what is a yankee in horse racing

In the world of horse racing, a “yankee” is a type of wager involving four horses in four separate races. The bettor typically selects a horse to win or place in each race, and the outcome of the yankee depends on how many of those horses succeed. A yankee is successful if at least two of the horses win or place, and the payout varies based on the number of successful horses. For example, a bettor who correctly predicts the winner of two races within a yankee may receive a smaller payout compared to a bettor who correctly predicts the winner of three or four races.

Yankees in Horse Racing

In the world of horse racing, a “yankee” is a type of exotic bet that combines four horses in four different races into a single wager. The bettor must correctly select the winner of each race in order to win the yankee.

Yankees in Thoroughbred Racing

Yankees are a popular bet in Thoroughbred racing, particularly at major events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup. There are two main types of yankees:

  • Win yankee: A win yankee requires the bettor to select the winner of all four races.
  • Place yankee: A place yankee requires the bettor to select the first or second-place finisher in all four races.

The payout for a yankee bet depends on the number of races won by the bettor’s horses and the odds of each horse in each race. The following table shows the potential payouts for a $1 win yankee bet:

Number of races wonPayout

Yankees can be a risky bet, but they can also be very rewarding. With a little bit of luck, a bettor can win a large sum of money with a small investment.

Yankees in Horse Racing: A Beginner’s Guide

A Yankee in horse racing is a type of multiple bet that consists of 11 different bets on four selections. It’s a popular bet among punters who want to cover multiple potential outcomes in a single wager.

Placings in Yankee Bets

The 11 bets included in a Yankee are as follows:

  • 6 doubles
  • 4 trebles
  • 1 fourfold

To win a Yankee bet, you need at least two of your selections to place in the top two positions. If three or more of your selections place, you’ll win more than your stake back.


The payout for a Yankee bet depends on the number of your selections that place. Here’s a breakdown of the potential payouts:

Placing SelectionsPayout
2Profit only
3Profit + stake
4Profit + multiple of stake


Let’s say you place a Yankee bet on the following four horses in a race:

  • Horse A
  • Horse B
  • Horse C
  • Horse D

If Horse A wins and Horse C places second, you would win 3 of the 11 bets in your Yankee, and your payout would be your stake + profit.

Origin of the Yankee Term

In the realm of horse racing, the term “yankee” holds a unique significance. It refers to a specific type of exotic bet that combines multiple horses in different races. The origin of this term can be traced back to the late 19th century.

  • American Origins: The term “yankee” was initially used to describe Americans, particularly those from New England. It is believed that American horseplayers introduced this term to the racing world.
  • First Usage in Horse Racing: The first recorded use of the term “yankee” in horse racing occurred in the United States in the 1880s. It referred to a type of bet involving two horses in separate races.

Over time, the term “yankee” evolved to encompass various types of exotic bets. Today, it commonly refers to the following:

  1. Standard Yankee: A combination bet involving 4 horses in 4 races.
  2. Super Yankee: A more complex bet involving 4 horses in 6 races.
  3. Lucky Yankee: A bet that combines 4 horses in 5 races.

The exact details of a yankee bet vary depending on the specific type and racecourse, but the basic principle remains the same: to correctly predict the outcome of multiple races and receive a payout if all selections are successful.

Yankee Bets
Yankee TypeNumber of HorsesNumber of Races
Standard Yankee44
Super Yankee46
Lucky Yankee45

What is a Yankee in Horse Racing?

A Yankee in horse racing is a type of multiple bet that involves four selections across four different races. It is a type of permutation bet, which means that the order of the selections does not matter. This means that there are 24 possible combinations for a Yankee bet, with each combination representing a different possible outcome.

Wagers Resembling Yankees

  • Lucky 15: A Lucky 15 has a total of 15 bets, covering all possible combinations of four selections in four different races. Similar to a Yankee, the order of the selections is irrelevant.
  • Canadian: A Canadian comprises 26 bets and includes all possible combinations of five selections across five races.
  • Heinz: A Heinz encompasses 63 bets, combining all possible combinations of six selections in six races.
  • Super Heinz: With 120 bets, a Super Heinz covers all combinations of seven selections in seven races.
Bet TypeNumber of BetsNumber of SelectionsNumber of Races
Lucky 151544
Super Heinz12077

And there you have it, folks! Whether you’re a seasoned thoroughbred enthusiast or just getting your feet wet in the world of horse racing, understanding the term “Yankee” is crucial. So, the next time you hear someone using this term, you can confidently nod and show off your newfound knowledge. Thanks for taking the time to read, and remember to check back later for more exciting insights into the thrilling world of horse racing!