Some like basketball, and some like baseball. But there are those who go a completely different route on a nice weekend affair for the family, and that is going to the tracks for some horse racing experience. For some, it is better because the entire weekend will cost less compared to a ballgame weekend, and it will allow the kids to see some amazing thoroughbreds at their best. For dad, well, a chance to win some money while you’re at it is not a bad consolation as well.
For beginners, horse racing could be easy to get into and fall in love with; for one, it is outdoors and makes you feel better than being inside a dark casino if gambling is mainly what we’re comparing this to. If you are someone simply looking for something different to do on a weekend, an outdoor trip with the rush of betting can be something to look forward to because unlike other gambling establishments, you do not need a lot of money to play. The minimum bets are commonly affordable compared to that in casinos, unless of course you feel like spending the weekend on the slot machines.
Horse racing betting odds and payoffs are also among the most favorable compared to betting in any other sport. For example, a beginner can try to make sure that he takes home some cash by betting for the odds favorite to show as this pays off 60+ percent of the time. This means you are betting for the favorite to at least place third. If you want bigger money, you also have the choice to play the odds. And the lower the odds for the horse, the higher the payoffs will be. Its main difference compared to other betting games though is that there are more choices that give a beginner a better chance at winning some cash.
This is a top-ten list of the world’s best horse race jockeys, including their winnings, percentages, and standings as of 2013:
Rank Jockey Starts Wins Places Shows Earnings Win% WPS%
- Javier Castellano 1,229 270 231 163 $17,928,840 22% 54%
- John R. Velazquez 802 159 139 107 $16,933,478 20% 50%
- Joel Rosario 1,055 237 181 158 $16,713,440 22% 55%
- Rafael Bejarano 829 189 167 109 $11,459,024 23% 56%
- Rosie Napravnik 914 203 160 117 $10,531,981 22% 53%
- Junior Alvarado 823 155 107 97 $9,587,031 19% 44%
- Irad Ortiz, Jr. 1,067 152 132 185 $9,514,968 14% 44%
- Mike E. Smith 303 55 44 31 $9,226,402 18% 43%
- Jose Lezcano 723 131 109 90 $9,027,500 18% 46%
- Luis Saez 973 130 129 130 $8,670,519 13% 40%
The win and win-per-season (WPS) ratio can easily indicate the probability of your chances in choosing the right jockey for the race. But you also have to consider the racing statistics of the horse, which correspond to 30% of the odds of a race. The proper combination of jockey and horse could spell a 50% rate of certainty, depending on the race of the day. The commentator is a better judge for your sake as he knows the running habits of the horses for the race. It is up to you to make precise assimilations on how the combination of statistical information can slightly scrape the odds down to your favor.
Jockeys are specifically trained to ride their horses with as little weight and bearing to the horse as possible. It is the craftsmanship of riding with the horse’s momentum that mends both horse and rider together.
The following are just some of the most common terms that are used in the sport of horse racing. It is best to be familiar with these terms as they are the general means of understanding the “horse’s language”. A few of the most widely used international terms are as follows:
- across the board – betting a premium fee as the win guarantees the bettor three (3) ways – first price, second price split in two ways, and one way if the horse comes in third; if ever the horse fails to win any of the places, the bettor is given a free regular bet on the house;
- boxed bet – placing a bet on all possible combinations;
- breakage – mutual payoffs in nickels and dimes that are left off; this is a split payment between track and state, cost of breeding, or other funds in various proportions;
- bridge jumper – someone who bets on a horse with a ridiculously large sum of money; the term applies in a literal way as in the past, some people who bet on a horse then lost simply walked on a bridge and literally jumped;
- daily double – a type of bet that chooses the winners of two consecutively won races, usually the first and second races;
- dead heat – usually means a tie between two or more horses; a photo finish is usually the term to resort to such decisions;
- exacta and perfecta (exactly and perfectly) – a bet made between the first two finishers in exact order; this could be considered as a side bet;
- field horse, mutuel field, or “mutual field’ – refers to two or more starters running in a single betting unit, when there are more horses than the entry positions on the totalizator board can facilitate;
- in the money – if the horse finishes first, second, or third, in that order;
- inquiry – checking or reviewing any discrepancies that had occurred in the race; usually flagged by race officials;
- lock – term for “a sure winner”;
- minus pool – term implied when a horse is so overly ridden that, after deductions in state racing and gambling tax commissions, no money is left to pay the prescribed minimum on a winning bet and the racing association makes up the difference in paying the premiums;
- tout – a person who sells advance information on a race;
- show bet – a bet on a horse to finish the race, third or better;
- straight – betting for a single win;
- superfecta – a bet on picking on the first four finishers in the same order;
- objection – a claim made by the jockey, patrol judge, or any other race official.
