Betting the Breeders’ Cup 101



Betting on the Breeders’ Cup can be fun and exciting. And nothing beats the thrill of cashing a winning ticket on the championship event.

Making a wager at the track is not complicated. When heading to betting windows, here are the steps to follow:

  1. State the name of the track
  2. State the race number
  3. State the amount of the bet
  4. State the type of bet
  5. State the horse’s program number
  6. Check the ticket(s) for accuracy before leaving window

For example, “Del Mar, race 7, $5 to win on #1”

Bettors can make either a “straight wager” or “exotic wager.”

Straight wagers are Win, Place or Show bets on a single horse in a race. Bettors have the option to make multiple straight wagers on one or more horses in a race if they choose. More on straight bets.

WIN: Horse must finish first to collect the bet.

PLACE: Betting on a horse to finish either first or second. The amount returned from a successful Place wager is less than the Win (separate payouts for the first and second-place finishers).

SHOW. Adds an extra layer security because the horse needs to finish first, second or third to collect. Payouts will less than Win and Place, but Show wagers increase the chances of cashing a ticket.

“Across the Board” terminology refers to betting a horse to Win, Place and Show (three separate bets).

Exotic wagers allow horseplayers to wager on multiple horses in a single bet. The degree of difficulty is higher than straight wagers but the return is more lucrative.

Vertical exotic wagers are made in the same race. The types of vertical exotic wagers are:

EXACTA: Betting on two horses to finish first and second in exact order. A “$2 exacta 5-7” means the #5 must finish first and the #7 must finish second. Bettors can also “box” horses but it doubles the wager. A “$2 exacta box 5-7” is two separate bets (5-7 and 7-5) and costs $4. And bettors can box more than two horses in exactas if they like.

QUINELLA: Betting on two horses to finish first and second in either order. A “$2 quinella 5-7” costs $2 and functions similar to an exacta box but the return is often significantly lower. Bettors have the option to “box” more than two horses in a quinella.

TRIFECTA: Betting on three horses to finish first, second and third in exact order. A “$1 trifecta 5-6-7” costs $1 and horseplayers can box the same numbers for $6, with a “$1 trifecta box 5-6-7” being six separate bets (5-6-7, 5-7-6, 6-5-7, 6-7-5, 7-5-6 and 7-6-5). You can box more than three horses as well in a trifecta.

SUPERFECTA: Betting on four horses to finish to finish first, second, third and fourth in exact order. Horseplayers can “box” four or more horses in the superfecta.

Horizontal exotic wagers are made over multiple races. You can play single combinations or increase the cost by adding multiple horses to any leg of the wager. Here are the types of horizontal exotic wagers:

DAILY DOUBLE: Horses must win two consecutive races. For example, “Race 1, $2 daily double 3-8” means the 3 must win the 1st race and 8 must win the 2nd race.

PICK 3: Similar to the Daily Double, the Pick 3 means your horses must win three consecutive races.

PICK 4, PICK 5 & PICK 6: Horses must win either four, five or six consecutive races.

Good luck betting at the Breeders’ Cup!

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