Breeders Cup Betting

Ultimate Breeders’ Cup Betting Guide. Learn how to bet on the Breeders’ Cup. Here are some simple bets anyone can learn. Read on.

Breeders’ Cup Events Date & Time

Date & Time: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 2-3, 2018. All Post Times PM ET.
Place: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Live Stream: NBC Live Stream
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is on the last Saturday in October or first Saturday in November.

November 1, 2019 9:00 pm Breeders' Cup Classic - Top 10 Horses
Horses Odds $100 Wins
1. Maximum Security
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2. Mckinzie
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3. Game Winner
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4. Omaha Beach
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5. Thunder Snow
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6. Bravazo
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7. Catholic Boy
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8. Code Of Honor
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9. Country House
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10. Gift Box
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Odds feed last modified: 07/19/2019 21:57:31 Eastern

November 2, 2019 5:00 pm Breeders' Cup Distaff - Top 10 Horses
Horses Odds $100 Wins
1. Guarana
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2. Monomoy Girl
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3. Midnight Bisou
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4. Bellafina
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5. Elate
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6. Come Dancing
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7. Serengeti Empress
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8. Wow Cat
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9. Restless Rider
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10. Always Shopping
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Odds feed last modified: 07/19/2019 21:57:33 Eastern


  1. Best Bets
  2. 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic Replay
  3. Best Breeders’ Cup Race Call
  4. Betting Tips
  5. Breeders’ Cup History
  6. Tables/Reference
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Easy Breeders’ Cup Betting

Profit from these Breeders’ Cup bets.

1. Distaff-Classic Daily Double Bet

Pick both the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Breeders’ Cup Classic winners. Make your picks before the Distaff begins. Post time time is pending PM the Friday before the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The 1 1/8 mile Distaff is for 3 year old fillies and mares. Each horse must qualify during the Distaff Prep Race period between January and October.

Racebooks determine Distaff-Classic payouts from a horse’s odds of winning its respective event.
Review the Distaff-Classic will-pays after the Distaff has concluded. Payouts include the Distaff winner paired with each Classic horse. Odds may change up until Breeders’ Cup Classic post time.

Review each horse’s most recent race results. Also review Prep Race results. The Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Breeders’ Cup Classic prep races begin in January each year.

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2. Breeders Cup’ Win-Place-Show Bet. Also called “Across the Board”.

Pick a likely top 3 finisher. Place $2 Win, Place and Show bets on this horse. $2 x 3 bets. The entire bet costs $6 total.

Ask your track teller for $2 “Across the Board”. Or select this wager from your online racebook.

Race results determine your payout. There are 4 distinct outcomes. The following lists payouts from highest to lowest.

Win-Place-Show Bet Outcomes
First Win,Place,Show None
Second Place,Show Win
Third Show Win,Place
or worse
None All

All Win-Place-Show bets lose if horse finishes fourth or worse. Also called “out of the money”.

Pick from the top 6-8 contenders. Don’t bet longshot horses unless you’re extremely confident. Avoid placing multiple Win-Place-Show bets. Consider a Trifecta or Superfecta box bet instead.

3. Breeders’ Cup Trifecta Part Wheel Bet

Select horses to key into the first, second and third position. Each key contains one or more horses. Final order does matter.

This bet maximizes profit while including multiple likely winners. Each key should have 4 or less horses.

Select horses most likely to finish in the top 3. Also include 1-2 less probable horses. Occasionally a longshot will finish third.

Breeders’ Cup Betting Trifecta Picks Keys

  1. Horses A & B in the first position. Key 1 = A,B
  2. 2 horses from 1st key + Horse C in second position. Key 2 = A,B,C
  3. 3 horses from 2nd key + Horse D in third position, Key 3 = A,B,C,D
  4. Total unique Horses: 4 (A,B,C & D).
  5. Each combination costs $1. Total cost is $8 for 8 combinations.

Note: Trifecta wheel costs will vary depending on number of unique horses. Using the same horse in multiple keys decreases cost. Adding new horses to each key increases cost.

