Beginner’s Bet of the Week: The Across the Board Bet

Fans enjoy the racing action at Belmont Park in this file photo. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

This week marks the latest installment of a new series on America’s Best Racing, the Beginner’s Bet of the Week, sponsored by NYRA Bets. Each week, this blog will explore a new type of bet by explaining exactly what it is, how best to use that bet, and by putting the wager into practice in a race.

We’re out of the gates for Week 5 of Belmont Fall racing. Enjoy a special promotion for new NYRA Bets users and apply promo code MATCH200 for up to a $200 first-deposit match. And a special note worth mentioning: As part of the NYRA Cares initiative, Belmont Park is to resume its annual tribute to FDNY Firefighters with the FDNY Stair Climb. We’re so glad to be able to bring this back. As always, be sure to tune into “America’s Day at the Races” running on FS2 every afternoon now through Sunday where the team will provide live coverage of Belmont Park and Churchill Downs all fall!

This week focuses on the win-place-show bet, also known as betting “across the board.” It’s a combination of the bets previously discussed in this series: the win bet, the place bet, and the show bet.

When you bet “across the board,” it’s the equivalent to placing separate bets on the same horse to win, place, and show. If they win, you receive the win, place, and show payoffs. If they come in second, you get just the place and show prices, and if they finish third, you only cash your show bet. The minimum bet is $3, the equivalent of a $1 ticket to win, place, and show.

Much like the win-place bet spotlighted last week, betting across the board does not guarantee profit even if you cash a ticket. It’s possible to bet across the board, have your horse come in third, and receive a payoff less than the cost of the bet. Even if your horse finishes second, depending on the odds, you might lose money.

Because of that quirk, there is not much value to be found in betting the same amount of money to win, place, and show when betting across the board. Some players employ the “ladder play” when playing across the board. This involves betting more money to place and show on the horse they like. For example, if they have $45 to spend, rather than betting $15 to win, place, and show, they might bet $5 to win, $15 to place, and $25 to show. That way, there’s still a chance of making a decent score if the horse wins, while putting yourself in a good position to make a profit as long as they hit the board.

Saturday’s Belmont Park Across the Board Bet

weekend Television schedule

Thursday, Oct. 14: 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, Oct. 15:
12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Oct. 16:
8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Oct. 17:
12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Race 6: #3 Harajuku: The sixth race on the card is the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the grass. Recent European import Harajuku ran a big race in her American debut last out in the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational. She was last early on behind extremely slow fractions. When the pace is very slow, it’s more difficult for closers to catch up to the pacesetters. With the slow pace in front of her, including an opening half-mile in a glacial 51.70 seconds, Harajuku had no serious chance of catching the early leaders. The horses who were 1-2 at the half-mile point finished in the top two, but Harajuku passed everyone else and finished third, beaten 2 ½ lengths. Given the situation, it was a very strong effort. She now cuts back from 1 ⅜ miles and drops in class. She also gets a jockey change from Ryan Moore, who, while a top European jockey, does not ride often in the United States and may not be as familiar with American riding tactics. Junior Alvarado, who has plenty of experience at Belmont Park, gets the call instead for new trainer Graham Motion.

Harajuku is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, and will very likely end up as one of the favorites. As noted above, the way to play this race may be to bet about 10% of your bankroll to win, 33% of your bankroll to place, and the remainder to show. That way, even if Harajuku finishes second or third, you have a chance of ending up with a profit.

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