A friend and I are going to Gulfstream tomorrow to watch the races. Can anyone suggest an online resource about the basics of horse racing so that we don't appear to be the idiots (or least ignorant people about racing) we are? For example - something that would explain this race description: Purse $21,500. (Includes $5,000 – FOA - Florida Owners Awards). For Maidens, Fillies Three Years Old. Weight, 122 Lbs. Claiming Price $25,000, if for $22,500, allowed 2 Lbs. Six And One Half Furlongs. I only know how to place simple bets and not much else and am taking someone who has NEVER been and I know will have lots of question. Help???
Well, if you want to make it real easy, bet the horse with the second lowest odds across the board.
As far as the example you provided, the only thing you really need to key on is the maiden and the claiming price. The maiden is the condition which also comes in never won two, never won three, never one four and never won a race other than maiden claiming and starter. As long as the condition is the same for all horses ignore that and concentrate on the claiming price they have been running for. For example a horse that ran second or third in a maiden special weight will probably be the favorite in a maiden $25,000 like you cited.
Bottom line, have a good time and don't bet more than you can afford to lose.
I read about one total race newbie who went with his DRF-packing friend, an experienced bettor who put a lot of time into selecting horses, to the 2002 Kentucky Derby.
This being the first post 9/11 Derby, the newbie friend decided to go with the "patriotic" exacta of War Emblem and Proud Citizen. Experienced friend spent much of the day trying to talk him out of it, pointing out that both were long-shots, much better value elsewhere, wasting his money, etc., etc.
At the end of the day, newbie friend was in the IRS line to cash out on his winning exacta (I think both horses were at least 20-1; the exacta was well over $1000 for your $2 bet). Experienced guy was tearing up all his "educated" tickets.