Breeders’ Cup Betting Trends: History Can Repeat

Royal Delta heads for home in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. She looks for a repeat this year (Photo credit: Breeders' Cup Ltd.)

While I am waiting for the final post position draw to complete, I thought I would look at a few Breeders’ Cup betting trends we might want to think about before we come up with our final selections for each race.

My desk is currently covered with past performances and charts from past years as well as Jim Mazur’s Crushing the Cup 2013 which is a good reference guide to historical data covering the first 29 Breeders’ Cup events.

Here are just a few things to think about going into the Breeders’ Cup Friday card:


The Marathon is the ugly cousin of the Breeders’ Cup, as it just seems likely nobody gets too excited about this race. However, it is the only race that has produced a near jockey brawl, and I hold the race dear to my heart after we hit the exacta in 2010 that paid $453.60 (thanks to a DQ)….Favorites are 0 for 5 so far and we have seen payoffs ranging from a low of $14.80 (Man of Iron in 2009) to the bomber Afleet Again, who paid $85.20 in 2011…

U.S. based runners have won only two of the first five runnings, with two coming from Europe and one from Argentina…Both of the overseas invaders won over the Santa Anta surface when it was synthetic Pro-Ride….


Juvenile Turf

The race has now been run six times and Euro shippers have won four…Favorites have only won once, that being Pounced ($6.80) in 2009…John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have each saddled two winners of the race…While Euros have dominated, it is not always the most highly touted of the invaders…

O’Brien’s two winners paid $25.20 and $20.60…The last U.S. based runner to win was the Todd Pletcher trained Pluck ($14.80) who prepped in the Summer (G3) at Woodbine… The betting favorite has run second in three of the six editions of the race…


Juvenile Fillies Turf

While the Euro boys have dominated, they have not been as successful in the filly version. The U.S. won the first five runnings of the race with Flotilla the first Euro invader winning last year and paying $24.80…Favorites have gone 0 for 5 in this race, and the second betting choice has failed to win as well…Exactas have ranged from $76.40 to a high of $350.20…

The U.S. trainers with winners in this race are the usual suspects: Pletcher, