Trying to bet on a horse race like the 2012 Kentucky Derby can be confusing, and before one gets to strategy, it's important to first understand the terminology. Fortunately, SB Nation has horse racing expert Matt Gardner to explain everything.
WIN: A bet on a horse to win (if you don't know this you probably shouldn't be betting)
PLACE: A bet on a horse to finish either 1st or 2nd.
SHOW: A bet on a horse to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
Those are the standard bets that everybody is familiar with. They are simple, straight forward, it's easy to calculate the cost, and they are easy to make. Where things start to become more complicated is with what are known as the exotic bets. Below are the exotic wagers offered by Churchill Downs this weekend.
EXACTA: A bet picking the 1st and 2nd place finishers in a race.
TRIFECTA: A bet picking the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a race.
SUPERFECTA: A bet picking the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers in a race.
Gardner goes into great detail about the terms, odds, payouts and much more. This is a great place to start for the novice.
For more on Derby Week at the 2012 Kentucky Derby and the schedule of coverage heading into the main event, keep it locked to this StoryStream as well as horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come.