A front row seat to any sporting event these days will run you hundreds of dollars, but in horse racing admission is usually no more than $2.00, and at the smaller tracks it is free. Same goes for parking as well. Most sporting events charge $20 for parking, where horse tracks charge $2.00 or it’s free. Parking and admission aren’t the only thing that’s cheaper at the horse track, as food and drinks are reasonably priced compared to other sporting events. A beer will run you $8 to $10 dollars most places, but at the track they can be had for $3 to $5.
It’s obvious the track wants you to have more income to bet with, but if you set a reasonable budget you can lose every race and still walk away with more money than if you attended a regular sporting event. Plus, there is always the chance of you winning some money. Even if you were to break even you will get a full days entertainment for next to nothing. This may be called the sport of kings, but any average joe can afford a day out at the races.
You Don’t Have to Know Anything About Horse Racing to Win
When you go to the track, you’ll see many people studying forms that will look very odd to you. That’s ok! Let me tell you all a little secret about horse racing that the best handicappers know: It’s 95% luck when you cash a ticket! Sure, being informed helps, but if you aren’t it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Picking horses because of names or colors can still produce profits, and from time to time even big payouts. For example: My wife bets horses based on how they look. She bet a horse last week at Prairie Meadows because, “it was really pretty and had a long tail.” She bet the horse $5 to show. On paper the horse looked to be awful, and I predicted that it would finish last. Much to my surprise, the horse finished second and paid $15.00 to show! So my wife made a profit of $32.50 just because the horse was pretty and had a long tail. These kinds of things happen a lot, so sometimes ignorance can be bliss!
It’s the Best Gambling Venture
Horse racing is the best gambling venture you can make because you are betting against the other people at the track, and not the house. The track does not care who wins the races, so there is no motivation for them to “steal your money.” Horse racing uses a parimutuel system, meaning the odds are affected by how other people bet. The tracks are not the ones that actually set the odds. So in other words, you can capitalize on other people’s stupidity! Here is an example of how a parimutuel system works:
Consider a horse race which has 8 possible outcomes. Each outcome has a certain amount of money wagered:
Thus the total pool of money on the event is $514.00. Following the start of the event, no more wagers are accepted. The event is decided and the winning outcome is determined to be Outcome 4 with $55.00 wagered. The payout is now calculated. First the commission or take for the wagering company is deducted from the pool; for example with a commission rate of 14.25% the calculation is: $514 × (1 – 0.1425) = $440.76. The remaining amount in the pool is now distributed to those who wagered on Outcome 4: $440.76 / $55 ≈ $8 per $1 wagered. This payout includes the $1 wagered plus an additional $7 profit. Thus, the odds on Outcome 4 are 7-to-1 (or, expressed as decimal odds, 8).
Often at certain times prior to the event, betting agencies will provide approximates for what should be paid out for a given outcome should no more bets be accepted at the current time. Using the wagers and commission rate above (14.25%), an approximates table in decimal odds would be:
In real-life examples such as horse racing, the pool size often extends into millions of dollars with many different types of outcomes (winning horses) and complex commission calculations. But, you get the point. You are playing against each other, not the house!
Horses, Trainers, and Jockeys are Accessible
Have you ever went to a sporting event and wished you could talk to or meet the players or coaches? In horse racing, you can! The horses are literally inches away from you! Also, the trainers usually stand amongst the common people while their horses run. This is truly a sport where almost all the main players in the game act like common people. Often times you could be standing right next to a horse trainer and you wouldn’t even know it. Most trainers and even jockeys are fairly approachable and are happy to answer you questions, or just chat with you for a while if you’d like. That’s something you don’t see with other sports.
Horses are the Purest Athletes on the Planet
Are you tired of salary caps, contract disputes, hold outs, players leaving college behind for the draft, and spoiled prima donnas? If you are, this is the sport for you. I would venture to say that the thoroughbred race horse is the last pure athlete left in America. While their human connections can sometimes be shady, the horse just does what it loves to do: RUN! They don’t care how much money they are making or who they are running for, they just want to run. Also, don’t think these horses don’t know what they are doing. Most of them know where that finish line is, and they know their job is to get there first. They live to run, compete, and win. Seeing them live and in person gives you a whole new appreciation and outlook on this!
So what are you waiting for? GO TO THE RACES!!! You’ll be glad you did…trust me!