Local OTB parlors and the Batavia Downs OTB center are expecting big crowds for today’s Triple Crown, with lots of first-timers and occasional bettors coming in hoping to be part of history.
For those new to the betting windows, help is on hand. First, each window has the Belmont Stakes field taped to the counter, so it is easy to pick the horses by name and number, and the staff is happy to answer any questions. The easiest bets are for a horse to win, place (come in second) or show (come in third).
You can place separate bets on individual horses, or you can bet an exacta – picking the horses that will finish in first and second place – or a trifecta, which means picking the first three horses in order.
You also can “box” an exacta or trifecta bet, which costs more but pays if the chosen horses come in on top in any order.
New York’s OTB parlors will have extra staff on hand to help Triple Crown bettors, and the Western New York offices also will be handing out #GoChromeGo nasal strips – not quite as large as the horse wears – and California Chrome keychains.
Locations for the local OTB offices are:
2228 Delaware Ave.; 969 McKinley Parkway; 11 E. Mohawk St.; 3820 Ridge Lea Road, Amherst; 2310 Clinton St., Cheektowaga; 1460 French Road, Depew; 1042 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville; 1201 Main St., Niagara Falls; 2500 Military Road, Niagara Falls; 550 River Road, North Tonawanda; and 5810 South Transit Road, Lockport.
Winning tickets can be redeemed at any OTB office, although many people plan to hang onto their betting slips as souvenirs if California Chrome wins it all.