Archive for the Intra-Race Category

Jun 5 2018

The ABC’s of Surviving Belmont Stakes Day – Wagering Strategies

I chose the term “surviving” with intent.  Whether Belmont Stakes, Kentucky Derby, Travers Stakes, or Breeders’ Cup Day … all of these “event days” have one thing in common – they are marathons with a dozen races or more that start in the morning and end past suppertime.  Even for the most experienced horseplayers, event  days test your endurance in ways that an ordinary day at the track does not.

On more than one occasion, I have found myself completely “out of gas” before the main event even took place.  For this reason, I have been refining an approach that is intended to help me (and you) make it through these days intact.  First, let me say, some of the strategies I am going to suggest are ones I would not necessarily use on normal race days.  The reason for this is simple, the challenges you face on “event” days are formidable and they require adaptations that will help you deal with them.  Among the many challenges are the following: Read More >>

Jan 13 2015

High and Low – A Superfecta Wagering Strategy

One of the tricks to successful wagering is making the right wagers in the right situations … and recognizing the situation when it appears.  After handicapping a race, a number of scenarios can unfold.  When you’re new to horse racing, it seems like these scenarios are countless.  But, after doing it awhile, you start to see patterns emerge.

High and Low

One pattern I’ve discovered is what I call the  “High and Low” scenario.  High is a identifying a horse that you feel confident is a serious win threat, but isn’t an optimal Win play.  Maybe his odds are too short, or you already have him covered in a Double, Pick-3, or Pick-4 wager.  Low is marking a horse that you feel doesn’t have much chance of winning, but has a legitimate shot of finishing in the “lower rungs” of an exotic wager (like a Superfecta).  Lower rungs for a Superfecta would be 3rd or 4th place.  An added attraction to this play is when your Low horse is long in odds and/or the rest of the field is a wide-open affair (the combination of the two is ideal).


Sep 9 2014

Sandwich Play – A Trifecta Wagering Strategy


Most major racetracks in North America now offer a minimum Trifecta wager of only 50-cents.  This lower minimum wager enables bettors to construct tickets that cover more horses and keep the cost of the tickets affordable.  With this in mind, we’re going to introduce a Trifecta wagering strategy we call the “Sandwich Play.” Read More >>

May 5 2014

2014 Derby Lesson – You Have To Get Creative With Heavy Favorites

Spa Stretch and Tote Board

A 2-1 Favorite On The Board

About 24 hours before the 2014 Kentucky Derby I received an e-mail from an old horse racing buddy that said, “I need to bet an Oaks-Derby Double.  Do you think Untapable is unbeatable?  And, can you give me some horses and thoughts on the Derby?”

Regarding Untapable in the Kentucky Oaks, I replied that she had to overcome the outside post position, but I felt she had enough tactical speed to do that. She has the best Beyer Speed Figures in the field, by far, and in her last race Rosie was peeking back in mid-stretch.  I wrote in my trip notes “done with ease.”  Untapable was solid, albeit a heavy favorite at 1-1 on the tote board.

Regarding the Kentucky Derby, I replied:

  1. California Chrome (#5) has just looked so darn impressive visually.  He seems like the real deal.
  2. Have to use Danza (#4) after the way he finished in the Arkansas Derby.
  3. Can’t argue with Wicked Strong (#20). It appears he just didn’t like Gulfstream Park.

I ended my reply with, “I know that’s kind of boring, but I’m starting to get the feeling that the logical horses might prevail this year.”


Feb 19 2014

Weighted Wagers – Better Than Boxing Bets

Weighted Scale

In a prior article, we explained the concept of Boxing Bets, and in particular Boxing Exacta and Trifecta Wagers.  In this article we will explain why we think Weighted Wagers is a better approach and should be used with the majority of Exacta and Trifecta wagers, especially when you feel the horses have disparate chances of winning.

Boxing wagers assumes that each horse has an equivalent chance of winning.  And, maybe after handicapping a race, that is exactly how you feel.  If that’s the case, then by all means make a “Box” wager.  But, often you have a preference for one horse, over another, possibly over another.  In that case, if you’re handicapping is good … shouldn’t you be rewarded appropriately if your opinion turns out to be correct?


Dec 17 2013

High and Low at GP

High and Low

In a prior article we introduced the wagering strategy of High and Low Superfecta wagers, where you key a “High” horse that you think is a serious win threat over a “Low” horse that you suspect can’t win the race, but might land in the lower rungs (say 3rd or 4th) to complete a Superfecta wager.  Click here for a review of that article, and in particular for the mathematics for calculating the cost of the wager.

After a 3-day weekend at Gulfstream Park (GP), I’ve decided it’s time to put this strategy to the test in sunny Florida, because it seems like the conditions are right; large fields, double-digit horses landing in the top four spots, and predictable winners (defined as one of the top 3 betting choices).  I put the following chart together that shows eleven such examples over the weekend, with only one (#11) not exactly fitting the criteria of the winner coming from the top 3 betting choices.  I’ll explain later.


Jul 15 2013

Part Wheel Strategy and The Mathematics

In a prior article we provided a Trifecta Part Wheel example using a key horse in the first position and introducing the mathematics for calculating the number of combinations of a Part Wheel wager, Pyramid Style.  Click here to read that article.  In this article we’re going to explain the mathematics when more than one horse is used in the winning position.  And, we’re going to go over the math involved with a similar Superfecta Part Wheel wager. Read More >>

Jul 12 2013

Part Wheel Wagers – Pyramid Style

In a prior article we introduced the wager known as a Part-Wheel; and demonstrated how to use a Part-Wheel instead of Boxing horses in a Trifecta wager.  Click here for a review of that article.  Today we are going to expand on this type of wager, and provide some examples on how you might construct a bet using a Part Wheel Wager – Pyramid Style.

Let’s begin by explaining that a Part Wheel is a wager that is recognized by tellers at a race track.  You would say a Part Wheel wager to a teller like this:

$2 Trifecta, Part Wheel, 2 with {4,6} with {4,6}.  (This results in two Trifecta bets: 2,4,6 and 2,6,4)

This is a very simple example, but can be expanded to include much more sophisticated wagers. Read More >>

Jul 8 2013

Boxing Bets – Doesn’t Always Make Sense

In a prior article we introduced Exacta and Trifecta (Triple) wagers as a type of Intra-Race wager.  Click here for a review of that article. Today we’re going to expand on these two wagers and discuss a very common question relating to them.  Should I box my bets?  No doubt, if you’ve been to the track more than once, you’ve witnessed the circumstance where a newbie bets an Exacta of 4-2, only to have the result come in 2-4 … and then get hammered by his/her more experienced friends.

  • Why didn’t you box them?
  • You should have boxed them!
  • What were you thinking?

Well, after reading this article … you can tell your friends that you know a better way! Read More >>