Horse racing tips for amateur bettors

If you’re serious about finding good horse racing tips, look elsewhere. Over my lifetime, I’ve lost more than I’ve wagered so I clearly don’t know what I’m doing.

But today, I won the daily double!

That’s a whopping $30.40, baby!

Because I’m just that sort of gal, I’m going to share my secret betting tricks with you, my dear Minnesota Transplant readers:

  • Never bet more than you can afford to lose. For me, that’s $2 a race. I figure I easily acquire $2 worth of entertainment from the 10-15 minutes I’m dreaming of the big payout and the scant two minutes I’m rooting for a particular horse.
  • Stick with exotic bets. Oh, some folks recommend personally meaningful picks, like choosing according to a horse’s name or birthday or a favorite color worn by a jockey, and some people like betting on the favorites or the long shots every time, but me? I stick with random choices and wild bets like trifectas and Pick 6s. This is how you win the big money.
  • Never bet on gray. This is advice from my mother I have found to be pretty sound.

So, how did that work out today, a gorgeous summer afternoon at Arlington Park?

Race 1: I bet $2 on Onedayatatyme to show. Betting “to show” is not an exotic bet — it’s the safest, most boring bet there is; I was violating my own tricks though I did sort of like the horse’s name. He come in 4th. The long shot won. No gray horse in this race.

Race 2: I bet $2 on Gran Torine, a long shot, to show. He came in 5th, right behind the gray horse. A horse with 6-1 odds won.

Race 3: I bet a $2 exacta box on long shots with cool names: Zes T Cat and Misty Castle. Misty Castle came in fourth and Zes T Cat was lost in the pack. A favorite won. No gray.

Race 4: I bet $1 on the Pick 6 (meaning I had to pick the winner in this race and the following 5 races). I got two of the 6 right (which, with a quarter, won’t even get me a phone call home). A long shot won this race. The gray horse finished second to last.

Race 5: I bet $3 on a trifecta box of favorites. One of the three placed, and a long shot won. No gray.

Race 6: I bet $2 on a daily double of favorites. My horse in the first race came in 5th (just ahead of the gray horse) so it didn’t matter what my horse in the second race did. A long shot won.

Race 9: [If you’re keeping track, you’ll notice I skipped races 7 & 8, but then, I already told you I won a daily double, so I’m preserving whatever suspense I have left.] I bet $2 on the favorite to place. He showed. And the gray horse won. Darn.

Races 7 & 8: I bet $2 on a daily double of favorites. After I walked away from the teller’s window, I realized my horse in Race 7 — Mr. Mostly — was gray. Ugh! Doomed! Mr. Mostly A Waste Of Money, I thought. But no! Mr. Mostly won. Now all I needed was Let’s Call A Truce — a chestnut beauty and the clear favorite — to win Race 8. He started out in last place and stayed there for three-quarters of the race, but Let’s Call A Truce was a closer and close he did! He won by a length.

I parlayed my $2 daily double into $30.40, meaning I won $14.40 more than I wagered all day. This would be considered good by some. Except I paid $8 admission, $2.50 for a program, $7 for an executive box seat upgrade, $3 for a bottle of water, $9 for a Cactus Cooler, $10.95 for a Snacks & Dips plate and $6 for a glass of Zinfandel. Which means I left $32.05 at the track.

OK, so I’m a big loser.

But if there’s any tricks I’ve learned about gambling, it’s this: Only brag about what you win. And I won the daily double!


5 responses to “Horse racing tips for amateur bettors

  1. Sounds like it’s win-win 😀 You had a good time and got some blog fodder out of it 😉

  2. Karen Wallgren

    It’s a gamble any way you look at it, but I still stick by my advice about the grey. A grey horse just has to have less self-confidence when he sees his color and everyone knows having self-confidence can definitely help in the success department. It sounds like you had a great time and I wish I could have joined you!

  3. isiscambassassassassian

    How can you lose more than you wager? Even if you never win, you’ll only ever lose as much as you wager. So that’s a plus!

  4. “But if there’s any tricks I’ve learned about gambling, it’s this: Only brag about what you win. And I won the daily double!” – this made me laugh! Great quote to remember, especially since my son is turning 18 this week and I’ll be introducing him to the world of gambling via Treasure Island! (entertainment gambling of course because I never bet more than I can afford to lose too)

    • Good luck at Treasure Island! I had a mother-in-law once (not the one I have now), who taught me the advice about only bragging when you win. She ALWAYS seemed to win.

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