's Ultimate Guide to Letting 8 Ride at

There are other promotions that give away more money/prizes/points than Let 8 Ride, but I don’t think any is more fun than the weekly game that starts with an $8 win bet on the eighth race at a designated track.

The promotion certainly appeals to the game show junky in me. Part Press Your Luck, part Let’s Make a Deal, part Sale of the Century, Let 8 Ride requires several skills along the four-day trek toward $1,500 in added cash plus induction to the Jay Trotter Hall of Fame if you sweep the week:

1. Handicapping, of course. You have to be able to pick a winner!

2. Balance risk/reward. On the first day of the contest (usually Wednesday), you can bet $8 to win on as many horses as you want in an attempt to advance, but putting $80 in to come up with an even money horse leaves you $64 down and needing to hit another win bet to have any chance of breaking even;

3. Knowing when to say when. Making it to Friday ups the stakes considerably because letting it ride on the third day either gets you to Saturday’s $1,000 jackpot round with all other survivors if you win or a share of $500 if you lose. If you’ve successfully let it ride through two even money shots, then betting $32 on Friday for a share of $500 and a chance at $1,000 is a no brainer, but if you’ve gotten lucky with a pair of 10-to-1 shots then putting $968 up is a more difficult decision; the blog has addressed this situation before.

And good news! You can put these skills to the test starting tonight (and every Wednesday) with the eighth race at Delta Downs. To get you started, has FREE Ultimate Past Performances for this race. Of course, all past performances are free to players when you wager on the races you’ve downloaded.

The first thing I do when looking at any race is turn to the summary page for that race and look at the “track bias stats” to get a sense for the type of horse that wins at the track and distance. In the case of the eighth race Wednesday, January 8, at Delta Downs—an entry-level allowance race for Louisiana breds going 5 furlongs on the dirt—speed is definitely the most important asset with an outside post appearing slightly advantageous as well.

To that end, the outside #10 My Genius Friend entices at his 15-to-1 morning line price as outside speed with #11 Crimson Count failing to draw in off the also eligible list. My Genius Friend drops back into state-bred company following several speed-and-fade attempts against open runners and picks up a top jock.

Another beneficiary of Crimson Count’s failing to draw in is #6 Deputy Red, who certainly is the speed of the speed, and as the most likely winner in the race is one I will use with #10 to start this week’s Let 8 Ride even if he’s an underlay in the win pool.

My third and fourth choices, respectively, would be #2 Who Dat Geaux and #5 Generator, both of which can be near the lead but don’t offer the speed of Deputy Red or the value of My Genius Friend. While I’m willing to take an underlay on the most likely winner to advance in Let 8 Ride, I won’t take one on secondary contenders and will only play the deuce or #5 at odds of 4-to-1 or better.

Good luck!

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