Betting the Breeders’ Cup 101


By our official wagering partners at TVG

While they remain the pinnacle of the horse racing calendar and close off the season in terrifically exciting style, showcasing the sport’s best talent both equine and human, it is betting the Breeders’ Cup that adds that crucial bit of excitement for us all.

Placing your bets online could not be easier, while here we can take you through the basics of making a wager right there at Santa Anita Park. Simply:

• Go to a betting window
• Confirm the name of the track you want to bet at
• Confirm the race number
• Confirm the amount of your bet
• Confirm the type of bet you want to place
• Confirm your chosen horse(s) program number
• Check your tickets are correct before leaving

There are many different bets you can place, but based on a simple ‘win bet’ for example you would simply walk up to the teller and say “Santa Anita, race 5, $10 to win on horse #6.” All of that information, when typed in correctly, will show on your ticket.

You can choose to make either a “straight bet” or an “exotic bet”, depending on how adventurous you feel and how you think the Breeders’ Cup odds are shaping up. If it’s a straight bet you want, there are three types to choose from, namely ‘win’, ‘place’ and ‘show’:

WIN – To win with this bet, your chosen horse must finish first.

PLACE – To be successful with this, your horse must finish in the first 2.

SHOW – This time, your horse must be in the first 3 to win the bet.

Payouts on these bets depend on a number of things, from how much money is in the pari-mutuel betting pot in total, to the perceived level of difficulty and how many people are betting each animal.

So, given these factors, the biggest returns tend to be on ‘win’ bets, the second biggest on ‘place’ bets and naturally the third largest are on ‘show’ bets as these are these easiest of the three to call right.

You may want to play something a little more stimulating however just to spice things up, in which case an exotic bet may be for you. Exotics are when you choose more than one horse in a single race, with the difficulty raised but naturally the payoff being better. Types of exotics are:

EXACTA – Betting 2 horses to finish 1st and 2nd in the correct order.

QUINELLA – Betting 2 horses to finish 1st and 2nd in either order.

TRIFECTA – Betting 3 horses to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the correct order.

SUPERFECTA – Betting 4 horses to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the correct order.

DAILY DOUBLE – Picking horses to win in two consecutive races.

PICK 3 – Very similar to the Daily Double, this time you are attempting to pick the winners of 3 consecutive races.

PICK 4, 5 OR 6 – Same rules as above, but with more horses!

The Quinella mentioned above is simply a means of ‘boxing’ your bet, in this case you like two horses in a race but can’t decide which one you think may win and which one you think comes second. So, you pay double the price, i.e. a $2 boxed Exacta will cost $4 in total, but then it doesn’t matter which order they hit the wire in as long as they are winner and runner-up.

You can box more than two horses if you like, so this bet works on a number of levels but beware; the price will keep creeping up the more horses you add so watch out for the final price of that ticket!

Online Wagering

The beauty of the Breeders’ Cup today is that we can all take part, even if we can’t be at Santa Anita on November 1 & 2. Our official wagering partner TVG has a sign-up bonus waiting for you, so you can bet online and watch all the action unfold right there at home!

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