Horse racing has been around for thousands of years. If you follow the archeological evidence, it has been around since the ancient times as Egyptians were found to have used chariots to enjoy such a sport. There also is evidence found that there was some sort of horse mounting that was used for racing in ancient Greece. I guess racing is in our DNA, and so are strong and fast animals.
Fast forward to the modern times, the British in a way kept up with this tradition and even considered this kind of sport as the “Sport for Kings”, and rightfully so as the cost of thoroughbreds is indeed only for the rich. Although in some parts of the world standardbred horses are also used in racing, it still does not have the same allurement as the races using thoroughbred horses. The other reason this sport has remained to be part of the world’s culture even up to the modern times is the lure of betting. Much like how the ancient gladiator fights in big arenas have translated to modern times in the form of boxing, we now have modern facilities for horse race betting.
Betting is almost an art as some expert horse racing gamblers would tell you, and in some ways that is true; however, a fair amount of experience and knowledge could also give you the skill to pick a winner. Horse racing betting for beginners though would simply mean learning through straight wagers. This will allow you to simply pick one horse to win that will streamline the process. Exotic wagers allow you to have multiple bets all at once and cost more; so for someone without the skill yet, it is safer and cost efficient to stick with straight bets for the time being.
A race card or race book is generally a printed card that is used in horse racing. It primarily states all needed information regarding the horses that will be running on each set of races. It can also be seen in newspapers as it is included in the sports page. More often, it can be acquired at the race track upon entry, which is usually issued for its specific use in race meetings.
Typically, a race card includes all pertinent information regarding the race events for the day. It usually includes some of the most important information to guide bettors in choosing the right combination of horse and jockey that suits their fancy.
- Information about the horse – most likely, this will be about 50% of the basis that a bettor will consider in regard to a horse’s standing. The horse’s age-to-weight ratio will determine if it has a big possibility of winning the race.
- Jockey or rider information – it is an essential fact that a jockey’s riding style leads a horse to victory. Horse racing is an art form that requires the rider to integrate seamlessly with the horse’s running inertia. A rider’s win statistic is a proof of his capabilities.
- Trainer – a well-known horse and rider obviously are the product of a good trainer. Most of the time, the complimenting name of a well-known trainer usually caps up the decision of choosing the right horse and rider to bet on.
With all this put into perspective, it can be considered as a “system” of minimizing the odds from piling over you as racing cards are a window of that systematic manner of choosing the right horse and rider to bet on.
Can you really determine a winner just by looking at the odds, the jockey, and, most important of all, the horse itself? Any self-confessed regular at horse race betting would say that there is a system or method in which you can thin down the odds and increase your chances of winning. But does it really work? The question of a valid method falls into three (3) points, and they are as follows:
- Those who have a system lose with the system that they thought would work.
- Those who have thought of using a similar type of system do not win and agree that it does not work at all.
- Those who have a system and win using it and don’t tell can never be credible because they would say that it’s a secret.
Frankly, there is a system that could lower the odds for your favor, and it is called common sense. Horse racing statistics are in their own way, a means of determining the odds as you can freely choose on which horse to bet on. The horse’s performance on the track; it’s breed; the type of track, whether that be sand, grass, or turf; and the jockey’s winning ratio are all possible combination of determining the odds before finalizing your bet.
A system for horse racing can be simply put as “systematic chance taking” as all other form of betting goes by this principle. The chances of you winning through choosing the right horse and jockey combination is a meager 30%, but it still has a higher win ratio compared to other forms of gambling as horse racing is a game of constantly changing variables.
Horses trained to race undergo different stages or phases before they become top horses. The type of races your horse actually joins in depends on the racing experience of your horse. In order for you to thoroughly understand these phases, you have to know the different types of races first.
Category of Race Horses Depending on Experience
- Maiden Races
If a horse has yet to prove itself in the race track, then it must compete first in maiden races. Maiden races are those that are made especially for horses who are still starting out or for those who haven’t won anything yet. There are two types of maiden races: the maiden special weight race and the maiden claiming race. The maiden special weight race is a race for those high-quality horses that are expected to move on to the next category quickly. The maiden claiming race, on the other hand, is a race made for those horses that lost in the maiden special weight division.
- Claiming Races
Claiming races are those races wherein competing horses already have a price tag. This price tag basically means that they can be bought after the race for that price.
