Last month while sunbathing on one of Floridaâ??s beaches, I received an unexpected text message from a friend who works inside the thoroughbred racing industry. While I have many acquaintances who occasionally contact me to â??toutâ? a runner who â??canâ??t lose,â? this particular gentlemanâ??s information has normally proved rather reliable. The colt in question was testing the $12,500 maiden level for the third time (maiden horses are runners who have yet to visit the winnerâ??s circle), and he assured me that under the tutelage of his new conditioner, this equine listed at 9/2 on the morning line was sure to deliver the goods.

Naturally one could sympathize with the dilemma I was presented regarding this intelligence, for while the Sunshine State boasts three outstanding thoroughbred ovals and a plethora of simulcast outlets that readily accept pari-mutual wagers,CocoaBeachdoesnâ??t happen to sport a row of Auto-Tote Machines. Figuring that a monetary windfall wasnâ??t meant to be, I disregarded the recommendation and returned to my hammock. I discovered three hours later that an opportunity to quadruple my bankroll had been squandered.

This unfortunate turn of events shed some light on the fact that I needed to catch up with the times and open an ADW (Advance Deposit Wagering) account. There are several options available for horseplayers looking for the ability to book a race while they are somewhere other than the track or OTB (Off-Track Betting Facility), but much like the average player, I do not possess a six-figure balance in my bank account.

Since the racetrack skims around 20 percent of all monies collected before tabulating the final odds offered to the public, it is imperative for horseplayers to eliminate needless operating expenses. When deciding which ADW enterprise deserves your loyalty, remember the following incisive axiom: â??Free is better.â? Of course most sites that offer thoroughbred wagering will bear a gratuitous feature or two, but after scouring the web for a firm that cumulatively routed the competition in this area, snared my allegiance with the following list of costless attributes.

Free deposits and withdrawals when using a checking accountâ?? If teamed with the wrong entity, the commerce of online wagering can transpire rather laboriously. I have always adamantly declared this process should not only be convenient but also void of frivolous fees, and meets both facets of this criteria when customers utilize the EZmoney option to directly deposit funds safely and securely from their bank account. Also, cash outs are never crippled with surcharges, and this process may be expedited by requesting a convenient site to checking account transfer.

Free subscription and no wagering feesâ?? The majority of interactive thoroughbred gaming websites charge customers to play. Monthly subscriptions and flat per-bet service charges are typical, but shuns the practice of adding pesky wagering commissions.

Free Brisnet Past Performancesâ?? Acquiring pertinent information is a steep expense for the horseplayer, but supplies free Brisnet past performances for customers who wager through the site. Additional handicapping instruments from industry leaders like Equibase and Trackmaster also remain readily available along with Timeform Ratings, harness racing past performances, clocker reports, international racing commentary and comprehensive results charts.

Free video streamingâ?? Deriving joy from actually viewing the race you have a stake in is quite conventional, and TwinSpiresTV allows customers to keep an eye on up to five tracks at once. This advanced monitoring service equates to a personal OTB where current odds, weather conditions and race replays reside at the fingertips.

These days nearly every strip mall and café offers Wifi, but sometimes your personal laptop just isnâ??t handy. Therefore a horseplayer armed with only a mobile device could reasonably expect that many perks associated with would be unavailable, but the playerâ??s technological edge in this instance is maintained. If I received my comradeâ??s text message last month via any Internet enabled phone or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), then the race in question could have been witnessed right from the seashore complements of TwinSpires Mobile, which is easily accessed through your mobile web browser at

Every courter of â??The Sport of Kingsâ? has made a bet that didnâ??t seem like such a good idea. Canceling a wager before post time is a fairly common practice for players inhabiting a racetrack or OTB, but surprisingly, many online agencies forbid this. will not only forgive a pre-post time error but also allow customers to assign conditional odds so oneâ??s bankroll will not be compromised by a flurry of underlays.

Many service organizations use signup bonuses and reward points to encourage affiliation, and since Iâ??ve frequented some of the countryâ??s foremost hippodromes, my wallet contains many cards. offers a $100 bonus for new subscribers. Make $500 worth of bets inside the first 30 days of membership, and within 48 hours a c-note is credited to your account. There isnâ??t a better offer for avid horseplayers. has the best interests of the equine enthusiast at heart.


Eric Vaughn Floyd is a turf writer for various gaming publications and consultant to several nationwide media outlets in regards to the Triple Crown. Excerpts from his gambling memoir, â??The Backstretch (My First Decade Playing the Game),â? can be viewed at