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Help for Beginners

If you are new to racing or still learning, here are some helpful pages that might make things a bit easier to understand.

Frankie Lovato's 365 Days of Racing Term Videos
Retired jockey Frank Lovato Jr. of JockeyWorld.org has created an excellent series of YouTube videos illustrating 365 different racing terms using photos and videos for examples as well as narration. This is a great resource for any racing fan and does a great job educating people about horse racing.

Quick Guide to Betting the Horses
A quick description of common wager types at horse racing tracks in North America with minimum bets and how they work plus a guide for estimating the cost of wagers that involve multiple combinations like boxes and keys and a chart of payoffs for $2 win bets.

Understanding the Types and Classes of Horse Races
Here is a look at the types of races run at North American tracks, starting at the bottom and working our way up from maidens to graded stakes. This should give you a better understanding of all levels of racing and what types of races most tracks run.

Betting Types and Terms
Definition of common terms used in betting and wagering.

Lots of useful definitions and terminology.

Books for Beginners
Just getting started? Here are some books to help you learn the basics about horse racing and handicapping the races.

Odds Chart
A chart of odds and their actual pay-off amounts for a $2 wager plus how to calculate a win pay-off from the toteboard.

How-To Index
Some basic how-to's for people new to racing from placing a bet to paddock inspection.

Review: Win, Place and Show
Are you a new fan who is mystified by some of the terms you have heard used? Or perhaps you are a die-hard fan who has family and friends who can't understand your obsession? This nice little book is an excellent introduction to the world of Thoroughbred racing that can help.

Claim a Horse
A simple how to on claiming a race horse.

How to make a bet on a SAM
Step by step instructions for how to use a SAM or automated teller machine to place a wager.

Books for Getting into Ownership
A selections of books for people who would like to learn more about becoming a race horse owner. From general information to buying at auctions or claiming, there is a lot to learn before you take that leap.

First Timers Guide
A simple, basic guide for the first time visitor to a track from Oaklawn

Race Types
A nice explaination of the different types of races from Oaklawn.

NTRA University
You can enter questions on this page to get verbal answers or use one of the several tools and lessons across the top to read about everything from the basics of wagering to handicapping. Designed by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to help new fans.

Free Info to Help You Win
Two booklets you can download and study from the Daily Racing Form: Winning Techniques and Learn to Play the Races

Very simplistic explaination of how to handicap for total beginners from Oaklawn

How to Read an Official Track Program
Equibase provides the programs to many of the tracks in the US. This page explains the different parts of the program and what they mean. Just put your cursor over each part and the explanation appears below. There are some additional info about the features on the program here

How to use the Daily Racing Form
Interactive guide shows you how to read and interpret the past performances in the Daily Racing Form.

How to Wager
Brief description of wager types, terms, and race types from Del Mar. Also includes a link to how to use an automatic bettng machine (SAM).

Racing 101
An introduction to wagering from the Meadowlands. Nicely laid out presentation of the basics.

Harness Racing for Beginners
From Australia but much of it applies to anywhere. Good introduction to harness racing basics.

Harness Racing Terms
This is aimed at harness racing in Australia but much of the harness racing terminolgy here will apply anywhere.

Types of Bets
Explains the different types of wagers generally offered at US racetracks.

Glossary of Racing Terminology
A very complete list from NTRA. Aimed mainly at Thoroughbred racing.

Glossary of Racing Terms
Definitions of some of those strange terms you may hear at the track. Mostly for Thoroughbred racing.

Lots of books are available on horse racing and you may want to pick up a couple for further study.

British Basics
A brief overview of how racing works in the UK from the British Horseracing Board. They also have several other info sheets on jargon, race dates, and more here.

French Basics
Explains wager types and basic info on French wagering. Very different from the US. Also has a lexicon of French racing terms which you will definitely need.

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