Trifecta Part Wheels cost less than a Trifecta Box. They are also more efficient. You will bet less to potentially win more money.

4. Breeders’ Cup Quinella Box

The 10+ Breeders’ Cup Classic field makes picking a winner difficult. Bettors must carefully manage risk. Play multiple horses at once with the Quinella Box Bet.

Pick 3 or more horses to finish in the first or second position. Final order doesn’t matter.

  • Your bet wins if 2 of your selections finish first and second.
  • Bet loses if one or none of your selections finish top two.

Quinella Box bets cost $2 per combination. The following table lists costs per number of horses boxed.

Quinella Box Costs, $2 Per Combination
Horses Combinations Total

Keep Quinella Boxes to 6 horses or less. Large quinella boxes are both expensive and inefficient. Consider using an Exacta Wheel bet for 6 or more horses. Key small sets of horses into each finishing position. Racebook
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5. Breeders’ Cup Show Bet

Your horse doesn’t have to win to turn a profit. The show bet rewards bettors for making a “good-enough” prediction. It manages risk like the Quinella Box. But it costs less and pays out more.

How to place a Breeders’ Cup Show Bet

  1. Visit your online racebook.
  2. Pick your favorite horse.
  3. Select Show Bet.
  4. Minimum bet is usually $2.

The show bet wins if your horse finishes first, second or third. Also called “in the money”. Payouts are smaller than successful win or place bets.

  • Show bets on longshots pay the most.
  • Show bets on favorites or “odds on” horses pay the least.

Consider placing Show bets on multiple horses. Large Breeders’ Cup events are notoriously unpredictable. Don’t hang your hat on one selection. Diversify your bets. You’ll increase the likelihood of profiting.

2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic Replay

Best Breeders’ Cup Classic Race Call

Tom Durkin, 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic for Cigar

Breeders’ Cup Betting Tips

  1. Deposit early Breeders’ Cup week. Consider using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. You’ll avoid last minute credit card processing glitches.
  2. Monitor Breeders’ Cup odds carefully. Visit your online race book’s odds page regularly. Odds will change up until post time.
  3. Shop Breeders’ Cup betting odds at multiple sportsbooks.
  4. Novice bettors stick to simple +EV horse bets. Research and bet longshots carefully. Leave trifectas and superfectas to expert handicappers.
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Breeders’ Cup History

The Breeders’ Cup was the brainchild of prominient owner and breeder John Gaines. He first suggested the idea at the 1982 Kentucky Derby Festival awards luncheon.

The goal was to create a championship event to conclude each racing season. Only the finest thoroughbreds would compete. Fellow owners, breeders and trainers were initially opposed to Gaines’ idea. Persuasion from Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud eventually changed their minds. The Breeders’ Cup would help clean up the tarnished image of horse racing. Highlighting the best horses and trainers annually would also increase the sport’s prestige and notoriety.

Breeders Cup Evolution

1984 Breeders Cup Classic Winner Wild Again
First Breeders Cup Classic Winner – Wild Again – 1984

The first Breeders’ Cup was held on November 10, 1984 at Hollywood Park Racetrack. Wild Again won the first Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2:03.40 over 1 1/4 miles. The Breeders’ Cup continued as a one-day event through 2006. In 2007, then CEO Greg Avioli proposed expanding the event to 2 days. Day 1 would showcase female horses. Day 2 would be for males; culminating with the Breeders’ Cup Classic race.

By 2009, the Breeders’ Cup became a worldwide event witnessed in some 140 countries. A simulcasting agreement with Betfair brought in an addition 2.5 million customers eligible to wager on the event. Horses from around the world were allowed to participate. A “Win and You’re In” policy granted automatic entry to horses winning major races in North America, England, Ireland, France, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa and Australia.

Still Growing

Since 2010, the Breeders’ Cup has become a bi-coastal event. Churchill Downs or Santa Anita Park have been the most common locations. Recent exceptions include Keeneland in 2015 and Del Mar in 2017. Santa Anita has hosted the Breeders’ Cup a record 9 times.

