It’s that time again……….. Horse racing fans everywhere are beginning to think about the “Derby”. In America, that means The Kentucky Derby, “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”! I’m sure lots of people would like to bet the 2018 Kentucky Derby, but don’t know how to bet horse racing online, and don’t plan to travel to Louisville, KY on the first Saturday in May.
Even people who have absolutely no interest whatsoever in horse racing know the name of America’s premier horse race. It seems the entire world eagerly awaits “The Run For The Roses”.
No doubt some of those people wish they knew a way to place a bet or two on the Derby, even if they’ve never placed a wager before, and don’t know how to bet. Many of them probably believe that the only way they can place a bet is to be at Churchill Downs on Derby day, but a lot has changed in the 21st century. The internet has changed the way we humans do almost everything! From research, shopping, enjoying music and entertainment, to online wagering.
Nowadays, it’s really easy to bet horse racing online through a number of different sites, but my favorite is a product of Churchill Downs itself – Twinspires.com.
The 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools are already open on their site, long before the field is set for the race. There are four pools, offering a chance to place bets on likely entrants for both the Kentucky Derby and The Kentucky Oaks. Those pools typically offer bettors a chance to get better odds on their individual choice(s) for the race. Sometimes much, much higher odds than on race day! Pool 2 of the Future Wager will be open February 9-11 this year.
Advanced Deposit Wagering
An account with Twinspires is known as an “Advance Deposit Wagering Account” because members deposit money into an account with Twinspires before they plan to wager, then place their bets through the site, using real-time odds. There is no cost at all to sign up, membership is always free, and the minimum deposit to get started is very small. There are several ways to deposit money into your account, including a number of online options, which are listed below.
That description is rather “bare-bones”, but having an account affords a member more benefits than just being able to bet the races being run at Churchill Downs online. For example, the Twinspires site offers wagering on races being run all over the world, live streaming video of races being run, and replays of races as well. Because the site is owned by Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, all the latest news and developments about their premier event are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week as well.
I’ve had an account with Twinspires since they first launched the site in 2007, and I love it! The site is extremely easy to navigate, and placing bets is as simple as 1-2-3. Any wager that can be placed at the track can be made on the site, from board bets like Win, Place, and Show, to Superfectas, Pick 6’s, etc. And all wagers are at real-time odds.
For newcomers at a race track, it can be uncomfortable, even a little intimidating, trying to place a wager at a teller’s window. Especially if there’s a line of impatient players behind them, and they really don’t know what to say to make their bet.
I know, because I’ve been through that myself. And the closer it gets to post time, the more impatient the people in line become. They’re afraid they’ll be “shut out” and not be able to get their bets down before the start of the race.
But put that same first-time bettor in front of their computer, in the comfort of their own home, give them all the time they want to decide which horse they want to bet, what kind of bet they want to make, and how much they want to bet, and it’s an entirely different story! There’s no rush, no pressure, and no discomfort. Just fun! That’s only one of the advantages to online wagering. There are lots more!
What You Need To Know
If you want to open an account with Twinspires, there are rules and regulations that must be met. There are also a number of guidelines and restrictions, all of which are thoroughly covered on their site. The Twinspires website covers everything in great detail, but here are a few basics:
- Must be 18 years of age (Washington State must be 21)
- Must be a legal resident of a state where the Twinspires wagering system is available
- Must have a valid email address
- Must have a valid ID
- Must have a valid telephone number
- Must agree to all the terms and conditions
Pretty simple, isn’t it? Of course, setting up the account is just the beginning. Once you have your account, you need to fund it by depositing money. Naturally, Twinspires makes that as easy as possible!
Funding Your Account
There are a number of options for depositing money into your Twinspires wagering account:
- Mail a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check
- Transfer funds via wire transfer
- Debit or ATM card online
- Credit card online (MasterCard or VISA)
- MoneyGram (39,000+ locations)
- Bill Pay (EZ-Bank)
- PayNearMe (CVS, 7-Eleven, Family Dollar)
- Green Dot @ the Register
Both EZ-Money and Bill Pay are completely free to use, unless your bank or financial institution charges a fee. Personally, I set up my account using EZ-Money. My Twinspires wagering account is linked directly to my checking account, so transferring money is as simple as a click or two, and done! My favorite part of the process is whenever I’m transferring money from my Twinspires account into my checking account!
2am – And They’re Off!
