Largest Horse Racing Wagers of All Time

Horse racing is not just about big hats, drinks, and socializing. A day at the racetracks can be a serious endeavor - especially for those who have a lot of money on the line. In fact there are many who have risked their life savings and more. Some won big. Others lost hard and left with regrets. Learn more about the top 7 wagers in the history of sports racing.

Yellow Sam Betting Coup

One of the largest victories in horse racing bets went down in history as a scandal. Ingeniously coordinated by legendary gambler Barney Curley, Irish betters took advantage of an under-handicapped horse and a lack of communication. They bet it all on the slow and steady horse called Yellow Sam. Many thought they were crazy, until they took home 1.7 million.

Del Mar Flop

A few years ago, a rich couple visiting San Diego decided to attend the horse races in Del Mar. They got a little tipsy (if you know what I mean), and bet their lifesavings on one horse. This drunken mistake cost them their dignity and their $2 million life savings. It's safe to say they could be working for the rest of their lives, just not at the racetracks!

Gambling in Britain

In Britain this year, a gambler bet $796,000 on a horse named Big Bucks! He was not the only one trying to seal his chances on big money with a horse with a big name. Sadly, Big Bucks's winning record ended the day this large bet was placed. After the race, many people considered renaming the horse to Big Bankruptcy.

Big Bucks Returns

Although the British gambler lost big, William Hill won big with Big Bucks a year later. His bet of 500,000 pounds was risky, but it paid off. William is now 100,000 pounds richer. He is also considering starting a Big Bucks Fan Club to honor his favorite horse.

Kentucky Derby Long Shot

Back in 1913 at the Kentucky Derby, a better took a gamble on a horse named Donerail with horrible odds. He bet on the horse with 91.45-1 odds. Can you imagine that? Today he remains the highest paid (and luckiest) better in the history of the Kentucky Derby.

Ron Wins in Dorset

Horse better, Ron Nicholson, won big in Dorset in 2004. He took home nearly GBP 900,000 for his victory prize. Sadly, he lost it all a year later. His story is a testament of the curse that comes with gambling. No amount is ever good enough.

Kentucky Disaster

Many remember what is known as the Kentucky Disaster. An amateur better won big at a local horse race. He risked his $100,000 winnings at the Kentucky Derby on a horse with poor odds and lost. It's proof that everyone should play in their own league. The Kentucky Derby is not for kids.

Dreams Come True

If you want your dreams to come true, you might consider betting your life's worth on a fan favorite horse. This horse named "A Dream Come True" won an exciting victory for a famous Yorkshire punter who placed his bet at a Yorkshire betting shop. He is $1 million richer today and says that his dreams really did come true. Perhaps he should retire. It can't get much better than that.

Betting on Your Own Horse

Five years ago in the UK, a big time gambler decided to bet on his own horse. Every gambler knows that emotions should be set aside when you gamble. This gambler's heart ended up costing him $1 million at the racetracks. Even worse, he had to sell his horse in the process. The story is so tragic they are considering making a movie out of it.

These top 8 wagers in horse racing have left many ecstatic. Sadly, not all were as lucky. They are still paying the price for risking all they owned. It's always a gamble when it comes to this sport. Make sure you pick your best horse for Breeders Cup 2012 in November.