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Wagering Guide

Wagering Guide

  •   Name the TRACK and the NUMBER OF THE RACE that you would like to wager on.
  •   State the DOLLAR AMOUNT of your wager.
  •   State the TYPE OF WAGER you wish to make (Win, Place, Show, Trifecta, etc. ).
  •   Give the PROGRAM NUMBER of the horse or horses on which you want to bet.
  •   You can bet on a single horse to win, place, show, or on a combination of horses.

Examples: “Tampa Bay Downs, Race 2, $5 to win on number 3, please.” “Tampa Bay Downs, Race 6, $2 exacta box, 4 and 8.”

Remember to check your tickets and count your money before leaving the window, and always hold on to your tickets until the race is declared OFFICIAL.

Then, if you are a winner, go to any pari-mutuel window and collect your winnings!


Bet Type



You win if your horse finishes first.


You win if your horse finishes first or second.


You win if your horse finishes first, second or third.

Daily Double

You must choose the winners of two consecutive races. Wagers must be placed prior to the first race of the daily double.


You must choose the two horses finishing first and second in exact order.


You must choose the first three finishers in their exact order of finish.


You must choose the first four finishers in their exact order of finish.

Super High-5

You must pick the first five finishers in their exact order of finish. If no one hits the Super High-5, the pool money carries over to the next Super High-5 race.


You must choose the winner of three consecutive races. Wagers must be placed before the first of the three races.


You must choose the winner of four consecutive races. Wagers must be placed before the first of the four races.


You must choose the winner of five consecutive races. Wagers must be placed before the first of the five races. If the Pick-5 is not hit, Tampa Bay Downs pays out for four correct picks! Because of the difficulty of successfully choosing five straight winners, plus the large number of betting interests in each race, it is not unusual when no one hits the Pick-5. When that happens, the pool money carries over to the following day. The Pick-5 pool is also paid out in its entirety on a designated date, such as the last day of the meeting; if there are no five-winner tickets, the pool is split among four-winner tickets.

Ultimate 6

You must choose the winner of six consecutive races; the minimum wager is 20 cents. For anyone to collect the entire jackpot on a given day, they must possess the only ticket correctly selecting all six winners. If there are multiple ticket-holders with six correct, or if no one has six correct, 75 percent of the pari-mutuel pool will be split between those bettors selecting the greatest number of first-place finishers, with 25 percent added to the carryover jackpot on the next day’s racing card.


Across the Board: A win, place and show bet on a horse.

Age: All Thoroughbred racehorses in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate their birthday on January 1.

Allowance: A race other than a claiming event, for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions.

Apprentice: A jockey who has ridden for less than a year and who receives weight allowances.

Backside: The racetrack’s barn area.

Backstretch: The straightaway of the track opposite from the grandstand.

Bay: A color ranging from tan to dark chestnut with black mane, tail and points.

Beyer Speed Rating: A numerical measure of race performance popularized by Andy Beyer of The Washington Post.

Black: Black with no brown or tan patches.

Bounce: An exceptionally poor performance on the heels of an exceptionally good one.

Broodmare: Female horse used for breeding.

Broodmare sire: A sire whose female offspring become producers of race horses.

Bug: The asterisk (*) that denotes an apprentice jockey and their weight allowance.

Bullet: Fastest workout of the day at a particular distance.

Call to the post: A special call played on a bugle used to signal the horses to the starting gate.

Chestnut: A color ranging from light gold to deep red. Also, a small, horny growth on the inside of a horse’s front legs.

Claiming race: A race in which the horses are for sale at a price specified before the race. Claims are made before the race and the new owner assumes possession immediately following the race.

Colt: An ungelded male horse 4 years old or younger.

Dam: The mother of a horse.

Dark bay or brown: Brown coat with areas of tan and black points.

Dark day: Day at a racetrack when there is no racing.

Derby: A stakes race for 3-year-olds.

