Training to Win

Learn the ins and outs of handicapping with articles, videos, and expert guides.

What’s your Racing Experience?

Depending on your racing level, we’ve got a few tips for you!

You’re a beginner bettor looking to learn more about wagering, or maybe even making your first-ever horse racing bet while attending the track for fun or watching a major racing event, like the Kentucky Derby.

  • How to Bet the Trifecta

    Betting the trifecta requires you to pick the top three finishers of a race in the correct order. You can select as many runners in each position (first, second, and third) as you like. You can also “box” your selections meaning the horses you select can finish in any order as long as they all finish in the top three. However, this will cost more money and you should be cautious that you are not spending more than you can win.

  • What does Pari-Mutuel Betting Mean in Horse Racing?

    While most of the betting that you are probably used to is bookmaking (betting against the house), horse racing has pari-mutuel betting. This mean that you are actually betting against other players in the pool you wager. All money wagered goes into a pool for each wager type and is then paid out based on how many players had the winning horse/combination. The fewer number of winning tickets means the larger the payout will be.

  • Explaining Program Numbers and Post Positions

    Typically, the program number will match the post position of the horse. However, sometimes scratches and/or coupled entries can cause the post positions to be different from the program numbers. As a bettor, you are only betting on the program number (the number the horse wears on the saddlecloth) and this number will never change despite post positions or scratches.

You’re a knowledgeable and somewhat experienced bettor looking to improve your wagering strategies. You bet on the big races, like the Triple Crown series, and occasionally wager on weekday racing action or a particular meet as a recreational hobby.

  • Watch out when Route Runners are actually Sprinters

    It’s not uncommon to see young horses run well in their first route race, only to falter in subsequent two-turn events. A single victory running long isn’t always indicative of a true route racer in the making. The next time you see a horse win their route debut with slow closing fractions, consider the possibility that the horse might actually be a sprinter.

  • When it comes to Trainer Stats, Nuance Matters

    Trainer stats are among the most valuable tools horseplayers have at their disposal. Knowing Trainer A wins with 27% of his or her starters is often the foundation for a winning bet. But a trainer’s overall win percentage is only one part of the story. Trainers can win at varying percentages at different racetracks, or with different types of horses. The more granular the stat, the more valuable it becomes, so long as sample sizes don’t shrink too small.

  • When analyzing layoffs, stick to the basics

    There are many ways handicappers can gauge whether a horse is ready to win off a long layoff. They can analyze trainer stats, review workouts, or check whether the horse has won off layoffs in the past. All these methods are sound, but there’s another important factor to consider and it’s actually a simple one—has the horse shown the ability to win a race like the one you’re handicapping? Sometimes, regular handicapping logic trumps the layoff factor.

You’re a skilled and experienced bettor looking for an additional edge. You regularly watch and analyze horse racing, employ advanced wagering strategies, and can read and understand a racing program and past performances.

  • Betting Strategies: “Nobody wants to be a fish”

    Keep it simple, focus on the win bet, learn how to identify value, that’s the key from a betting standpoint and you have to build that into your handicapping. At what price are they worth betting? If a horse at off-odds of 3-1 is fair value, then you are saying that you think 75% of the time the horse is going to lose. You’re only going to cash 1 out of 4 times. You are only going to be profitable long term if you are getting 5-1, 6-1, 8-1 on that horse. You have to develop that ability to identify and exploit value.

  • How and When to Bet a Power Box

    The Power Box can be a good betting strategy if you think there’s a legitimate chance a heavy favorite will fall to defeat, but you’re not entirely sure which longshot(s) will steal the show. By covering a lot of potential outcomes, the Power Box gives you a chance to take down a big payday. Playing the Power Box should be avoided if you believe a chalky outcome is probable.

  • What is a Key Race, and how do you identify one?

    A key race is a race from which a large number of participants return to win or run well the next time they compete. It can be difficult to identify a key race immediately after it is run, but once a couple of participants have returned to win, it’s worth viewing the rest of the participants with respect. Maybe they too will come back and run well. Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances help bettors identify key races. The top three finishers from every race a horse has contested are listed in the past performances, with next-out winners italicized.

Video Library


Training To Win – Win, Place, Show Betting

TwinSpires analyst Ashley Anderson explains how you can place the simple wager types of Win, Place, or Show on the TwinSpires app and what those wagers mean.

Training To Win – Expert Picks

To help you find a winner, TwinSpires has a stable of professional handicappers, offering their thoughts on each race and their Expert Picks selections are available to view on the race page within the TwinSpires app.

Understanding the Odds

TwinSpires racing analyst Ashley Anderson walks novice bettors through the basics of horse racing wagering, from the concept of pari-mutuel betting, to reading and understanding the odds, and how to calculate payouts.

