Horse racing has been a huge part of international sports for centuries. Early forms are evident in remains of ancient civilizations, and there has always been a unique bond between human and horse. 

Because of this, horse racing and other events such as showjumping have long been a favorite for royalty. Breeding is a crucial aspect of horse racing, because professionals need to carefully consider any weaknesses of every potential stud in order to create the best future racers. 

Breeders look at the height, maximum speed, muscle mass, and temperament of a horse when they are considering their chances of producing a high achieving racehorse. 

These are five of the most popular horse breeds seen in horse racing. Check out the expert picks for the belmont stakes for more information on the latest champions. 


Firstly, thoroughbreds are some of the most popular breeds within horse racing. There are many events which have the most powerful thoroughbreds competing against each other. 

These are the most common racehorses to this date, and it isn’t hard to see why they are in such high demand. Thoroughbreds are dark horses with long legs and muscular bodies. They make great all-round horses because of their capacity for power. 

All thoroughbreds can be traced back to one of three sires. The Godolphin Barb, Darley Arabian, and Byerly Turk are responsible for all thoroughbreds since the seventeenth century. Being very people-oriented makes them easy to train and ideal for competing. 


Another breed that can be seen in many horse racing events is the Arabian. Although they weren’t originally bred for racing, Arabian horses have a unique build that makes them extremely fast. 

They also have a breathtaking beauty, which is why many Arabian horses are seen in movies, parades, and for other show purposes. Arabian horses are relatively short, and they were originally bred for war and trade purposes. 

However, they have been known to have very gentle temperaments, high intelligence, and great stamina. This gentle breed is relatively easy to train and has potential to be one of the fastest racers out there. 

American Quarter

The American Quarter breed are known for their immense power, which allows them to reach impressive speeds on and off the racetrack. Their name comes from the fact that these horses are perfect for the quarter-mile tracks. 

These racers can be seen with wide chests, relatively small heads in comparison to other breeds, and muscular bodies that allow them to reach high speeds. 

American Quarter horses are also shorter than others such as thoroughbreds, which could be advantageous during a horse racing event. Their height varies from 57 to 64 inches on average. 


The Appaloosa horse is easy to spot, because of the variety of patterns that their coats follow. These include snowflake, frost, marble, leopard, and blanket. Because they are known as Native American horses, Appaloosa horses are some of the most popular breeds, and a favorite for many. 

Unlike other breeds, Appaloosa horses are very independent and can be more fierce. While that made them ideal for protection and battle purposes, it is recommended that more experienced handlers are training Appaloosa horses for racing. 

These are the only horses to have vertically striped hooves, which also helps categorize Appaloosa horses. Appaloosa horses have also been known to vary in height from 57 to 64 inches.   


In contrast, standardbred horses are known for their laid back temperament. They are relatively calm and easy to train, which makes these horses great all-round animals. Standardbred horses can commonly be seen in harness races, and regular horse races. 

They have a huge capacity for high speeds, and are incredibly powerful when they need to be. Standardbred horses are normally seen in solid colors without patterns or markings. They have also been nicknamed ‘trotter pacer’, and have the largest height variation of all the breeds. 

Standardbreds can vary in height from 56 to 68 inches, and they are a favorite for many because of their huge heart and talent that can be seen in every event that they compete in. 


There are so many unique breeds of horses that can be seen in different kinds of races, that it is worth looking into the unique qualities of each of them. Consider learning more about each breed in order to place accurate bets based on a particular track and distance of a race. 

From the variety of horse breeds to the unique traditions, it is worth taking a closer look into a particular horse racing event. Consider visiting one that is local to you so that you can take part in the tense betting scene and experience the thrill first hand. Whether you want to watch the racers compete closely or take part in certain rituals, it is definitely worth a look!