Probably a good portion of the Western Hemisphere knows about the Kentucky Derby and safe to say that just about every adult that is aware of the KD has wagered on the race.
Well the Daily Racing Blog is here to tell you that the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are just as much of a spectacle, and the two-day event offers even more opportunities to cash BIG tickets on premier horse racing.
If you’ve never bet on the BC before, here is a rudimentary guide on how to approach the wagering opportunities that await on Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd at Santa Anita Park.
Never is it tougher to stick to a fixed budget than on Breeders’ Cup weekend, but you’ve got to try to do it. It’s tempting to take shots on any number of races because you’ll find that horses that would normally race at odds of 2-to-1 running at Breeders’ Cup with odds of 5-to-1 or higher, depending on the race. But realistically, you’ll be lucky to catch two or three Winners on the weekend and if you don’t save your bankroll for the races you like best, you’ll be out of ammo to take your best shots.
Pick Your Spots
Just about every race is a great betting race at Breeders’ Cup. You’ll find full fields in all 14 BC races which will each provide a potential opportunity to make a big score. But if you end up chasing race after race, you could find yourself in a hole and in a hurry. So try to identify two or three horses on the day who have a solid chance to Win at a big price. Rather than throwing an equal amount of money on a dozen or so races in which you don’t feel as confident, it makes more sense to set aside a large chunk of your budget for betting on the two or three races you’re most locked in on.
Bet Small, Win Big
As we alluded to earlier, you’re going to get great Value on most of the horses you might want to bet on at Breeders’ Cup. Therefore, you don’t have to bet hundreds of dollars to make a nice score. A few years back in a BC at Churchill Downs, the Daily Racing Blog had invested $36 in a .50 cent Pick 4 and hit for close to $5000 dollars. Pick 4’s can be tough but there are lots of wagers that don’t require a major investment that could also pay big money. Even Daily Doubles (Winners of two consecutive races) often yield incredible returns. For example, the early Breeders’ Cup Saturday double in 2018 paid $540 for a $2 bet!
We’ve touched on a few bet types that you might want to consider. Multi-race bets are always fun and potentially very rewarding but there are other bets you should consider, especially when you like a horse at odds higher than 6-to-1. Depending on how wide open you perceive the race to be (and if you think the favorite or favorites might finish outside the top three), a traditional Win, Place, and Show bet is always a sound move. DRB suggests that for horses above 10-to-1 always bet Win, Place, and Show. If the odds are around 5-to-1 or shorter, bet only Win and Place.
It seems obvious, but be sure to handicap or analyze any race that you’re betting on … or find someone who has! You’ll be able to find all sorts of previews and analysis pieces in the weeks leading up to Breeders’ Cup. Read those pieces.
Also, if you’ve got the time, watch a lot of replays of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, also known as Win and You’re In races. In watching replays, you’ll find horses who experienced adverse running conditions (who were perhaps blocked in or had to steady in a race) and who might be coming into the Breeder’s Cup under the radar because of a poor finish in their previous race or two. Identifying a horse or horses who figure to improve with a better trip is often the secret to unlocking huge payouts.
Don’t simply dismiss any horse’s chances in the BC because of one or two recent races in which they finished poorly. More times than not, trainers and the people who manage horses will try to gradually work a horse up to a peak performance at the Breeders’ Cup. This is especially true for horses who’ve run well at the BC or in major Stakes Races earlier in their careers.
At the end of the day, it’s always great to Win a ton of money but it’s important that you enjoy the process of handicapping and watching the races at the Breeders’ Cup. There’s no shame in leaning on a friend or a group of friends to do the analysis required, and then partnering with them (or pooling your money) to bet the races.
Betting Show Parlays can be a lot of fun. That involves everyone at your viewing party or at the track with you, to chip in a few bucks, bet a horse to Show and then roll over Winnings from race to race – assuming your horse(s) finishes in the top three. It will keep everyone in your group engaged while also allowing you to go off and grab a drink (an Official Breeders’ Cup Cocktail perhaps), socialize and then tune back in when it’s race time. This fun little wager can also be very lucrative depending on how much money you have in the pool.