Turtle racing was apparently first popular in the Bahamas in the early part of the twentieth century, but there is no conclusive evidence that the sport was not popular in a number of other cultures at earlier times.
The earliest known turtle race to take place in the United States of America occurred in Chicago in 1902. It was dubbed as ‘The Strongest Race Ever Run’, by the Chicago Daily Tribune.
Seven turtles carrying young children raced across a lawn as spectators lured them, or attempted to lure them to the finishing line with lettuce. They managed to get the animals moving, but not all in the same direction.
Turtle racing has since become a popular in Canada. Boissevain, Manitoba, near Turtle Mountain, began hosting the Canadian Turtle Derby in 1971. It was initially a private race among several local turtle owners, but it grew in popularity and began to feature pari-mutuel betting.
Turtle racing has also been popular with the British. In the 1970s, a British organisation known as the new World International Turtle Track Commission began hosting a world championship event.
In 2007 Conversation International organised what they billed as the Great Turtle Race. It was organised to raise awareness of the plight of the leather-back turtles which is an endangered species.
Several of the turtles were tagged before their annual migration from Costa Rica with satellite tracking tag before the turtles left for the Galapagos Islands. The first turtle to reach the island was deemed to be the winner.
Although turtle racing is an age-old tradition in some cultures around the world, the sport has never attracted enough interest to draw in a betting crowd. You would be better off looking into the super bowl odds for next season, or looking into other major sports around the world.
I would suggest placing a bet on basketball. It is a relatively popular sport outside America, but the number of people placing bets in the league is considerably less than football.