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Betting on horse races

Posted by on December 31, 2011

Yep, yep, I wanted to go out and do something “different” instead of the usual hunting, fishing, diving, playing sports, or doing an activity that I’ve done before. Instead, I went out with a friend of mine to Golden Gate Fields and bet on some horse races for some money. Ha ha. Yeah… I’m not a drinker, smoker, or gambler but I figured that I would try this at least once by going to the racetrack. Sure, I’ve gone horseback ridingbut this time I was going to see the professionals do it with full gear and have the pressure on them to win since big money is at stakes here. Then again, horse betting is a very popular past time not only in the US but also, in the world.

warming up horses, caballos caminando

Just like professional sport athletes, horses need warming up too by walking around and moving their legs.

Sure, I could bet online on which horses I wanted to put my hard-earned cash on but I wanted to see the excitement of being on-site for this one. It’s like going to a real live sports game compared to watching the game on TV. The audience, the atmosphere, and vibe are just totally different being there.

cerca de caballos y yóquei, jockey

You can even get pretty close to the horses and jockeys at the ground level.

I do have to admit that watching the horses break out of the gates was okay but it was the turn that made hearts pumping. Who cares about how they started, it’s the ending that matters the most! I could feel other people having big hopes that their horse would win to where even inches matter in this sport. As the horses go head-to-head in the end, people are yelling and screaming for victory. It’s pretty neat to be there to say the least.

turn in the race track

The part that is probably the second-most important event in a horse race: the turn. It might be hard to see because of the distance.

finishing the horse race, termino de hipódromo, pista, carrera

The most important event of the entire race: the finish. This determines the winner and loser as well as payout. Here my horse won 2nd which wasn't bad at all for my first time.

The whole thing is a pretty neat experience. There are many ways to bet such as predicting the top three horses, the top four horses, bet on a horse being third, the winner of 3 different races, etc. They have different ranges of payouts depending on odds.

The more hardcore gamblers will do their research and see who is the jockey, trainer, how old the horse is, what’s the horse’s color, what type of track, how long, will weather play a role, etc. There is so much involved that I can’t really get into specifics without boring people.

All in all, I did pretty good. I lost around $4-6 with $4 of it being my admission fee. So not a bad’s day of sitting around and watching the horses race. I think I would definitely try it again later on.

Tractor setting the gates, puertas de caballos en carreras

If you were ever curious, a tractor sets the gates which are not fixed on one location so this allows flexibility for shorter or longer races.