Betting the Breeders’ Cup 101
By our official wagering partners at TVG
Given that these are the premier crop of thoroughbred races of the entire year, most fans are not simply content to watch the amazing events unfold at the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita – we also want to bet the action.
Placing wagers brings us all closer to this marquee event, and while non-horsemen aren’t in with a shout of grabbing a share of the $30 million prize money, we are fully entitled to take a slice of the wagering action if only we get our picks right. So how do we go about betting the Breeders’ Cup?
Unfortunately, there is no scientific way to win. We’re dealing with equine brilliance sure, but not machine-like consistency. That being said, there are some basic handicapping techniques available to us to ensure we’re not just taking a guess at picking a winner, something our official wagering partner TVG can tell you more about.
Santa Anita brings us fourteen championships races, thirteen of them at Grade 1 level, meaning the quality of horses on display are of the highest quality. With that comes a greater level of assuredness among the horses and the horsemen involved and so sometimes patterns can be followed.
The Best Form
Take a look through the form. Many people rely on times, both from races and workouts, but in truth a horse being chased up by a high-quality rival in fast conditions in the sun can make their time seem much more impressive than, say, one that raced over a slightly deeper surface in cool conditions.
A more telling betting guide then is to compare the form of Breeders’ Cup runners, based on respective rivals. Often times a favored horse will have beaten their field by 3 lengths, looking impressive. However, a close look may reveal that the horses they beat haven’t really achieved too much before or since.
Conversely, something at more attractive Breeders’ Cup odds may have not looked so flashy visually but perhaps has been running against horses of much better quality. It could probably be argued that the battle-hardened horse is proven in the top grade and can be relied upon to run a big race, regardless of what the clock says.
These are not the be all and end all, but be sure to look out for certain historical trends cropping up in Breeders’ Cup races as they may have some relevance. Case in point; sophomores not doing well in the Classic. In the past 10 years, three 3-year-olds have won the $6million main event, all trained by Bob Baffert. No other trainer who has attempted to aim a 3-year-old at the big race has pulled it off, suggesting that no matter how good they are, they perhaps just don’t have the experience to compete with the big boys.
Choosing the Right Wager
It goes without saying that when you think you’ve picked one out that you believe will win, and it represents good value for money, you want to just back that on the nose.
On occasion however you may not be too confident, or you can’t decide between two or more horses in an event but luckily there are many different bets you can make:
Placing Your Bets
If you can’t be with us at Santa Anita to place your wagers directly, don’t worry. Our official betting partners over at TVG have a great sign-up bonus waiting for you, so you can bet directly with them online and then cheer your horses on from wherever you are!
- April 8, 2021
Two-Day International Thoroughbred Showcase Returns to Keeneland Next Year on Nov. 4 and 5
- April 7, 2021
Alice Chandler was one of the most remarkable people ever to work in the Thoroughbred industry. We cherished her outstanding achievements as an owner and breeder, and her service to a wide range of racing organizations over many decades, as well as her engaging personality and dynamic spirit.
- April 7, 2021
“Cocktails & Conversation,” the weekly virtual happy hour series returns Thursday (April 8) with special guest Tom Durkin; hosted by Britney Eurton and Nick Luck of NBC Sports; and joined by renowned mixologist and creator of Breeders’ Cup’s official cocktails Mark Tubridy.