- Allowance Races
The horses in this category are all not for sale. In an allowance race, there are a set of instructions and terms that need to be followed before the racers can join. These terms usually involve weights allowed that the horses need to carry during the race.
- Stakes Races
Top race horses compete in a stakes race. Bets placed on these horses are very high. There are two types of stakes races – the local stakes and the graded stakes. Local stakes is a race where you can find the top horses in the local scene. Graded stakes, on the other hand, is a race where you will find top local horses and top horses that come from different locations.
Have you ever heard anyone saying that someone is on the tracks? What usually comes to mind when you hear that? I bet it probably involves horses and some sort of racing. Well, if that is the case, then you are right about that.
What is horse racing, anyway?
Horse racing is considered to be an equestrian sport that has been a part of history since those times when the world superpowers were places like Egypt and Greece. Archaeologists have found evidence of some sort of horse mounting while racing occurred. Some even used chariots.
For more recent timeline references, the British has long referred to this as the “Sport of Kings”. As we moved to the modern times, it has become more of a pastime for most and commonly involved betting. The styles of racing and distance vary from one country to another; however, the core concept has remained the same. The fastest horse and jock combination to cross the finish line wins.
These various types of racing allowed for a boom in the horse-breeding industry. Thoroughbred horses, as they are called, usually would come from a long line of successful race horses. In other parts of the world though, standardbred horses are also used, especially in harness races.
Watching horse races at such a high level is accelerating for most; add to that a bet and you are set for a nice rush in the race tracks, and hopefully you come out with some cash to take home and not just the shirt on your back. For the most part, a trip to the race track can even be a family day outing; it costs less than most sports games to watch, and you get a chance to let the kids see amazing animals in action.
What are the types of betting on racing horses?
Commonly, there are two main types; these are the straight wagers and the exotic wagers. For a straight wager, you simply pick one horse and try to win with that pick. For exotic wagers, you are able to do multiple bets in a single wager. This is why for beginners, straight wagers are recommended as exotic wagers need far more degree of analysis and a fairly good amount of skill and knowledge in picking horses. Although the possible winnings may be bigger for the exotic wage category, it also costs more to bet on.
Horse racing is considered an equestrian sport that has been indulged by society since the ancient times, particularly in Egypt, Greece, Syria, and Babylon. In 648 BC, in Greece, the first Olympics featured mounted horse and chariot racing, and so did the Roman Empire as the early civilizations relied upon horses for their daily endeavor. In later times, as the aristocrats and royalties of the British society came to be, thoroughbred racing became a popular pastime, and they fondly referred to it as the “Sport of Kings”.
In recent years, as the variations of classes of racing continued to evolve, different types of racing events came to be. Though events and particular rules and classes do vary from country to country, the following three categories are the most commonly known:
- flat racing – common type of horse racing in a hippodrome either on a sand or grass track,
- steeple chasing – involves racing and jumping over obstacles,
- harness racing – where a horse pulls a two-wheeled carriage, which is called a “sulky”.
These three types of horse racing had given rise to horse breeds that were raised for a particular type of racing in which each different breed excels. The following breeds are used for both flat racing and steeple chasing:
- Quarter Horse,
Harness racing uses the Standardbred Horse, the Russian Trotter, and the Finnhorse. In the past fifteen years or so, horse racing has earned an annual $130 billion international market share as a profitable sports industry, which still continues to grow up to this day.
Horse racing has been around for a long time, and some archeologists even found evidence that it existed even as far back as the Egyptian times. I guess the reason why the British calls it “The Sport of Kings” is well founded. Horses and not just ponies, I am talking about bona fide thoroughbreds, are indeed the stuff of royalty. These horses cost more than an average man’s house. They look powerful and have been regarded as a symbol of such since the dawn of time. Ancient commanders used them as a show of their army’s force. And in the modern times, it may not be exactly like it was, but it still is a symbol of great wealth for most.
With that said, it simply should follow that there is some kind of sport that involves horse, and horse racing is the one. Horse racing has been largely popular for either the very wealthy or the amateur gambler. The wealthy usually put an enormous amount of money in owning these horses, and a weekend gambler can enjoy the rush from the experience of betting without worrying about breaking his bank as minimum bets are very affordable.
The terms and conditions of horse racing betting are commonly different from one establishment to another in terms of specifications, but the general theme usually revolves around the validity of a bet. That validity is commonly governed by two major parts – the transaction (following the betting rules, terms, and conditions) and local government laws (regulations in place for horse betting according to local law). From establishment to establishment and country to country, the specifications may change. But any horse racing contract usually has these two as a big part of it. It may also differ depending on whether or not you are betting on online websites.