There are many great books on the Sport of Kings, ranging from horse racing rich history to the best ways to profit at the betting windows.
The Jockey Club’s Illustrated History of Thoroughbred Racing in America
If you’re more interested in the history, I’d recommend “The Jockey Club’s Illustrated History of Thoroughbred Racing in America.” You might also want to read “Seabiscuit,” the best-selling book from a few years back by Laura Hillenbrand.
Books about horse racing betting
If you want to learn the intricacies of betting on races, I’d suggest beginning with “Ainslie’s Encyclopedia of Thoroughbred Handicapping.”
Advanced recommended readings include Andrew Beyer’s classic “Picking Winners”; “Betting Thoroughbreds” by Steven Davidowitz; “Modern Pace Handicapping” by Tom Brohamer; “The Handicapper’s Condition Book” by James Quinn; and “The Skeptical Handicapper” by Barry Meadow (new in 2019).
Additionally, if you live near a racetrack go spend a day at the races and ask if the track offers backstretch tours.
It’s very helpful if you have a friend who’s experienced in racing and can introduce you to the various forms of betting on the horses. But I recommend reading selected handicapping books to ensure that you aren’t throwing money away as you get up to speed.
I’d recommend beginning with the classics, books on horse racing betting — Andrew Beyer’s classic “Picking Winners”; “Betting Thoroughbreds” by Steven Davidowitz – then getting into some later works that focus more on bankroll management, including “Overlay, Overlay” by Bill Heller; “Exotic Betting” by Steven Crist; and “Money Secrets at the Racetrack” by Barry Meadow.