Betting Basics for Horse Racing

Backing Winners

What is an entry?

Multiple horses all running as one betting proposition under a single program number are called an “entry.” The rules at each track are different, but horses owned by a single owner are required at most tracks to be run as a single betting proposition. At some tracks, horses trained by the same trainer are required to be run as an “entry.” This procedure prevents fraud or race fixing by a single owner with more than one horse in the race. For example, if Calumet Farms owns horses named “Upside” and “Downside” and enters them in the same race, these two horses will be coupled together as horses 1 and 1A on the program. They would receive the #1 program number no matter what post position each horse held.

When betting either horse in the entry you would simply say, “Give me #1 to win. Both horses are considered to be the #1 horse and if either horse wins you are a winner. Basically, you get two horses for a bet on one number. The horses will both pay the same odds. If they finish first and second, they will both pay for win, place and show. Since just one number gets the place pool instead of the usual two, an entry in which in the horses finish first and second will often pay as much or more to place than for win.

Tip: If you believe the entry horses are the two best horses in the race, bet for place rather than to win.

In same race exotics, such as exactas, if the entry finishes first and second, then the bottom half of the exacta will be the horse that finishes third. The final two horses in a triple would be third and fourth horses instead of the second and third. Simply put, in exotic bets (explained below) only the best finisher of the entry horses is counted and the other horses in the entry are ignored in calculating the results.

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