Distaff: A race for female horses; a distaffer is a female horse.

Driving: Strong urging by jockey.

Early foot: Good speed at the start of a race.

Entry: Two or more horses representing the same owner or trained by the same person and running together as a single betting entity.

Fast: The preferred rating for the dirt racing surface; at its best, it is dry, firm and even.

Filly: A female horse younger than 5 years old.

Foal: A baby horse, also called a suckling; a horse is a foal from the time it is born until it is weaned from its mother.

Furlong: An eighth of a mile.

Gelding: A neutered male horse.

Good: A track surface that is still drying out, but is almost fast.

Gray or roan: A horse with a black coat interspersed with white hairs. A gray horse is nearly always black when it is born and gets lighter in color as it ages.

Handicapping: The study of factors in the past performances which determine the relative qualities and abilities of horses in a race.

Handle: The sum of all wagers bet on a race or a race card.

Horse: In racing, a horse is narrowly defined as any male 5 or older with genitalia intact.

Inquiry: Official investigation of rules infraction.

Juvenile: A 2-year-old horse.

Lasix: Diuretic medication given to horses which bleed.

Length: Measure of distance based on the average length of a horse.

Maiden: A horse that hasn’t won a flat race in any country.

Mare: A female horse 5 or older.

Morning line: The preliminary odds set by the track handicapper.

Muddy: A wet, sticky racing surface.

Objection: A claim of foul lodged by a jockey or trainer against another horse.

Off track: A track that is not fast; also, a type of wagering offered away from the host facility.

Overlay: A horse going off at higher odds than it appears to warrant, based on past performances and other available information.

Paddock: Structure or area where horses are saddled and kept before going to the track.

Pari-mutuel: System of wagering where all the money is returned to the bettors after deduction of track and state percentages.

Ridgling: A colt or horse with one descended testicle.

Route: Any distance longer than 1 mile.

Scratch: A horse that has been withdrawn from a race.

Sealed track: A dirt track that has been packed down. Dry tracks are sealed so that water runs off the track, reducing the amount of precipitation absorbed into the surface. Wet tracks are sealed to provide a safe and even racing surface.

Silks: Jacket and cap worn by jockeys.

Sire: Father of a horse.

Sloppy: A track so saturated with rain that it has water lying on the surface.

Slow: A slow track is a muddy surface which is beginning to dry out.

Sprint: Any distance less than 1 mile.

Steward: The racetrack officials who enforce the rules of the track and determine the outcome of a race in the case of an inquiry or objection. Usually three in number, they are the officiating judges of all horse-related activity at the track.

Stallion: Male horse used for breeding purposes.

Stud: Stallion; also, a farm that is home to one or more stallions.

Turf course: Grass-covered race course.

Underlay: A horse going off at lower odds than it appears to warrant, based on past performances and other available information.

Valet: A person who helps jockeys keep their wardrobe and equipment in order (pronounced VAL-et).

Weight: The assigned weight for a horse, including the jockey, equipment and lead weights, if needed.

Weanling: A young horse that has been separated from its mother but is not yet a year old. Horses are generally weaned when they are 4-to-6 months old, and are called weanlings until they reach 1 year of age.

Workout: Exercise session at a predetermined distance.

Yearling: A horse that is 1-year-old; for record-keeping purposes, the birth date of all Thoroughbred racehorses in the Northern Hemisphere is considered to be January 1.

Wagering Guide

Wagering on horse racing is different from sports betting in that it uses parimutuel betting, which pits bettors against each other instead of against the sports book. In parimutuel betting, money for each type of wager (such as win bets and exacta bets) is placed into individual pools. 

Learn More…


Wagering Menu

The wagering menu is a list of the different types of bets that can be placed on horse races. It’s important to understand the different types of bets and their minimum bet amounts before placing a wager.

Learn More…


Wagering Online

Wagering online is a convenient way to place bets on horse racing and other sports. Here are some things to know about online wagering:

Learn More…