Odds Are the Racetrack is Your Best Bet

Nothing beats the excitement of the horse track. Sure, the casinos do have their appeal, but they’re somewhat limiting on the types of entertainment they offer. Casinos also limit who can visit and in a very short period of time, you could be out some serious cash. For the finance and family friendliness factors, head to the races!

You don’t need to visit the Kentucky Derby to enjoy the thrills of the track. Horses race at venues all across the country. The horses, the people, and the atmosphere make the racetrack a great destination for everyone. The races are just about the only gambling venue that allows families with children. With so much to do, a good time will be had by all.

Many racetracks have special Family Fun Days with additional activities to keep the little ones amused. The adults (most states allow gamers age 18 and up) can wage their bets on their favorite horse. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Based on odds of winning, wagers start at around two dollars. A day at the track is something new and exciting to do without breaking the bank. And, if you’re lucky or skilled, you may even be cashing in before it’s all over.

The racetrack program is your guide to the races. It details the horses’ names, descriptions, and odds. Use the program as your map to plot which horse you’re betting to win, the amount of your wager, and how the winner will end (win, place, or show). The “win” is the first horse to cross the finish line, “place” is second place, and the third horse “shows”. To better assist you when determining the outcome of a race, pick up a daily racing form. It details recent histories of horses and how they placed. The form will give you a better feel for which contestants to bet on. Studying the odds will prepare you for possible outcomes.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, wage your bets on more complex placements with each race. The odds of winning exotic wagers are less, but the payouts are typically much greater. With the “exacta”, for example, the horses you’ve chosen to cross the finish line in first and second place must end in exactly that order. The “trifecta” features first, second, and third place winners in the very order you placed them on your racing ticket. Or, win big and gamble on a series of races (a new race starts about every twenty minutes). For a “Pick 3”, the winning horse you’ve selected must win three consecutive races. Although the stakes are high for these types of wagers, the chances of winning a Pick 3, 4, or 5 decrease exponentially versus simpler options.

Many racetracks are covered by the local newspaper’s sportswriter. A seasoned horse betting professional offers top picks based on history and facts of the contestants in a particular race. The track offers this information for a nominal fee. Horse handicapping is great information to have a better understanding on which racer will fare best.

With these tools to your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your day at the racetrack. Pick your favorite horse, choose one that’s had a history of winning, or elect a random selection. If you bring your children, consider involving them in helping you make choices. The kids will have fun watching the horses whip around the course. Everyone will enjoy the food and the fun atmosphere. Racetracks are a great place to have some bonding time with your family while opening possibilities to make your bank account grow. And even if you don’t win, you’re only out a few bucks.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Lookin at Lucky to skip Belmont Stakes

Those hoping to parlay Lookin at Lucky’s win at the Preakness into a possible victory at the Belmont Stakes will have to look elsewhere. Because Bob Baffert says the colt won’t run on June 5 in New York.

From SI.com:

Baffert said Lookin At Lucky will also take a pass on the Belmont and return to Southern California to freshen up. His next start may be the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 1.

“I want to keep this horse around,” the Hall of Fame trainer said.

Their absences, combined with no Triple try in play, leaves the Belmont with little drama. Baffert will be there, though, saying he plans to saddle Game On Dude, partly owned by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre. First Dude finished second in the Preakness, and is likely a Belmont starter.

“It’ll be the Battle of the Dudes,” Baffert said.

It’s disappointing that neither Super Saver (the Kentucky Derby winner) nor Lookin at Lucky will run at the Belmont, but it’s understandable. The Derby this year was a grind, given that the conditions were poor and the traffic at the start was brutal. Super Saver looked beat at the Preakness and I’m sure Lookin at Lucky is gassed after winning.

First Dude might be installed as the favorite at the Belmont in two weeks. He was a 20/1 long shot entering the Preakness on Saturday, but surprised the field to finish second.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

2010 Preakness Stakes Predictions

All right, so I was a tad off in my Kentucky Derby predictions two weeks ago. Sidney’s Candy (the colt I predicted to win) ran out of gas down the stretch and I’m pretty sure Line of David (my prediction to show) still hasn’t come out of the posts yet.

That said, my choice of Paddy O’prado to place was partly correct as he finished in the money, but third instead of my prediction of second. Had he not tired down the stretch, he would have held off Ice Box for second place, but I was happy that at least one of my predictions finished in the money. I also noted that Conveyance would probably jump out to a big lead at the front – which he did – but tire down the stretch (which he also did). But that prediction doesn’t really count for anything; I’m just trying to make myself feel a little better considering the picks didn’t pan out.

I’ll try to do better today with the Preakness, as the second leg of the Triple Crown takes place at 6:15PM ET.

Win: Lookin at Lucky (3/1)
Lookin at Lucky was the favorite heading into the Kentucky Derby, but he fought traffic out at the start and finished a disappointing sixth. That said, he spotted the field over 20 lengths, battled through traffic and still managed to finish sixth. The last horse to pull off a similar feat was Curlin in 2007, who lost to Street Sense at the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby and then won the Preakness two weeks later. Had Lucky not drawn the awful rail position for the Derby, we might have seen a different outcome. But now that he is coming out of the No. 7 post, he shouldn’t have to battle as much traffic at the start and he can run his race throughout. If he does that, he beats the field.

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Couch Potato Alert: 6/5

This could be a weekend of “firsts.” Calvin Borel could become the first jockey to record a Triple Crown on two separate horses. With “The King of Clay” Rafael Nadal out of the picture, Roger Federer could capture his first Grand Slam championship at the French Open. And Kobe Bryant could be halfway home to his first NBA title without Shaq.

All times ET…

NBA Finals
Sun, 8 PM: Orlando Magic @ Los Angeles Lakers (ABC)

Stanley Cup Finals
Sat, 8 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Detroit Red Wings (NBC)

Sat, 4:10 PM: Philadelphia Phillies @ Los Angeles Dodgers (FOX)
Sun., 1:30 PM: Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: Philadelphia Phillies @ Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN)

French Open
Fri, 5 AM: Women’s Semifinals (Tennis Channel)
Fri, 10 AM: Men’s Semifinals (NBC)
Sat, 9 AM: Women’s Finals (NBC)
Sun, 9 AM: Men’s Finals (NBC)

Horse Racing
Sat, 5 PM: The Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park (ABC)

Couch Potato Alert: 5/15

It has been over 30 years, but is this finally the year that we’ll have another Triple Crown winner? Mine That Bird carries the hopes of the entire horse racing community into the Preakness on Saturday, as this sport desperately needs a feel-good story.

Sunday going to be a special day for all couch potatoes. We have an original six matchup in the NHL Western Conference final and not one but two Game 7’s in the NBA playoffs. Enjoy!

All times ET…

NBA Playoffs
Sun, 3:30 PM: Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers (ABC)
Sun, 8 PM: Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics (TNT)

NHL Playoffs
Sun, 3 PM: Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings (NBC)

Sat, 4:10 PM: New York Mets @ San Francisco Giants (Fox)
Sun., 1 PM: Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: New York Mets @ San Francisco Giants (ESPN)

Horse Racing
Sat, 4:30 PM: The Preakness Stakes (NBC)

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