The bang-for-the-buck dynamic is one thrill from major horse races like the Preakness Stakes. Many bets in the range of $10-15 can provide significant chances for a nice payout without breaking the bank.
This article will describe the win bets along with the “exotics,” the exacta, trifecta and superfecta markets.
Here, I will reference my four favorite horses in the Preakness: Epicenter (No. 8), Early Voting (No. 5), Secret Oath (No. 4) and Simplification (No. 1) and how to weave them into your horse racing bets.
But these formulas can work with whichever horses you like. (This is not betting advice.)
Preakness online betting
It’s even easier than that for new TVG customers. Pennsylvania horse racing bettors can claim a risk-free, first-win type bet of up to $200 returned as site credit if the wager doesn’t collect.
Ways to bet on the Preakness for less than $12
Here are six ways to seek a winning ticket from the Preakness without breaking the bank.
The Preakness Win Wager
Epicenter was listed at 6-5 in the morning line odds, so a $10 wager would return a $12 profit. Not great for having to beat eight other horses. If he drifts up to 2-1 for example, a $10 wager yields a $20 profit.
Watch the board here. If Epicenter goes off at less-than-even money, say 4-5, that’s only an $8 profit on a $10 bet, a lot of risk for little reward.
The Exacta Box
The top two horses in exact order. For $10, you can take a $5 exacta box with Secret Oath and Epicenter (4-8). Your hope is for Epicenter to be second to Secret Oath in this scenario.
For bettors who fade Epicenter altogether, the exacta box will pay really well if he’s not in the Top 2.
For $12, you can take a couple of $6 bets, each being a $1 trifecta box. You need the top three horses in exact order, so a box bet covers it. I might take Epicenter, Secret Oath and Early Voting. That would be a $1 box of 8-5-4.
Because I’m wary of Simplification, there could be another $1 trifecta box of 8-5-1.
Want to skim off another slice of the triple? You could take a $1 trifecta with one horse on top of two others. For an Epicenter bettor, that could be something like 8 over the 4, 5. Cost:$2. You need Epicenter to win, along with Early Voting and Secret Oath in any second and third version.
This is a neat way to try nabbing a $2 trifecta payout for $14.
The $1 trifecta key. Cost: $6 or $12
It could look like this – a $1 trifecta key, the 8 over the 1-4-5. You need Epicenter to win and the others to fill out any version of second and third.
You can back it up with $6 more. Put Epicenter second with this group. It would look like the 4-5-1 first, the 8 second and the 4-5-1 third.
The “key” tactic is excellent if you believe your favorite horse will combine with a long shot in the top three.
Appealing, but pricey. You need the top four in exact order. A four-horse box for a $1 superfecta wager is an expensive $24.
For the same $12 as the trifecta key, you can take the 8 first and second in the $1 superfecta for $12.
There are numerous other strategies for 10-cent and 20-cent superfecta bets with the same principle: your favorite horse being in the winning ticket with longshots.
Superfecta Budget Buster
Do you feel precise? Take a $1 superfecta bet for $4. It looks like this: take two horses in the first two slots, take two more in the third and fourth positions.
That might be a $1 Superfecta, 8,4, with 8,4, with 1,5, with 1,5. In this example, Epicenter and Secret Oath occupy the top two spots in any order. Simplification and Early Voting take the third and fourth spots in any order.
Caution: If Epicenter wins, exotics payouts will probably be small. Wager accordingly.
Last year, the $1 superfecta paid $1,025 at the Preakness but only because Rombauer, at 11-1, won the race.
Lead image Julio Cortez/AP: Epicenter leaves the track.h