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How to Horse Race in 10 Steps

IMG_9718Did you know we have horse races in Houston? It’s a pretty family-friendly affair at Sam Houston Race Park. And after attending a race twice this year and making aaaaall the rookie mistakes, I’ve compiled this list for you on how to navigate the night like a seasoned pro and avoid my pitfalls in just 10 steps.

  1. Choose a date. They have horse races many days of the week, but I recommend  Fridays (because 50 cent beer night) or when there are ostriches/camels racing.
  2. Get a ride. Sam Houston Race Park is kiinndaaaa far. Ubers are expensive and parking is free, so carpool and save some cash.
  3. Get tickets. You can get them online or at the door. It was $7 general admission when I went. FYI: If you’re going to order them online you MUST print the tickets out.
  4. Bring cash.  You’ll need it to place bets and buy beer. There are some places that take credit card, but the line long AF and not worth it.
  5. IMG_9716Dress the part. Horse racing at Sam Houston Race Park is a pretty casual affair.  Some people dress up and do the sundress with floppy hair but if you’re going at night you’d probably be more comfortable in a pair of jeans with some cowboy boots. There’s a lot of dinner plate sized belt buckles being sported, so you’ll probably fit in with that crowd easier with boots than in heels. This crowd was made for Bud Light not Mint Juleps.
  6. Get there on time. 50 cent beers–uh and the horse races–don’t last forever. Event starts at 6pm and wraps up around 10pm or 11pm (plenty of time to go out afterward if you want!). 50 cent beers ends at 9pm, so optimize your time spent at the race track and get there on time (you’ll probably avoid the lines on your first round of beers too).
  7. IMG_9722Place a bet. Head to a counter with a person (unless you’re a seasoned horse race better) and they’ll walk you through the process. There’s approximately a million and one different types of bets that you can make, so if its your first time doing this, it helps to have a person there to walk you through it. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can switch over to the bet machine. Note: you need cash for this!
  8. Choose wisely. Aka find a sheet with the horses names on it (you’ll find them lying around the park) and choose the best one. Or if you wanna get real intense,  purchase a program and then you’ll have access to all their stats like where the horse is from, the predicted odds, the times for the last three races etc., etc.
  9. Get close to the action. Outside there’s plenty of standing room and you can get pretty close to the fence and watch the horses parade by –perfect snap chat material.
  10. Don’t miss the race. There’s a nifty counter on the scoreboard that says “X minutes until race 7.” Pay attention to that and time your beer runs accordingly, so you don’t have to miss ostriches race off a TV monitor while you wait in line at the one counter that takes credit cards…


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