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As one of the world’s more popular betting sports, horse racing delivers tons of excitement by giving bettors the chance to win real money at the track. Commonly referred to as ‘The Sport of Kings’, horse racing dates back hundreds of years. There have been countless horse racing terms and phrases coined over that time, especially as it relates to the betting world. This article will walk you through a glossary of important horse racing terms for beginners, providing you with all the information needed to get started with betting at Bovada Racebook.

Horse Racing Betting Terms Explained

Triple Crown

You may recognize this term from other sports such as baseball, but the Triple Crown is best known for its connection to horse racing. This term alludes to when a single horse manages to win the three most prestigious horse races in America, all within the same year. The three races that make up the Triple Crown are The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Long Shot

A ‘long shot’ is a horse with little chance of winning a specific race or event. This term is not exclusive to horse racing and can be found across a variety of sports, especially when betting. The less chance they have of winning, the longer their betting odds will grow, hence the name. Betting on a ‘long shot’ may be risky, but it can also earn you a massive payout if your horse can prove the odds makers wrong.


When betting on sports such as horse racing, the term ‘handle’ refers to the total amount of money wagered. This betting term can be used for the amount wagered on a single race, event or even an entire season.

Win Bet

As one of the more straightforward wager types in horse racing, a ‘Win Bet’ is when you wager on a specific horse to win the race outright. These bets are great for beginners as they are simple to understand and can still deliver a decent payout depending on the betting odds.

In The Money

This sports betting term refers to where a horse finishes in the race. If a horse finishes ‘in the money’, it means that they finished in either first, second or third place.

Place Bet

This type of horse racing bet allows you to wager on a horse to finish in either first or second place in a race. It doesn’t matter which place your pick finishes, as long as it’s in the top two.

Show bet

A ‘Show Bet’ is a wager on a horse to finish the race in first, second or third place. All three positions pay the same with this type of wager, you just need to make sure your pick makes the top three.

Exotic Betting

A fairly common term at most race tracks, ‘Exotic Betting’ refers to a specific type of horse racing wager that requires betting on multiple horses. This type of betting can be focused on a single race or spread out over several events. There are different types of exotic bets available, including Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas. Exotic betting is very popular in horse racing, as they give bettors the chance to score a massive payout.

Exacta Bet

The most basic example of exotic betting, an Exacta wager requires bettors to correctly pick the horses to finish first and second in a race. In order to win this type of wager, bettors need to correctly predict which horse will finish and second, respectively. This is a very popular horse racing bet for beginners looking to win big at the track.

Trifecta bet

Often referred to as a ‘triple’, a Trifecta bet is another type of an exotic wager. The concept is the same as an Exacta bet, but bettors must correctly pick the top three horses in a single race, including the official order they finished.

Superfecta Bet

As one of the more difficult bet types to win at the track, Superfecta wagers require bettors to correctly pick the top four horses in a single race, along with the official order they finished. This is another type of Exotic bet and can be very difficult to win, but the potential payout can be huge.

Daily Double

This horse racing term refers to a bet picking the correct winner of two different races. The two races usually run consecutively and the extra degree of difficulty means a great potential payout for bettors.

Now that you have a better understanding of the most common terms related to horse racing, you can start betting on all the thoroughbred action at Bovada Racebook. If you’re new to Bovada, be sure to take advantage of the Bovada Sports Welcome Bonus and score up to $250 in bonus money on your initial deposit!