When placing a wheel bet, the horse whose position specifically is named is called the “key.” While the other horse or horses can finish in any particular order to cash a winning ticket, the key horse must finish in that exact spot. If the bettor wagered that the horse specifically would take second or third but that horse wins, the ticket is a loser. The key horse must finish in the exact spot wagered for the ticket to be good. The other horse can finish in either of the available positions for the ticket to win. So if the key horse is selected to finish third and one other horse is bet to finish in the money, it could win or place and still leave the bettor with a winning ticket.
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When it comes to handicapping a race, some bettors might have a strong idea of the position in which a particular horse will finish and general idea of the other horses that might compete for the win. When reasonably certain a horse might finish second and one or two others will be competing to win, a bettor can place a wager on the “wheel” and bet the one horse will finish second while two others will finish in the top three in no particular order. The bettor also might want to wager that a specific horse will finish first and that another horse will finish in either second or third place. If that occurs, the bettor wins with relatively high odds for the payout. The wheel comes in very handy when betting a trifecta wheel in which the favored horse is picked to win and two others are chosen to simply finish in second or third.
After even just a couple of months of laying timely wagers and paying attention to race outcomes, a beginning bettor can get a better understanding of horses, jockeys, tracks, surface types and racing conditions and make more informed wagers later. Every race has a right way to bet it, but even the right way doesn’t assure a win. It does, however, make it possible for the smart and informed bettor to manager his or her money properly and choose the races that are most likely to result in tickets being cashed for real money instead of being torn up in frustration.
Unless a bettor truly has information on most horses running at a particular track and knows about workout schedules, jockey results and other factors that will influence the outcomes, betting on every race can be a sure loser. Beginning bettors in particular need to stay away from betting every race and leave such things to truly professional and informed bettors. There might be instances in which bettors have a good handle on the outcomes in every race, but it’s a rare thing for newer bettors to have such insights. For the most part, new bettors should look for two or three good races and wager on the outcomes and pay attention to the results of other races to learn about the horses and jockeys riding them.
When assessing horses for various win potentials, among factors for which bettors should always account are track, surface type, race length, track conditions. So when a race is run at Hollywood Park, the bettor can record the order of finish for all horses, race length, track conditions, weather and surface type as well as the venue. After some time of doing so, patterns can emerge and bettors can better identify horses that stand a greater probability of running well as a particular track under particular conditions. When strong likelihoods are identified, the bettor can check the horse’s recent running and workout history as well as the jockey’s stats to make a fully informed wager that stands a much higher chance of putting money in the pockets of bettors.
When it comes to horse racing in North America, no races are bigger than stakes races, which include the most prestigious and richest horse races in the United States. A stakes race is for thoroughbred horses only and is called a “stakes” races due to the stake each owner must pay to enter his or her race horse in the event. The winner takes the largest share of the prize, which can top $1 million for the winner’s purse in the largest and most prestigious races, and the host race track generally adds to the purse, which makes the Kentucky Derby one of the richest single stakes races in the United States. . The single richest stakes event is the Belmont Stakes in New York, which on June 7 this year had a total of nearly $8 million across 13 races. Stakes generally are paid for the top four finishers in a race, and there can be several stakes races run in one day. Stakes events are regulated by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky.
In order to race in the prestigious Kentucky Derby and compete for the rare triple crown of horse racing, the owner of a horse first must bring it up through qualifying competitions in order to qualify for the top racing events and race tracks. The first level at which a horse will compete is the Maiden Races, which is the most basic level of horse racing and are run at tracks across the nation. Maiden races are the first opportunity a horse has to win and put money in the pockets of its owner or owners. There are various levels of Maiden Races, with the Maiden Special Weight Races being the top circuit for horses in the Maiden class. When a horse wins a Maiden Special Weight Race, it qualifies for the next level of racing. Those horses that don’t win a Special Weight Race still can compete in other Maiden Races and eventually qualify for the next level of horse racing.
Depending on the number of horses run in a race, it’s possible to lay a small wager and cover every possible finish with the key horse winning. If there are seven horses in a particular race, the bettor can ask for a $2 exacta wheel with the winning horse’s number followed by “all,” and $12 would cover every potential outcome. The key horse still must win to collect, and money only is made if the odds are better than 6 to 1 on that winning ticket. If a long shot should come in second, the ticket would be worth quite a bit more than if the second-place horse was among the favorites. So when betting an exacta wheel in such a manner, the bettor wants the key horse to win and a very distant long shot to take second for the ticket to be worth much more than was wagered. If the second-place horse was a favorite, even when the key horse wins, money likely will be lost.
Predicting a horse will win, place or show in a race and then doing a “wheel” on the rest of the field will assure a winning ticket if the key horse finishes in the predicted position. Laying such bets can be risky with a potential to lose a great deal of money if the key horse does not come through. But if the key horse finishes in the predicted position, a trifecta wheel bet can pay off much better than when simply laying a straight bet on the odds for a particular horse to win. If a race has 19 horses running in it, there are 56 potential outcomes for a trifecta bet. Instead of having to lay $112 to cover all possible outcomes, the bettor can lay a $1 wheel and pay $56. If the key horse comes in the right position and the other two horses finish with long odds, the payoff can be high.
The best indicator of fitness is a horse that runs every two or three weeks at area tracks. Such horses generally are in good physical condition and have the stamina to finish in the money at the end of longer races. Because it has run races regularly over the past several months, bettors know the horse is in good shape. When running only two or three races per month, the horse also has time to rest properly and recuperate from any post-race injuries while also having time for additional training. Most racing forms will include a “Layoff Line” that shows if the horse has been away from racing for more than 45 days. Such horses likely need a few races to get into top form. Recent workouts and the trainer in charge of them also should be listed and can help to determine whether a horse is trained well and in good shape or should be avoided.