Beginner’s Guide to Horse Racing

Some of the more famous horse races in the world are the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes.  But there are plenty of exciting horse races all over the world that people like to watch and bet on.  Horseracing is a very exciting sport.  However, it is also one that is very intense and difficult to follow for most beginners.  It has a lot of rules and regulations, which means that you should follow guidelines before betting on these races.

Learn important horseracing terms and betting strategies first.  This is especially important for beginners.  It is imperative that you learn the basic terminology of horse racing.


When at the races, you will need a racing form and program.  The form can be purchased at the track and at online  betting sites.  Also, usually an online toteboard can provide important racing information as well.  Get the totals of betting pools. Learn the different odds for races and horses.  Also, get information such as the health condition of various horses and the amount of money that has been betted on individual horses.  Basically, learn as much as you can about the different types of horses, races and bets.


It is also smart to find out more information about each horse.  The racing program is a must if you want to get the most relevant information about the horse that you are betting on.  It will tell you about the horses that are racing for the day, the jockeys and the pre-line up odds.  However, in order to learn about the different types of horses that race, the following list can help:

  • Gelding.  This is a male horse that has been castrated.
  • Juvenile. This is a horse that is less than two years old.
  • Colt. This is a non-castrated horse that is five years or younger.
  • Broodmare. This is a female horse that is ready for breeding.
  • Foal. This is a baby horse.  However, it is only considered a foal until the beginning of the next calendar year.
  • Filly.  This is a female horse that is less than five years old.
  • Maiden.  This is a horse that has never won a race.
  • Stud.  This is a horse that mates with a broodmare for breeding.


When it comes to horseracing, betting is based upon a pari-mutuel system.  This means that you are not betting against the house as with most online games, but you are betting against the other bettors.  All of the money is put into one great big jackpot for the day.  The money is then put into separate pots for different types of possible bets.  Winners get a portion of the pot whenever they win.  The amount that you win is based upon the number of people that are betting for the day.

There are two basic types of bets in horseracing, and they are straight and exotic bets.  Straight bets are some of the simplest bests to make.  They are the win, place and show bets.  A win bet means that your horse comes in first.  A place bet means that your horse places either first or second.  A show bet means that your horse places either first, second or third.

Exotic bets are not as simple as straight bets.  There are more conditions that have to be satisfied in order to be a winner.  Some of these bets are called superfecta, trifecta, exacta, pick 3, daily double and pick 4.  These bets require that your horse places in certain spots in order for you to win.  For example, with a superfecta, you must predict which horses are going to win the first, second, third and fourth spots in a single race.


You must also know the different types of horse races.  For instance, there are races such as an oaks or derby that are based upon the age of the horses.  Then there are races such as a sprint, route or marathon that are based upon distance.  There are even horse races that categorize horses based upon gender.

As you can see, there are plenty of terms that you must know as a horseracing beginner.  In order to be successful you must become knowledgeable about horses, betting and races.  There are helpful online  tools that can help you learn enough to place solid bets and win big at the track.