This Friday and Saturday, the top horses in the thoroughbred racing world will meet at Santa Anita Park for the 29th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The two days of racing will feature 15 races, culminating in the Breeders’ Cup Classic with its $5 million purse.
As one of the oldest forms of gambling in the world, horse racing has a long tradition in the United States, and the Breeders’ Cup offers the two best days of betting in American horse racing. Although there is a lot of tradition and some knowledge required to bet on horses, you don’t have to be a horse trainer to know what you’re doing.
If you watch the very thorough coverage of the Breeders’ Cup on November 2 and 3, you’ll hear a lot of about big storylines from this year in racing, but you probably won’t get a good lesson on how to place a bet on these championship races. If you want to place your first horse racing bet, don’t worry. All you’ll need is some confidence and the proper terminology, and you’ll be able to take advantage of the best betting horse racing has to offer.
Over the last 10 years, the average $2 bet on the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner has returned $20, so there is a big upside to smart betting. With 15 races to run, there is plenty of potential betting to be done. The most common bets will be the traditional Win, Place and Show wagers, but take a look at some horse racing terms for a refresher on other exotic wagers to make. If you’re looking to place some bets on the Breeders’ Cup races, here are a few horses and races to keep an eye on over the weekend.
Though I’ll Have Another was the big storyline for his victories in the first two legs of the Triple Crown before his injury, the horse to watch in the Breeders’ Cup Classic is Game On Dude. Game On Dude has performed well at Santa Anita this year and he is currently a 2-1 favorite in the Classic. There are a few big names in the race that have performed well at Santa Anita, but if you’re looking for a long shot you may want to look at Richard’s Kid at 12-1. He’s won four races this year at Santa Anita Park and can give the favorites a run for their money. However, Game On Dude looks to continue his dominance here, so don’t overthink this.
This year’s Ladies Classic is full of contenders, so don’t get dazzled by Royal Delta as the favorite. The run’s $2 million purse is definitely up for grabs. Contenders My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather both have previous Breeders’ Cup victories to their names, though they are both coming off significant injuries.
Though it’s only a GII race, the Marathon should provide some fun for betters. The 14-furlong race has some interesting storylines, with 15-1 longshot Commander looking to upset the field. Mario Gutierrez, jockey of I’ll Have Another in his two Triple Crown wins, will ride Commander, who hasn’t lost a race since early in the year.
Another $2 million race, the Mile is expected to be won by the impressive Wise Dan, one of America’s top horses, though he’ll face stiff competition from recent European powerhouse Excelebration. If you’re looking for a longshot here, last year’s Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom may make a triumphant return after a long absence from racing, and looks good at 8-1.
These are just a few of the 15 races at the Cup, though many of the races have a pretty lackluster field. If you’re planning on betting any of these races, just remember to pace yourself. Unlike most of these races, Breeders’ Cup betting is a marathon, not a sprint.