Types of Wagers

Basic Wagers

Win: You bet on a horse to finish first.

Place: Your horse must finish first or second.

Show: Your horse must finish first, second or third.

Across the Board: You’re betting win, place and show. If your horse wins, you collect on the win, place and show bets. If your horse comes in second, you collect on the place and show bets. If third, you collect on the show bet.

Exotic Wagers

Bet the winners of two consecutive designated races.

Bet the horses that come in first and second in a race in ANY order.

Bet the horses that come in first and second in a race in the EXACT order.

Bet the first three finishers of a race in EXACT order.

Bet the first four finishers of a race in EXACT order.

Bet the winners of three consecutive races.

Bet the winners of four consecutive races.

 Bet the winners of six consecutive races.

If you have two or more horses that you think will finish in the top spots, but you aren’t sure of the order, you can “box” them. So on an Exacta Box of #3 and #6, you win if those two horses finish first and second.

A bet on one horse with all the others in the race. An Exacta Wheel #5 with ALL wins if the #5 horse wins and ANY horse comes in second.

A bet on one horse with SOME of the others. An Exacta Part Wheel on #5 with 2,3,4 wins if the #5 horse wins and either the #2, #3 or #4 horse is second.

Placing Your Wager

Once you’ve decided you’re bet, head to a teller window- When you get to the window: Say the name of the track (Golden Gate Fields, Belmont, etc.) This is important because the Jockey Club broadcasts races from many tracks simultaneously.

Next: Say the race number your betting on.

Then: The amount of your bet. For Win, Place and Show bets, the minimum amount is $2. You can usually play exotic wagers (Exacta, Trifecta, for example), for $1 units.

After That: The type of bet. (Win, Place, Exacta, and so forth.) Finally: The number of the horse.

If you wanted to bet $2 on the #3 horse to come in first in the sixth race at Hollywood Park, you’d say: “Golden Gate Fields, race three, $2 to win on number 3.”

Racing Language

Blinkers: A hood with eye cups worn by a horse and designed to limit a horse’s vision, thus preventing distractions. Horses wearing blinkers for the first time usually show more early speed.

Chalk: The wagering favorite in the race.

Dead Heat: Two or more horses finishing a race in a tie.

Furlong: One eighth of a mile (220 yards). A commonly raced distance is six furlongs, or three quarters of a mile.

Inquiry: A review of a race by the Stewards (horse racing’s version of a referee) to check into a possible rule infraction by a jockey. On such an occasion, the “inquiry” sign lights up on the tote board.

Length: A measurement representing the approximate length of a horse, used to show the distance between horses in a race.

Maiden: A horse that has never won a race. A maiden race is for an entire field of horses that have never won a race.

Objection: Immediately following the race, jockeys may file an objection with the Stewards and request a review of the race to check into a possible rule violation by another participant.

Photo Finish: A result so close it is necessary to use a special finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.

Post Time: The time at which the horses have to be at the starting gate, ready to go.

Scratch: A horse that has been withdrawn from a race.

Silks: Colorful jacket and cap worn by jockeys to designate owners of the horse.

Tote Board: Sometimes called simply, “the board,” this electronic sign displays odds and other important wagering information.

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