HomePost Time10 Ways to Bet on the Breeders’ Cup

10 Ways to Bet on the Breeders’ Cup


It’s exquisite: steak and lobster, all you can eat, for two entire days. Or multiple Super Bowls, contested one after another.

Horse racing unfurls its version of heaven November 2 and 3, with the Breeders’ Cup at the world-famous Churchill Downs.

The event features 14 races, $30 million in purses and large, elite fields, a $6 million race, record handle—and, the world’s best horses, all in one place.

There is not enough blog space in the universe to analyze tips for maximizing your Breeders’ Cup bet, but here’s a start.


1. Pick your spots

You will need to bet more heavily on some races than others.


2. Don’t forget the classic win, place and show bets

We live in an exotic world, where the sexy appeal of big payouts is a lure. But, champions may be overlooked in these large fields and go off at 5-1, even 10-1. You’d hate to not cash if your horse finishes first. Win bets tend to pay better than you’d expect on these days.


3. Pick 3s, Pick 4s and Daily Doubles have gained increased prominence

Two Pick 3s (selecting the winner of three straight races) paid more than $25,000 last year. It’s worth at least one stab. If you have two horses in one race and six more in the other two, it will cost $72 and usually be worth it. But again, you can’t do it every race.


4. Favorites only won two of the 13 races last year

But the top three betting choices won seven of the 13. There’s enough room to plan both a pick 3 strategy around the favorites and a few races featuring long shots.


5. Consider using the wheel

Especially if your favorite horse is 5-1 and upwards, for the exacta. In a 12-horse field, putting your entry over the entire field will cost $22 for a $2 bet, just $11 for a $1 wager. Look for a race in which the field is not stacked with horses of 2-1 and 3-1 odds.


6. Note on Friday whether front-running horses stay in the top three

Or, whether they get in duels and fade in the stretch. Barring weather changes, the track should play the same way both days.


7. European horses are usually your best turf-race picks

But, nothing is absolute.


8. These races will determine champions in all the divisions            

Every horse has been primed for this event, and you can usually expect a good ride from the jockey.


9. Play at least one superfecta

Just to say you did. Sure, it may resemble a lottery, picking the top four horses in this bunch for a single race. But one of them paid nearly $700,000. Why not for you? The right combo of your grandmother’s birthday and the ages of your kids just might line up!


10. Look for some popular props

A $1 trifecta key, the winning horse over three additional horses is $6 and over four horses $12. You can also put the horse second with these other selections for the same money.

Have at it, and good luck!

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Dave Bontempo, a multiple award-winning writer and broadcaster, has covered sports for the Associated Press, ESPN, HBO and Showtime and called boxing matches on every major network. Dave is a winner of the Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence given by the Boxing Writers Association of America, and is a member of both the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame. He writes regularly for sportsquare.com and Global Gaming Business magazine.

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