Ever wonder what the person ahead of you in the betting line means when they tell a ticket-seller "Please give me a $1 trifecta key, 2 to win with 7-8 with 1-4-7-8."?
As complicated as it might sound at first, there is no reason Tampa Bay Downs visitors should feel intimidated. Money-making opportunities abound at the Oldsmar oval, thanks to low takeout rates and the wealth of past-performance information provided in the program.
Tampa Bay Downs is considered one of the most bettor-friendly Thoroughbred tracks in the country, for a number of reasons. First, the takeout rates ("takeout" is the percentage deducted from each wager to cover taxes and administrative costs) are among the lowest in North America: 15 percent on the Pick-5; 17 percent on win, place and show; 18 percent on the daily double, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Super High-5; 20.5 percent on exactas; and 25.9 percent on the trifecta and all other wagers.
Next, with an average field size of more than eight horses per race, payoffs generally are higher than they are at tracks with fewer runners. And with safe, consistent dirt and turf tracks that attract many of the nation's leading stables, bettors can expect to wager on high-quality horses that run true to form.
Whether you prefer to support your selection with a straight win, place and show wager, or delve into the "exotic" world of exactas, trifectas, superfectas and multi-race bets, Tampa Bay Downs guarantees a full menu to play with.
Oh, and just for the record: The example cited at the beginning would require the No. 2 horse to win, either the 7 or 8 to finish second and either the 1, 4, 7 or 8 to finish third for the bettor to hear the "cha-ching" sound that requires no explanation!