Different Horse Racing Bet Types You Can Explore

Horse racing is one of the most popular equestrian sports with a heavy volume of bets. Every horse racing event features betting like it’s the highlight of the occasion. What’s more, almost every fan of this sport has tried betting at least once. 

With heft prizes and the thrill you can feel out of betting, it’s totally worth trying. Explore the different horse racing bet types available and see if you can start with one from our list!

Biggest Horse Racing Venues to Bet on

  • Saratoga

Saratoga is popularly known as the “Graveyard of the Champions” since many horse racing legends have suffered losses in the venue. Even the most iconic Secretariat lost the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga a few weeks after winning the Triple Crown Series in 1973. You can bet through big sports betting sites like TVG Saratoga race course to enjoy the thrill in this notorious horse racing venue.

  • Aqueduct

The Aqueduct opened its gates in 1894, featuring a first track and two turf courses. The New York Racing Association operates the racetrack. It hosts a few popular competitions like Wood Memorial Stakes (G1), Cigar Mile Handicap (G1), Carter Handicap (G1), Gazelle Stakes (G2), and Gotham Stakes (G3). 

  • Belmont Park

The first leg of the Triple Crown Series, Belmont Stakes, is one of the most popular events hosted in Belmont Park, Elmont. Its enormous track is also known as “Big Sandy.” It opened its gate to the public on May 4, 1905. 

  • Santa Anita Park

Situated in California, Santa Anita Park is among the most popular tracks featuring horse racing competitions in the United States in the early fall, winter, and spring. It’s owned by Stronach Group. Santa Anita Park regularly hosts the Santa Anita Handicap (G1), Santa Anita Derby (G1), and Sunshine Millions Day.

  • Del MarThoroughbred Club

Located in Del Mar, California, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has hosted prominent horse racing events like Bring Crosby Stakes (G1), Clement L. Hirsch Stakes

(G1), Del Mar Futurity (G1), Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2), Del Mar Derby (G2), and Del Mar Handicap (G2), among many others. 

  • Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park is best known for hosting remarkable competitions like Florida Derby (G1) and Pegasus World Cup (G1). It’s located in Hallandale Beach, California. Owned by the Stronach Group, Gulfstream Park has three-course types: dirt, turf, and Tapeta. 

  • Churchill Downs

Owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated, Churchill Downs has hosted some notable races like Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Woodford Reserve Classic, Stephen Foster Handicap, and Clark Handicap. It has a 170,000 audience capacity.  

Types of Bets You Can Enjoy on These Tracks 

From straight bets to more complicated exotic bets, here’s a list of the specific wagers you can try in most of the tracks mentioned above.

Straight Bets

Straight bets are also called basic bets. It’s also known as the win-place-show bet.

  • Win – To win your ticket, you must pick the horse to finish the race first.
  • Place – You must pick a horse to finish the race in either first or second place.
  • Show – You must pick a horse to finish the race in either first, second, or third place.

Exotic Bets

Exotic bets are more complicated than straight bets since it involves betting on winners of two or more races and sometimes betting on two or more horses in a single race. 

Single-race exotics

Single-race exotics are also called “vertical” exotics. These bets involve betting the order of finish in a specific race. You can secure a more significant potential payout for every extra finishing position you select. 

  • Exacta Bet – You must pick two horses to finish first and second in the race, in exact order. 
  • Quinella Bet – You must pick two horses to finish first and second in the race, in any order. 
  • Trifecta Bet – You must pick three horses to place first, second, and third in the race, in exact order.
  • Superfecta Bet – You must pick four horses to place first, second, third, and fourth in the race, in exact order.
  • Super High 5 (Pentafecta) – You must pick five horses to place first, second, third, fourth, and fifth in the race, in exact order.

Multi-race Exotics

Also called the “horizontal” exotics, multi-race exotics involve betting on multiple horses in multiple races. 

  • Double – Also known as the Daily Double, you must pick the winners of back-to-back horse racing competitions.
  • Pick 3 – You must pick three horses to win three consecutive races. 
  • Pick 4 – It’s one of the most popular horizontal bets where you must pick three horses to win four consecutive races. 
  • Pick 5 – You must pick five straight winners of five races within a day. 
  • Pick 6 – The most challenging ticket to win, Pick 6 requires bettors to pick six horses to win six consecutive races. 

Final Thoughts

Betting on horses has been practiced by horseracing spectators since the 18th century. More varieties of bets were added to the modern horse betting market, making this equestrian sport the most sought-after among sports gamblers.