eToro: Buy Shares with 0% Commission

Your capital is at risk

Improve Your Odds – Beat the Bookie with the Best Horse Racing Data

Some people love to don a fancy hat, sip mint juleps, and lay a little action on Kentucky Derby Day.

Maybe you’re looking to expand this once a year activity into a serious hobby.

Whether you’re a hobbyist looking for a fun afternoon or a serious gambler, nobody enjoys losing money. 

With any form of gambling, the best way to win is to know the game and have the best possible data.

Are you ready to beat the bookies and win cash? Read on to learn about the best horse racing data and how to analyze it.

Basic Types of Bets

Nov 7, 2020; Lexington, KY, USA; A blanket of flowers is placed on Authentic with John Velazquez up after winning the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic race during the 37th Breeders Cup World Championship at Keeneland Race Track. Authentic won the Kentucky Derby earlier in the year. Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to the expansion of legalized sports gambling, more people than ever have access to a sportsbook. If you live in one of these states, you may be interested in laying some action. First, you need to know how to bet.

There are five basic straight wager bets. A straight wager is a bet on one horse.


This is the most basic horse racing bet. You wager that the horse you’ve picked will come in first place. If your horse wins, you win.


A place bet means you wager your selected horse will come in first or second. These bets have lower payouts than a win bet simply because you have two ways to cash in.


A show bet is a wager on a horse to come in first, second, or third. These bets pay even less than a place bet because you have three opportunities to cash your ticket.

Across the Board

An across the board bet is a wager that your selected horse will finish first, second, or third and the amount you win decreases wherever the horse places. A first-place finish gets you all three, while second gets you two, and third only gets show money.

Win/Place, Place/Show

Win/Place bets are straight bets for a horse to come in first or second. If your selected horse finishes first you cash in on both. If your horse finishes second, you only receive the second-place place amount.

Place/Show wagers are on a particular horse to finish second or third. If your horse comes in second, you win both. If your selected horse finishes third, you win only the third-place show amount.

Let’s Get Exotic

Nov 7, 2020; Lexington, KY, USA; Authentic with John Velazquez up wins the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic race during the 37th Breeders Cup World Championship at Keeneland Race Track. Authentic won the Kentucky Derby earlier in the year. Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

More complicated horse racing bets are known as exotic. Before you delve into the world of horse racing tips and horse racing data analysis, you need to know what these are so you can make them work for you.


With this bet, you’re wagering on two horses to come in first and second in exact order. As a gambler, you do have the ability to pay more money and “box” this bet. Boxing an exacta bet means those two horses can finish first or second in any order.


A quinella bet is essentially the same as a boxed exacta bet. You’re selecting two horses to come in first and second in any order.

The main difference between a boxed exacta and a quinella bet is the payout. Since you’re required to lay more money on a boxed exacta, the payout will be higher.


Trifecta bets are wagers on three horses to finish first, second, and third in exact order. Like an exacta bet, you can box a trifecta. This means the selected horses can come in at any order.


A superfecta is a bet based on the same principle as the other exotic bets. In a superfecta, you bet on four horses to finish in order. Like exactas and trifectas, you can box a superfecta wager.

If you’re an experienced sports gambler, you see these bets are a cousin to parlay wagers. The difference between parlays and exotic horse racing bets is the ability to box your bets for a better opportunity to win.

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Any gambler has their own strategy they’d be more than happy to tell you about if you lend them your ear. Most novices rely on superstition or some hair-brained scheme at the track they think will win money.

Keep in mind, winning money at horse racing is the same as winning money in other forms of sports gambling. It’s a numbers game. You have to analyze the horse racing data to find where the bookie offers numbers you believe are off.

Going to a horse track and betting favorites may win you a little money, but it is not a long-term strategy. Any person or service offering tips pulls their data from the same place you can.

What Is Form in Horse Racing?

Horse racing form is a tabulation of all significant events in a horse’s racing career. This means where the horse placed, how they won, whether they pulled up or fell, etc.

The form has a very specific code to decipher, and the daily horse racing form is the bible of all horse handicappers.

Horse racing form is where you find and analyze all the data necessary to pick your horses and successfully win bets.

While learning the form is the key to winning money, you may need help analyzing the data given in the daily racing form.

There are great services like equibase that offer an analysis of horses and races all across the world in an easy to read format.

The Best Horse Racing Data

The best horse racing data is how you give yourself the best chance to win.

All gambling relies on knowledge to get an edge on the books. To bet on horses, you must first know-how. After you’re familiar with how you need to know what or who you’re betting on.

Should you be new to the game, consider a horse racing data service to help you along.

Do you need an edge? Check back often for more ways to beat the book. 

Read next