Horse racing captures the attention of the sports world every May for the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, but there are year-round opportunities to wager on the ponies

January: $16 Million Pegasus World Cup from Gulfstream in Florida
March and April: Triple Crown Prep races – The Florida Derby from Gulfstream, the Louisiana Derby from Fair Grounds, the Santa Anita Derby, and the Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn.
May and June: Triple Crown
July and August: The Whitney, Travers, and Jim Dandy from Saratoga, the Haskell from Monmouth, and the Pacific Classic from Del Mar.
November: The 2018 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Churchill Downs on Nov 2 and 3.

No clue what to bet? Here are some simple horse racing terms you should know…

  • A Win Bet – Exactly what it sounds like: A bet to select the winner of the race.
  • A Place Bet – Pays you back if the horse you select finishes first or second in the race.
  • A Show Bet – Will return your wager if the horse finishes the race first, second or third.
  • Across the Board – You are placing a Win, a Place, and a Show bet on a horse.
  • Exacta – Correctly selecting the top two finishers in a race in the exact order of finish.
  • Trifecta – Correctly selecting the top three finishers in a race in the exact order of finish.
  • Superfecta – Correctly selecting the top four finishers in a race in the exact order of finish.
  • Daily Double – To win this wager, you need to select the winner of two consecutive races.
  • Pick 3/4/5/6 – Selecting the winning horse in 3/4/5/6 consecutive races. The longer the streak, the better the payout.
  • Box – When you box a wager, you are playing all of the possible combinations of a group of horses. If you place a $2 Exacta box bet on the 1, 2 and 3 horses your total ticket will cost $12 and you will have $2 Exacta bets on the following combinations: 1-2, 1-3 2-1, 2-3, 3-1 and 3-2.
  • Morning Line – Set by a track handicapper, the morning line is a prediction of how the betting picture will look at post time. The morning line has no direct impact on payouts.

You’ve spotted the perfect horse in the perfect race. Now what? Don’t be intimidated to walk up to the counter. Here is the most efficient way to place a wager at the track…

  1. State the name of the track (Churchill Downs).
  2. State the race number (Race 12).
  3. State the amount, and type of your bet ($2 Win).
  4. State the runners you are selecting (14, Please).
  5. Check your ticket for accuracy before leaving.

Horse Racing Betting Guide: Terms to Know

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