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A Beginner’s Guide to Wagers

If you’ve spent time at or around a race track, you know that many horse racing fans like to place a wager or two on the races. Maybe you’ve never had a chance to place your own wager before, or maybe you’ve been a bit nervous to give it a try. Either way, we’d love to share just a bit more about how wagers work in this beginner’s guide to wagers!

No Need to Bet the Farm!

Did you know that wagers can start as low as $2?

You can place a wager on your favorite horse without breaking the bank. This is ideal for those who just want to have a bit of fun. After all, a race is always just a bit more thrilling when you feel you have something riding on the outcome.

There are avid race fans who like to place wagers based on:

  • The owner, trainer, or jockey associated with a certain horse
  • A horse’s previous win/loss record
  • Notorious underdogs
  • Certain times/gate numbers/entry numbers
  • A horse’s name or lineage
  • And many more!

Like any sport, horse racing fans have their own traditions, superstitions, and habits.

You’re welcome to check out our “Overnight Listings” page to see what horses will be racing on the day you plan to place your first wager!

On Track, Off Track, and Online Wagers

You don’t have to be “here” to try out wagering either! At Grants Pass Downs, our philosophy is that when you win, we win. That’s why we’ve made sure to accommodate as many of our wagering fans as possible.

If you want your wager to be part of your overall race day experience, we’d encourage you to place your wager right here at the track.

If you’re in the local area and would prefer to watch from a bar or restaurant, we offer off track wagers from various locations in Portland, Medford, Salem, Bend, Lake Oswego, and more! You can learn more about our off track wagering solutions here.

And if you’re watching online, we can work with that as well! Our online wagering partners include XpressBet, eBet, AmWest, and more. We also live stream our races with TVG, so you can watch your favorites win live.

If you’d like to study up a bit before placing your wager, you can check out Equibase, where you can view past performances and upcoming race entries. Quick wagers based on fun reasons (like the jockey wearing your favorite color!) and more studied wagers based on past performance can both be fun for their own reasons. Give them a try and see what you prefer!

Win, Place, Show – A Beginner’s Guide to Wagering

Once you’ve studied your options and made your choice, it’s time to decide what sort of wager you’ll be making! You have a few basic options here:

Win: You’re wagering for your horse to come in first place.
Place: You’re wagering for your horse to place either first OR second
Show: You’re wagering for your horse to come in first, second, OR third

We recommend you start there to get a feel for things! Once you feel you’ve mastered placing win, place, or show wagers, you could upgrade to other types of wagers. These include daily double, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, pick 3, pick 4, and pick 6.

There’s really no wrong way to go about placing a wager, and the goal is to have fun! If placing a more complex wager seems stressful or overwhelming, there’s no need to try to force it. Make the sort of wager you enjoy making, and focus on enjoying your race track experience.

Although there’s always more that could be shared, this beginner’s guide to wagers is meant to help prepare you for your first wagering experience. We can’t wait to see what happens! As always, when you win, we win.