What does post time mean in horse racing - Step by step guide - HowToBet

What does post time mean in horse racing

The term post-time in horse racing has several connotations, all of which are related to each other. For you etymologists out there, the phrase post time comes from the Latin word ponere, which means to place.

Therefore, in terms of horse racing, it refers to the posting (or placing) of the entries at the starting point of the race.

 Rick Fortenbaugh

The first thing post time can refer to is simply the scheduled starting time of a race. This is self-explanatory and bettors will have no problem finding out the post times for races either through the public address system or boards that appear around the track.

A second meaning for post-time refers to the exact moment when all the entries must be in the starting gate and ready to race. In other words, it's the last step before the race gets underway.

A third meaning for post time concerns betting. Once a race reaches post time, no more bets are allowed to me made on the race. For bettors who are still trying to make up their minds, knowing the post time is important.

This can be even more important when a lot of late money comes in on the race and dramatically changes the odds on a horse from where they were earlier in the day. As such, it's the post-time odds that count when it comes to calculating payouts. 

As a general rule of thumb, it's usually considered a good idea to make your bet at least 10 minutes before post time. If you are horse betting online you might want to do it even earlier because sometimes you can't be sure when the website or app might cut off wagering and reject your bet. 

There are several other ways in horse racing and betting in which the word "post'' appears. This includes past posting, which is also known as late betting.

Making a bet after post time is illegal and was often a major problem in the past prior to the development of much more advanced communication technology.

In the "old'' days when the results of races were released in a slower fashion, at times it was possible to cheat by betting on the result of a race that had already been completed. The term past posting stems from horse racing when a bugler would play a call to the post right before post time. Any bets made after that time are therefore past the post.

The word "post'' also appears in two other ways in horse racing. A post-parade is when horses leave their stalls and proceed along the track to the starting gate. A postposition refers to where a horse is placed in the starting gate.   

About Rick Fortenbaugh
Rick Fortenbaugh author profile

Sports writer in Trenton, New Jersey, for over 35 years. Has covered a full range of sports, including pros, colleges and high schools. Owner of a bachelor's degree to teach history from the College of New Jersey.

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