Understanding the Race Program

To help you make more informed wagering decisions, a race book is available directly from the race field page on the TwinSpires app. Get detailed information and stats on horses, jockeys, and trainers right at your fingertips.

Training to Win – Brisnet PPs and Insider Picks & Power Plays

Expert Handicapper James Scully explains how to read and use two Free with Bet handicapping products on TwinSpires courtesy of Brisnet. First is Ultimate Past Performances with Comments and second is Insider Picks & Power Plays.

The Basic Tab

Ashley Anderson explains what the Basic tab on the TwinSpries app contains for you to make a more intelligent wager with TwinSpires.

The Speed Tab

Learn more about what the Speed tab contains for your wagering strategy from Ashley Anderson.

The Class Tab

Learn the how to access the Speed Ratings of horses that are offered in each race with the TwinSpires Class Tab.

The Pace Tab

Learn more from TwinSpires’ Ashley Anderson about the helpful handicapping tool available in TwinSpires app, the Brisnet Pace tab.

The Angles Tab

Find out more about the Angles tab that is available in the TwinSpires wagering platform. Ashley Anderson shares how to utilize the Angles tab to help you make a more informed wager with TwinSpires.

Training to Win – Exotic Wagers

Ashley Anderson explains different wager types that you can bet on TwinSpires known as Exotic Wagers. There are single race exotics like Exactas and Trifectas and multi-race exotics like a Pick 4.

Training to Win – Race Classification

Race classifications can help you identify the quality or experience of horses running in a particular event. Ashley Anderson explains how to find it in the TwinSpires app.

Training to Win – Multi-Race Ticket Structure

Expert handicapper James Scully explains some major tips you should follow when building a “Pick N” ticket in horse racing. Leverage your strongest opinions and fade vulnerable favorites.

Power Box Modifier Feature on TwinSpires

Learn how to use this powerful bet modifier on your single race exotic wagers.

How to Use Bet Share with TwinSpires

Create group tickets with ease using Bet Share on TwinSpires. Let us handle all of the money collecting and splitting of payouts as you can focus on handicapping and creating a winning ticket!

Quick Bet Feature for Android

Looking to quickly place a bet close to post time? Quickly build bets using our expert’s guidance! We are now offering the ability to click on expert picks which automatically constructs an exacta box wager leveraging our expert’s guidance.

Betting with TwinSpires

Finding a winner is simplified when you have the right tools.

  • Handicapping – Obtain runner data and past performances

    With TwinSpires, you get a wealth of handicapping information right on your screen with just a simple click. You can click on any North American horse’s name in the program to open loads of data pulled directly from Brisnet. You can also view that horse’s race replays and add that horse to your Stable to get notified of the next time it runs directly from this view!

    Screenshot of handicapping data
  • Betting – Choosing the Right Wager for You

    Use the drop down menu above the list of runners to choose your wager type and amount. Then start building your wager by selecting your horses using the blue circles between the jockey silks and odds. There is even an “All” button at the top of the list of runners!

    screenshot of a win bet selection
  • Placing Your Bet – Bet Now, Save for Later, and BetShare

    Once your wager is built, you have three options.

    1. You can click “Submit” and place the wager right away.
    2. You can click “Save Bet” to save for later if you just wanted to build a base and wait for more information or changes. This bet can be accessed by hitting the “Saved” icon at the top right of the screen. Then you can either edit, submit, or delete that wager when you are ready.
    3. You can select “Advanced Options” and then choose “Share Bet.” This will allow you to split up your wager into portions that other players can buy with your unique link that is created!
    screenshot of a bet ticket
Mobile phone drawing with speech bubbles indicating questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn off Expert Picks and more?
To turn off certain features in the TwinSpires program, navigate to your account settings and look for Preferences.
How can I save a bet?
To save a bet, first select the runners you would like in your bet. Then, located on the bet slip, there will be an option called SAVE BET.


Have you ever considered placing a win bet on a Kentucky Derby runner? Or thought, ‘I should have bet that horse, but unsure how and I don’t want to forget to place a bet on that horse in their next race?’

Then the legal wagering destination of TwinSpires is here to help you learn, understand and practice the best handicapping principles on the planet. Our horse racing experts at TwinSpires hold authority as some of the most respected analysts in the racing industry.

The premier online betting experience of TwinSpires caters to several levels of horse players by offering beginner, casual and advanced concepts. We also offer both mobile apps and easy-to-use desktop experiences that present exclusive data, ratings and information to aid handicapping.

This support for racing fans of all levels keeps TwinSpires advancing in benefits for bettors with data-driven insights and rich offerings of educational content, handicapping, picks, analysis editorial, and strategies through all platforms.