Breeders’ Cup Races

The Breeders’ Cup is not only one race, but actually a series of 13 races held over two days in late October or early November. Officially known as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the event was launched in 1984 with the idea of bringing together the best thoroughbred horses in the world to race at their specialty distance on dirt or turf surfaces. The Breeders’ Cup is typically moved around to different tracks in North America, and in 2018 Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky will play host to the Breeders’ Cup on November 2nd and 3rd. 

Best Bets For Breeders’ Cup

Stay tuned to Be A Better Bettor as the races draw closer for the full analysis of all the contenders in every race to help find your best bets for the Breeders’ Cup, and then get your wagers down at one of these top-rated online race books.

Breeders’ Cup Race Betting Tips

Given that the 13 races that make up the Breeders’ Cup weekend involve more than 150 horses, the best advice anyone can offer in terms of Breeders’ Cup race betting tips is to start to do your handicapping early so you have a good plan of action in place when the racing begins.

Fortunately, unlike most usual stakes races, the horses that will be running in the Breeders’ Cup races are made known even up to two weeks prior to the “official” entries, so it’s just a matter of doing the research and becoming familiar with the “probable” line ups for each race.

Once the entries have been officially taken and the post-positions and morning line odds are set, you can fine tune your picks for each race.

Which Horses To Back 

Handicapping the Breeders’ Cup can be a tough task. Not only are most of the horses fairly accomplished at some level, with stakes wins in their record, you also have horses shipping in from overseas, others that are top contenders that have never raced against each other, younger horses taking on older rivals for the first time, and almost always a couple of longshots waiting in the weeds to spring an upset.

For these reasons, its important to stick to handicapping strategies that are proven over time, for example, giving consideration to horses that are going into the BC as their second or third race off a layoff, when conventional wisdom states that horses are at the peak of their conditioning.

Pay Attention To The Favorites & Odds

Along the same lines, it’s important to pay attention to the odds and favorites. While it can be very tempting to swing for the fences at the Breeders’ Cup and try to hit big win payouts with longshots, double-digit winners tend to be the exception, not the rule.

Looking at the 2016 Breeders’ Cup, while there were a few winners in the 4-1 to 8-1 range, in only three of the races was the winner in double-digit odds, and only in the Juvenile Fillies could the winner be considered a big bomb at 34-1.

On the other hand, while only one favorite on the tote board won a race – that in the Turf Sprint – the race favorite finished second six times, and third twice, meaning the favorite finished in the top three in nine of the 13 races, or 69% of the time. This matches almost exactly with the old rule of thumb that favorites finish in the money roughly two-thirds of the time. In addition, the second favorite on the tote board won two races and finished in the money three other times, so of the 39 top-three spots available in the 13 races, the first or second favorite claimed 14 of them.

Having said all of that, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup proved to be something of an anomaly, as double-digit longshots won seven of the 13 races, led by Bar Of Gold taking the Filly & Mare Sprint at odds of 67-1. The post-time favorites won two races in 2017, but otherwise struggled to crack the top three in most of the races. 

Breeders’ Cup Results

Here’s a look at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup results.

Juvenile Turf – Kentucky bred but UK-based Mendelssohn took the Juvenile Turf as the favorite at just under 5-1. He had previously run 2nd in a Group 1 race at Newmarket. He was followed by Untamed Domain (13-1) and Voting Control (9-1).

Dirt Mile – Coming in off a second-place finish in the (G3) Oklahoma Derby, Battle of Midway (14-1) wore down Sharp Azteca (3-1) in deep stretch for the win. Awesome Slew (14-1) was 3rd.

Juvenile Fillies Turf – Rushing Fall ran her record to three wins in three starts by taking the the Juvenile Filles Turf as second choice in the betting at odds of 3-1. Best Performance (16-1) and Irish-bred September (5-1) followed her under the wire. 

Distaff – Having ran 3rd in the 2016 Distaff, Forever Unbridled gained redemption in 2017 by winning at odds of 7-2, finishing a half-length in front of 5-1 Abel Tasman and 5-1 Paradise Woods.

Juvenile Fillies – Florida-bred Caledonia Road won at odds of 17-1 after previously running 2nd in the (G1) Frizette Stakes. Alluring Star (8-1) and Blonde Bomber (30-1) were 2nd and 3rd. 

Filly & Mare Turf – Wuheida (11-1) made her first start in North America a winning one, the second consecutive UK mare to take the F&M Turf title. Rhododendron (6-1) and Cambodia (11-1) took the Place and Show spots.

Sprint – After starting the year without a stakes win to his name, Roy H (5-1) picked up his fifth win in six starts, and second consecutive Grade 1 stakes victory. Imperial Hint (4-1) and Mind Your Biscuits (9-1) rounded out the top three.  

Turf Sprint – After running eighth in his previous start, Stormy Liberal stormed back to win the Turf Sprint at odds of 30-1. He just squeezed out the win by a head over Richard’s Boy (14-1) with Disco Partner third at 5-1.

Juvenile – Good Magic tabbed himself as an early contender for the 2018 Kentucky Derby by winning the Juvenile by more than four lengths at odds of 12-1. Solomini (10-1) was second, a length ahead of the heavy favorite Bolt d’Oro. 

Turf – Talismanic (14-1) came flying late to get up for a half-length win over sentimental US-based favorite Beach Patrol (7-2) with tote board favorite and defending champ Highland Reel running just behind those two in 3rd. 

Filly & Mare Sprint – The biggest payoff of the weekend came with Bar Of Gold (67-1) winning her very first graded-stakes title by a slim nose over Canadian invader Ami’s Mesa (18-1), who herself finished a length ahead of 20-1 Carina Mia.  

Mile – Favored World Approval ((3-1) took over in the stretch to win his fifth race in six starts for 2017, and third consecutive Grade 1 race. Lancaster Bomber (13-1) and Blackjackcat (19-1) filled out the trifecta.

Classic – Gun Runner (5-2) made his claim as the best dirt racing horse in the world for 2017 by winning his fourth consecutive Grade 1 start. He finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of 6-1 Collected, with 4-1 West Coast running 3rd.