet to hit.

Murphy decided to place the bet with an online bookie three months before the race. He chose five horses that were trained by his employer. This alone was risky enough. There was not even a guarantee that the horses would make it to the races in three months, let alone win.

Race day rolled around and Conor Murphy could have had no idea what was in store for him. One by one all of the horses won their races, and Murphy won $1.5 million for his $75 bet. His life was changed forever by the win, but Conor used the money to pursue his dream of being a groom in Kentucky at Churchill Downs. Murphy did not quit his job when he became a millionaire. He kept right on working as a groom.

Impossible Long Shot Win in the Kentucky Derby

Every year there are horses in the Kentucky Derby who do not seem to belong there. They have very long odds of 60-1 or more. But in 1913 a horse named Donerall sauntered into the gate at odds of 91-1.

If you were one of the lucky ones to bet on Donerall in 1913, a $2 wager would have netted you a return of $184. 90. That’s like winning $4,300 today. Can you imagine the lucky people who bet on the horse to win that day? Their lives were changed forever.

Donerall didn’t just win the Kentucky Derby, he did it in record-setting fashion. A new record was carved out that day for the Kentucky Derby in more than one regard. The longest shot ran the fastest in 1913.

Bettor Loses $7 Million in One Day

None of us like to lose when making horse racing bets at our favorite online racebook. We sulk when we lose $50 or $100 dollars. Just think of what it would be like to lose $7 million in one single day of betting. That is exactly what happened to Kerry Packer, a big-time Australian horse racing bettor.

Packer was a media mogul in Australia who was worth about $6.7 billion at the time of his death in 2005. There is no telling how much of that money was made betting on horses, but it is easy to pin down certain amounts for his losses. Packer was known to bet so much on race horses that he would find it difficult for a bookie to take his action. No bookie wanted to risk being wiped out of business, even if it meant having a chance to win millions.

The solution, reasoned some bookies, was to join forces so they could take Packer’s bets without the risk of financial ruin. It was a gamble but the gamble paid off on Golden Slipper Stakes Day in 1987. Packer bet multiple horses on this day, including $2 million on a horse that he owned. The horse was named Christmas Tree, but there were no presents that day. Christmas Tree lost, as did all the other horses that Packer backed. The bookies collected $7 million dollars for their work.

Hitting the Lottery of Horse Racing

Every year at race tracks in the US and abroad there are horse players who participate in the Pick 6, horse racing’s version of the lotto. Bettors must pick a total of six winners in six consecutive races. It is a feat that is almost impossible to accomplish.

In recent years it has become popular for race tracks to have what is called a carryover on Pick 6 wagers. This means that if no one wins the bet on a certain day a large chunk of the pool rolls over to the next betting day. It can easily build to $1 million or more.

When this happens the big syndicates get into play. They may bet thousands of dollars trying to take down the pool. Some are successful and some aren’t, living only to take a chance at another jackpot somewhere down the road.

Have you ever made a crazy bet in horse racing? If so, let us know in the comments. Also be sure to check out our recommended online racebooks where you can bet from your computer, phone, or tablet. Check our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!

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