For all the night owls out there, here’s some great news! Twinspires is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and there’s live racing going on somewhere! I’ve been sleepless more nights than I care to remember, so I logged into my Twinspires account, and began betting races in California, England, Ireland, South Africa, South America, Korea, Australia…………….. so much racing, so little time!
Before you begin wondering, the answer is no! I didn’t and couldn’t handicap those races. Everything I’ve learned along the way has been about North American Thoroughbred racing, from blood lines to track biases, to trainer strengths and weaknesses. None of that knowledge could be applied to racing elsewhere.
I was going on hunches, post positions, horse names…………… You name it. It’s called counting on Blind Luck! I don’t recommend betting horse races counting on pure luck. That’s a recipe for disaster! But I’ve done it occasionally, just for fun. Small bets only!
Luck Is Alive and Well, Thank You
My sister was a huge fan of horse racing. She and I went to watch live horse racing every chance we had. She didn’t have any desire to learn about handicapping, so she relied entirely on “blind luck”. She never missed a chance to bet a horse whose name included the name of anyone she knew. Very scientific, right?
Maybe not, but sometimes………… We were at the track one day, and my sister wanted to bet on a horse that hadn’t raced in over a year. Such a long layoff is a sure sign that the horse was injured in its last start. Otherwise, the owner would have continued racing him. Plus, on this day, the horse was making its first start ever on the grass! One never knows how a horse will react when asked to do something for the very first time.
Everything I had learned told me not to bet that horse, and since he was 99-1 on the tote board, everyone else seemed to feel the same way. However, the horse’s name was Frankatthebank, and my sister just had to bet on him.
Frankatthebank won by five lengths, and paid over $240 for her $2 Win ticket. Of course I was happy for my sister, but gimme a break! How can that ever happen? I guess that’s why it’s called “Gambling”! LOL
But then, my sister never missed a chance to play “The Holy Ghost” horse, if the opportunity arose at the track that day. The Holy Ghost theory (Based on the trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) holds that the first post position to win two races on that day’s racing program, would win a third race, completing the trinity, before the end of the day. Crazy, huh?
Or, is it?
On Breeders’ Cup Day, 1993, my sister and I drove to River Downs racetrack in Cincinnati, so we could watch and wager on the live races there, plus the simulcast of that year’s Breeders’ Cup races. Next to the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup races are the biggest horse racing event of the year, and we didn’t want to miss the chance to watch and wager.
As we watched the horses being saddled for the Classic, my sister asked about the Holy Ghost horse. I explained that because the races were from two different tracks, there wouldn’t be one. Despite my explanation, she bet $2 to Win on “her” Holy Ghost horse, number 11.
“Her” Holy Ghost horse not only won, but paid $269.60 for her $2 wager. Arcangues, at 133-1, the longest odds in Breeders’ Cup history, swept past Bertrando in the stretch for the win. Naturally, Bertrando just happened to be my pick for the race!
By the way, Arcangues was not a “Holy Ghost” horse, but my sister believed he was, and that’s all that mattered to her!
Long-held beliefs, theories, hunches, and opinions are dear to most horse players, and they won’t give them up despite any and all evidence to the contrary. Most gamblers are that way, including me! Those beliefs and theories will make for some interesting reading in a future article.
Those Days Are Gone – Good Riddance!
When I first became a horse racing fan, there was no live racing in my state, so I had to drive over 100 miles each way just to see horse racing. Back then, there were only a few races shown on national TV, big races like the Kentucky Derby and a few others. Of course, there was no way to bet on those races, unless you knew a “bookie”.
I’d buy a Daily Racing Form on my way home from work on Saturday, then handicap races until bedtime. The next morning, my sister and I would drive to the track and stay for the entire 10 race card, betting every race. Back then, I lost a little more often than I won, but I had a great time! Time passed, and I got better and better, winning more often than losing. Then, along came simulcasting……
Today, I don’t need to drive anywhere to watch horse racing. I can watch and wager from the comfort of my own home. No traffic, no cigarette smoke, and no loud-mouthed poor losers to tolerate. Just me, my computer, and Twinspires!
There are several other online wagering platforms available, and they all have their good points and bad points. You may find one you prefer over Twinspires, but Churchill Downs is the home of America’s premier horse race, the Kentucky Derby, and that should reassure anyone that their online wagering platform will be the absolute best, bar none!
May the Horse be with you!
Questions and comments are always welcome.