The Down Low on Horse Racing


With so many aspects to the competitive horse racing industry – the myriad horse racing events, racing types, specific horses, wager types, and more – it’s not an easy scene to break into as a bettor, or even a casual spectator. How do you handicap a horse? Which races should you bet on? Which events should you tune in for? The questions are many, but we’ve got this rundown to make things a bit easier for you.

Placing Your Bet

There are only five things you need to note down when placing a wager:

  1. The name of the racetrack
  2. The number of the specific race you’re betting on
  3. How much you are betting
  4. The type of wager you are making
  5. The number of the specific horse(s) you’re betting on

Types of Wagers

No matter if you bet on one horse or multiple horses, you must choose to bet on whether they will show (come in either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd), place (come in either 1st or 2nd), or win (come in 1st). Other specific wager types are quinella (choose horses to come in both 1st and 2nd, with either horse being allowed to come in either place); exacta (same thing as quinella but with a specified chosen order); trifecta (same thing as quinella but with three horses and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place); superfecta (same thing but with four horses and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place); daily double (chosen horse has to win both races of the day). The last type of wager is called a pick 3/4/6, where your chosen horse must win 3, 4, or 6 consecutive races.

The Best Events

Knowing how to place a bet, and what bet to place, is all good and well, but which horse racing events should you be looking at?

Winning the Triple Crown is the most prestigious achievement a racehorse can get, and the events that make up this circuit are of course among the most prestigious in the sport.

The Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky is the first stop in the Triple Crown. Started in 1875, the one-and-a-quarter mile race is held at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby has the highest attendance of any race in North America. If crowds aren’t your thing, you can still place bets using the many sites that cater to horse racing, like the William Hill online casino. Just read this review and you’ll agree that online betting might be the way to go.

The Preakness Stakes, the second event of the Triple Crown, is found in Baltimore, Maryland, at the Pimlico Race Course. The very first instance of this race was in 1873, the Preakness Stakes is named after a colt that won a race at the very same course. This event holds the second highest attendance records in North America.

The last part of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes, a one-and-a-half mile race placed in Belmont, New York at Belmont Park. The Belmont Stakes has been running annually since 1867, and has since gained the nickname “The Test of The Champion”. Though it is not the event with the highest attendance or the race with the most interesting prize format, the Belmont Stakes’ place as the last leg of the Triple Crown gives it heightened importance.

Now you know what types of bets you can place, how to place them, and which events to bet in. Horse racing may be a complicated scene, but the resulting enjoyment from any amount of participation is worth it.