Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Betting tactics

As you grow more comfortable with handicapping, your betting will become more sophisticated. Two commonly used wagering tactics are boxes and wheels.

• A box is when you have two, three, or more horses that you predict will finish in the top positions, but you are not necessarily sure of the order in which they will finish. Let's try an exacta box involving two horses, No. 1and No. 4.

It's essentially two exacta wagers, 1-4 and 4-1. You would say to the mutuel clerk: "$2 exacta box, 1 and 4." That bet costs $4. No matter the order in which the 1 and 4 horses finish, you collect if they are the first two horses across the line.

The trifecta box works the same way with three or more horses. Let's say that you figure the 6 horse will finish on the board with the 1 and 4. You would say: "$1 trifecta box, 1, 4, and 6." With the $1 minimum wager on trifectas, a three-horse trifecta box costs $6.

• A wheel is used when you have high confidence in one horse and are unsure about the remainder of the field. For instance, in an exacta wheel, you can take the 2 horse and wheel it with the rest of the field. You would say: "$2 exacta wheel, 2, all." In a 12-horse field, a $2 exacta wheel would cost $22 for 11 different exacta combinations. Trifecta wheels work similarly, and you also can do a partial wheel.

Exacta part-wheel - If your handicapping indicates that either the 3 or 4 horse will win and the 5 or 6 horse will finish second, you would say to the betting attendant: "$2 exacta part-wheel, 3, 4 with 5, 6." (Cost: $8)

Trifecta part-wheel - You handicap the 3 and 4 horses to finish first and second, and the 5 or 6 horses to finish third. You say: "$2 trifecta part-wheel, 3, 4 with 5, 6." (Cost: $8)

Daily double part-wheel - You like the 6 or 7 horse to win the first half of the daily double, and the 8,9 or 10 horse to win the second half. You would say: "$2 daily double part Wheel, 6, 7 with 8, 9, 10." (Cost: $12)


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