Triple Crown winners running the Breeders’ Cup Classic are now eligibile to win thoroughbred racing’s Grand Slam. American Pharoah was the first to earn this title in 2015. Note that American Pharoah was also the first Triple Crown winner since the event’s 1984 inception.

Breeders’ Cup betting is widely available at most online sportsbooks, teletheaters and other simulcasting services.

Breeders’ Cup Betting Tables and Reference

Breeders’ Cup Classic Winners 1984 to Present

Breeders' Cup Classic Winners
2017Gun RunnerFlorent GerouxSteve Asmussen2:01.29
2016ArrogateMike E. SmithBob Baffert2:00.11
2015American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert2:00.07
2014BayernMartin GarciaBob Baffert1:59.88
2013Mucho Macho ManGary StevensKatherine Ritvo2:00.72
2012Fort LarnedBrian HernandezIan Wilkes2:00.11
2011DrosselmeyerMike E. SmithWilliam I. Mott2:04.27
2010BlameGarrett GomezAlbert Stall Jr.2:02.28
2009ZenyattaMike E. SmithJohn Shirreffs2:00.32
2008Raven's PassFrankie DettoriJohn Gosden1:59.27
2007CurlinRobby AlbaradoSteve Asmussen2:00.59
2006Invasor (ARG)Fernando JaraKiaran McLaughlin2:02.18
2005Saint LiamJerry BaileyRichard Dutrow2:01.49
2004GhostzapperJavier CastellanoRobert J. Frankel1:59.02
2003Pleasantly PerfectAlex SolisRichard Mandella1:59.88
2002VolponiJose SantosPhilip G. Johnson2:01.39
2001TiznowChris McCarronJay M. Robbins2:00.62
2000TiznowChris McCarronJay M. Robbins2:00.75
1999Cat ThiefPat DayD. Wayne Lukas1:59.52
1998Awesome Again (CAN)Pat DayPatrick B. Byrne2:02.16
1997Skip AwayMike E. SmithSonny Hine1:59.16
1996Alphabet SoupChris McCarronDavid Hofmans2:01.00
1995CigarJerry BaileyWilliam I. Mott1:59.58
1994ConcernJerry BaileyRichard W. Small2:02.41
1993ArcanguesJerry BaileyAndre Fabre2:00.83
1992A.P. IndyEd DelahoussayeNeil Drysdale2:00.20
1991Black Tie Affair (IRE)Jerry BaileyErnie T. Poulos2:02.95
1990UnbridledPat DayCarl Nafzger2:02.20
1989Sunday SilenceChris McCarronCharlie Whittingham2:00.20
1988AlyshebaChris McCarronJack Van Berg2:04.80
1987FerdinandBill ShoemakerCharlie Whittingham2:01.40
1986SkywalkerLaffit Pincay, Jr.Michael Whittingham2:00.40
1985Proud TruthJorge VelasquezJohn M. Veitch2:00.80
1984Wild AgainPat DayVincent Timphony2:03.40

Breeders’ Cup Event Locations 1984 to Present

Breeders' Cup Locations
2017Del Mar
2016Santa Anita
2014Santa Anita
2013Santa Anita
2012Santa Anita
2011Churchill Downs
2010Churchill Downs
2009Santa Anita
2008Santa Anita
2007Monmouth Park
2006Churchill Downs
2005Belmont Park
2004Lone Star Park
2003Santa Anita
2002Arlington Park
2001Belmont Park
2000Churchill Downs
1999Gulfstream Park
1998Churchill Downs
1997Hollywood Park
1995Belmont Park
1994Churchill Downs
1993Santa Anita
1992Gulfstream Park
1991Churchill Downs
1990Belmont Park
1989Gulfstream Park
1988Churchill Downs
1987Hollywood Park
1986Santa Anita
1984Hollywood Park

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Exacta Box Costs, $2 Per Combination
Horses Combinations Total
Trifecta Box Costs, $1 Per Combination
Horses Combinations Total
Superfecta Box Costs, $1 Per Combination
Horses Combinations Total
Daily Double Wheel Costs, $1 Per Combination
Key 1 Horses Key 2 Horses Total