Placing a Wager on a Horse Race

Betting on horse racing is not a complicated procedure. To place your wager simply state the following:

  1. The name of the racetrack.
  2. The race number you’re betting.
  3. The amount of your wager.
  4. The type of wager like Win, Place, or Show.
  5. The number of the horse(s) you’re wagering on or using.
  6. Make sure to check your ticket before leaving the window. Corrections can be made before you leave but not after.

Example: Arizona Downs, Race 3, $2 to Win on 4.

Types of Races:

STAKES – These races offer the largest purse money and attract the highest quality horses. These can be Grade I, II, III, or Listed with Grade I being the highest tier and Listed being the lowest.

HANDICAP – The Racing Secretary assigns a weight to be carried by each horse to equalize the winning chances of all the runners. The higher a weight denotes a better horse.

ALLOWANCE – A race for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions to determine weights.

CLAIMING– The most common of all races in America. Each horse runs the race at a specific price tag and may be purchased, or “claimed” by a licensed owner.

MAIDEN – Races for horses which have never won.

Racing Terminology:

ACROSS THE BOARD– A bet on a horse to win, place and show.

ADDED MONEY– Money added to the purse of a race by the racing association (or sometimes by a breeding or other fund) to the amount paid by owners in nomination, eligibility, entry and starting fees.

ALLOWANCES– Weight carried by a horse is permitted to be reduced because of the conditions of the race or because an apprentice is on a horse.

APPRENTICE– Rider who has not ridden a certain number of winners within a specified period. Also known as a “bug rider.”

BAY– Color of horse varying from yellowish tan (light bay) to brown or dark mahogany with black points such as black mane, tail or shadings of black low on the legs.

BEARING IN (or OUT)– Deviating from a straight course.

BLACK TYPE– Designation for a stakes winner or stakes-placed horse in sales catalogues.

BLEEDER– Horse who bleeds during or after a workout or race due to ruptured blood vessel.

BLINKERS– Device to limit a horse’s horizontal vision to prevent him from bearing in or out.

BREAK MAIDEN– Horse or rider winning first race of career.

BROWN– Sometimes difficult to separate from black or dark bay. You can usually distinguish this color by noting finer tan or brown hairs on the muzzles or flanks.

BUG– Apprentice allowance. Apprentice rider.

CHART– A statistical “picture” of a race which shows the position and margin of each horse at designated points of call.

CONDITION RACE– A race with conditions limiting it to a certain class of horse.

COUPLED ENTRY– Two or more horses running as an entry in a single betting unit.

DAILY DOUBLE– Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races.

DAM– A horses mother.

DEAD-HEAT– Two or more horses finishing in an exact tie at the wire.

DROP IN CLASS– A horse meeting a lower class of rival than he had previously run against.

EXACTA – A bet in which the first two finishers in a race must be chosen in exact order of finish.

EXTRA WEIGHT (ADDED WEIGHT)- More weight than conditions of race require.

FAST TRACK– Footing at best, dry, fast and even.

FIRM TRACK– A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track.

FILLY- A female horse age 4 and younger.

FRACTIONAL TIME– Intermediate times recorded in a race such as at the quarter, half, mile, etc.

FURLONG– One-eighth of a mile; 220 yards; 660 feet.

GELDING– Castrated male horse.

GOOD TRACK– Condition between fast and slow.

GRAY– A mixture of white and black hairs.

HALF-BROTHER, HALF-SISTER– Horses out of the same dam but by different sires.

HANDICAP– Race for which the track handicapper assigns weights to be carried by the horses.

IN THE MONEY– Finishing first, second or third.

INQUIRY– Reviewing the race to check into possible rules infractions.

JUVENILE– Two-year-old horse.

LASIX– Also known as Furosemide, this is an anti-bleeding medication.

MAIDEN– A horse who has not won a race. Also applied to non-winning rider.

MARE– Female horse 5 years old or older.

MORNING LINE– Approximate odds quoted before wagering determines exact odds.

MUDDY TRACK– Wet condition of racetrack after prolonged rain in which surface and underneath are both very wet.

OBJECTION– Claim of foul lodged by the jockey.

OVERWEIGHT– Extra weight carried by a horse when its rider cannot make the required weight.

PLACE– Second position at finish.

POST PARADE– Horses going from paddock to starting gate past the stands.

ROAN– Mixture of white and red (or brown) hairs.

SHOW– Third position at the finish.

SIRE– A horse’s father.

SLOPPY– Condition of track with a wet surface and firm underneath.

STARTER RACE– An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses who have started for a specific claiming price or less.

YIELDING– Condition of turf course with a great deal of moisture.