One area where horse racing has expanded where casinos have not is in hours of operation.Sure, hotbeds of gaming such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City are known for their nonstop action, but it is not as common for casinos in less traditional gaming areas to be open 24-seven.And while 24-hour gaming has yet to come to American racing, the era of only being able to get down on live racing and for a select few hours a day is long gone.Racing begins as early as 6a.m. EDT on TwinSpires.com and ends well after midnight. Just from the past year that’s an extra 24 hours of racing each week compared to when my esteemed colleague, P.T. Fornatale, bet on every race from each track TwinSpires.com carried on September 3, 2010, an about 15-hour tour de wagering that began at 9 a.m. EDT and concluded with the last race at either Australia or Los Alamitos.Plenty of people have played poker for that long, but P.T. is the only one I know to do it with racing, and I doubt anyone will attempt such a trick any time soon considering the action now starts at 6 a.m. with Sweden and South Africa and can end as late as 2 a.m. with racing from the far reaches of the Eastern Hemisphere.But the great thing about the increased availability is not that you can bet all the time but that you can bet at any time (except for a scant few hours).Of course, there is a learning curve to wagering on exotic locales. One might be most comfortable with wagering on Thoroughbred racing from New York—a pursuit that involves afternoon wagering—but the most convenient time to wager might be 7 a.m. on a Tuesday in which case your options are harness racing from Sweden or Thoroughbred racing from South Africa.But, hey, at least you have options.I worked more than a few second shifts at my previous job, and doing so emboldened me to try wagering on Australian racing in order to satisfy a gambling jones I wouldn’t have been able to scratch otherwise. Granted, my handle was strictly of the action variety: mostly deuces and the occasional fin with the occasional Hammy involved if I were winning.That was fun, but the problem with that approach is I wasn’t giving myself an incentive to do better. Losing $20 was worth the adrenaline rush one gets when cheering home mighty steeds, and while winning is more fun than losing, the promise of winning $20 with further study wasn’t all that enticing either.But winning is not only fun but also infectious. The more you win the more you want to win, and that refers more to the quantity of what is won than the number of winning occasions.So to incentvize players into trying a different brand of racing and at a different time than they may be used to playing, TwinSpires.com has teamed with Wyvern International to offer a $10,000 prize pool involving Fridays in October leading up to the Melbourne Cup on October 31. Full rules are available on the TwinSpires contest page.In addition to the Race That Stops a Nation as the grand finale, the Friday night events will include such marquee races as Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, and Victoria Derby.The $10,000 prize pool is significant considering the entry point is just $10 per race or $160 for all 16 races, and that’s without picking any winners. TwinSpires gets great response from its 1,000,000-point and 0% takeout bonuses, so why not offer international players the same opportunities?Of course, you won’t have to go it alone. BRISnet.com offers plenty of free race information on Australian racing, including past performances, Power Stats, and full-card analysis, and you can follow Australian commentary via TwinSpires TV.International simulcasting can be a fun way to while away some off hours or take a shot at big-field prices, but remember, just because the action rarely stops at TwinSpires doesn’t mean you should always keep going. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, maintain a balanced diet, and exercise at some point between Ovrevoll Galopp and Los Alamitos.
Welcome to the TwinSpires Blog. Our contributors will be continually updating posts to offer commentary, insight, advice and expert opinions on horse racing and wagering. The goal is to help you win more and become a better all around horse player.
TwinSpires' horse racing author, handicapper, and podcast host, Derek Simon of Denver, Colo. offers his insightful, humorous and sometimes controversial take on the horse racing industry. He even publishes the ROI on the picks he gives out.
TwinSpires' harness racing expert, Frank Cotolo follows all of the big North American circuits throughout the year, providing the best value picks and latest news from the sulky.
The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.