How To Navigate Horse Racing Bets In 2024 – level 3

10-05-2024 10:00

There are few more popular sports to bet on throughout the year than horse racing. This is especially the case when it comes to some of the biggest events on the equine calendar, including the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness Stakes. However, it can often be a tricky test for newcomers to betting on the sport to understand what each market entails in order to land a winning selection.

But, it is now easier than ever to learn more about some of the common betting markets it comes to wagering on the sport. Below, we will go through some of the prominent markets that you can expect to find when wagering on horse racing.

Win Bet

Due to its straightforward nature, the most popular way to place a bet on the horse racing action can be found in the win market. This very much does as it says on the tin, as bettors will simply be placing their stake on the runner that they believe will win the race that they are involved in.

Returns are awarded if you have wagered on the horse that crosses the line first, while the stake is lost should your selection finish second or worse. For example, if you place a win bet on Muth to win the Preakness Stakes, according to TwinSpires, then the returns will only be credited to your account if the selection wins the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Place Bet

A popular alternative to win betting comes in the form of a place bet. Instead of wagering on a selection to cross the line first, this market will see you pick up returns if your selection finished in the first two places, with some sportsbooks also covering third in those races with bigger fields. It is a very popular alternative for experienced and newcomers, as it will offer a layer of insurance should your selection get beaten.

However, the returns when wagering on this market on a short-price favourite can often be minimal, meaning that it is typically a market that is utilised by bettors looking to get value on an outsider winning a race. However, it is a very popular market for those making bets on some of the biggest races, with excellent value typically found when betting on the place market in races such as the Kentucky Derby and Melbourne Cup.

Each-Way Bet

An each-way bet covers both potential win and place markets on a single selection. Therefore, bettors will pay on the selection to win and also place, with the stake being double. For example, if you place a $5 each-way bet, then the total stake on the selection is $10.

Here, the bet covers the win for the selection, while also offering the insurance of the place returns if it should finish second or third. However, it is always worth remembering that the returns should your selection place will always be considerably lower than if your selection was to win the race, meaning it is a popular market when it comes to wagering on an outsider in a field.


Experienced bettors will typically look to get the most value for their selections when making bets on the horse racing action, which typically sees the Exotics markets rank among the most popular. The two most popular forms of these bets are the Exacta and Trifecta, with the former seeing the bettor need to correctly predict first and second in a race, while bettors must also correctly predict third in order to land a Trifecta.

Given how difficult it is to correctly predict the finishing order, bettors are also able to box multiple selections in these markets, with the returns determined based on the finishing positions of the runners involved. For example, in an Exacta Box bet, gamblers will need to include at least two runners, with the stakes rising with the more horses that are included.

Ante-Post Betting

Horse racing is a sport that runs throughout the year, but the biggest races on the calendar remain among the most popular with the vast majority of gamblers. Therefore, it is little surprise that bettors will typically take advantage of the ante-post market for races such as the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic.

These markets are typically open a year in advance of the race being run, meaning that a chance is taken on horses to make it to the race and then win without officially being declared. There is an element of risk that comes with ante-post betting, as stakes will be lost if the horse doesn’t line up in the race. However, bettors are rewarding for taking a chance on the runner making their targeted race by getting much better odds than they would stand to bet on closer to the off.

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