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OTB Off Track Betting

Off Track Betting or OTB means sanctioned wagering on horse, harness or greyhound racing outside of a race track.

Horse racing is the second most widely attended U.S. spectator sport, after baseball. In 1989, 56,194,565 people attended 8,004 days of racing, wagering $9.14 billion. Horse racing is also a major professional sport in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and South America.

By far the most popular form of the sport is the racing of mounted thoroughbred horses over flat courses at distances from three-quarters of a mile to two miles. Other major forms of horse racing are harness racing, steeplechase racing, and quarter horse racing.


2021 Preakness Stakes Probables

HORSE TRAINER OWNER LAST RACE
Caddo River Brad Cox Shortleaf Stable, Inc. Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn, 2nd
Concert Tour Bob Baffert, Mike Smith Gary and Mary West Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn, 3rd
Crowded Trade Chad Brown Klaravich Stables, Inc. Wood Memorial, Aqueduct, 3rd
France Go de Ina Hideyuki Mori Yuji Inaida UAE Derby, Meydan, 6th
Keepmeinmind Robertino Diodoro Cypress Creek Equine, Bennewith, Arnold and Spendthrift Farm LLC Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 7th
Mandaloun Brad Cox, Florent Geroux Juddmonte Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 2nd
Medina Spirit Bob Baffert, John Velazquez Zedan Racing Stables Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1st
Midnight Bourbon Steve Asussen Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 6th
Ram D. Wayne Lukas Baker, Christina and Mack, William L. Allowance, Churchill Downs, 1st
Risk Taking Chad Brown Klaravich Stables, Inc. Wood Memorial, Aqueduct, 7th
Rombauer Michael McCarthy Fradkin, John and Fradkin, Diane Blue Grass, Keeneland, 3rd
Unbridled Honor Todd Pletcher Whisper Hill Farm, LLC Allowance, Keeneland, 1st

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2021 Preakness Stakes Schedule

Saturday, May 15, 2021 | Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD

RACE PURSE AGE DISTANCE
UAE President Cup (Arabian) - Grade I $100,000 Four Year Olds and Upward One And One Sixteenth Miles (Dirt)
The Sir Barton Stakes $100,000 Three Year Olds One And One Sixteenth Miles (Dirt)
The Chick Lang Stakes - Grade III $200,000 Three Year Olds Six Furlongs (Dirt)
The Maryland Sprint Stakes - Grade III $150,000 Three Year Olds and Upward Six Furlongs (Dirt)
The Skipat Stakes - Listed $100,000 Fillies And Mares - Three Year Olds and Upward Six Furlongs (Dirt)
The Preakness Stakes - Grade I $1,000,000 Three Year Olds One Mile And Three Sixteenths (Dirt)
The James W. Murphy Stakes - Listed $100,000 Three Year Olds One Mile (Turf)
The Dinner Party Stakes (Formerly The Dixie Stakes) - Grade II $250,000 Three Year Olds and Upward One Mile And Three Sixteenths (Turf)
The Gallorette Stakes - Grade III $150,000 Fillies And Mares - Three Year Olds and Upward One Mile And One Sixteenth (Turf)
The Jim McKay Turf Sprint - Listed $100,000 Three Year Olds and Upward Five Furlongs (Turf)

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OTB is growing in popularity throughout the United States. OTB facilities offer an alternative to wagering at racetracks. And like betting done at tracks, states receive a portion of the pari-mutuel handle, or take.


The advent of the internet has given a whole new meaning to OTB. Many observers say that Off Track Betting is fast becoming Online Track Betting. Online race books bring betting on your favorite thoroughbred, harness, greyhound racing and jai alai events in the comforts of home.

Horse racing continues to be one of the popular spectator sports in America.

But in its early beginnings, horse racing was a sport that was enjoyed and wagered on mostly by the upper class.

After the Civil War, horse racing tracks opened throughout the east coast paving the way for bettors from all economic sectors to enjoy the thrill of the past paced action.

In the Early days of horse racing, many enterprising bookmakers started 'auction pools' which involved auctioning off bets for each horse in a race.

But this format was short lived because bettors were out of luck if the horse that they wanted to wager on was already taken.

The bookies, known for being innovative, soon realized that setting odds on individual horses would increase betting handle and, in turn, the bookie's hold.

When there was overwhelming money on one horse, the bookmaker would simply lower the odds to increase the attractiveness of other horses in the race. This format is still in use today.

By the 1920s there were more than 300 racetracks in the US in addition to thousands of 'pool halls,' or off-track betting facilities, which were connected to the tracks by telegraph wires.

Here locals could place their bets on horses at a multitude of racing venues around the country.

Illinois was the first state to permit race tracks to own and operate OTB facilities. Balmoral opened Illinois' first OTB parlor, located at Peoria, on September 8, 1987.

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THE PARIMUTUEL SYSTEM

Parimutuel betting (French for mutual betting) is a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and a house take are removed, and payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool among all placed bets.

The parimutuel system was invented by Parisian perfume maker Pierre Oller in 1865 when asked by a bookmaker friend to devise a fair system for bettors which guarantees a fixed profit for the bookmaker.

The large amount of calculation involved in this system led to the invention of a specialized mechanical calculating machine known as a totalisator, "automatic totalisator" or "tote board".

The first was installed at Ellerslie Racecouse in Auckland, New Zealand on 1913. Since then totalisators came into widespread use at race courses throughout the world. The first totalisator in the US as installed at Arlington Park, near Chicago, Illinois in 1933.

The parimutuel system is used in gambling on horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai, and all sporting events of relatively short duration in which participants finish in a ranked order.

A modified parimutuel system is also used in some lottery games such as Lotto South.

Parimutuel gambling is frequently state-regulated, and offered in many places where gambling is otherwise illegal. Parimutuel gambling is often also offered at OTB facilities, where players may bet on the events without actually being present to observe them in person.

Parimutuel betting differs from fixed odds betting in that the final payout is not determined until the pool is closed - in fixed odds betting, the payout is agreed at the time the bet is sold.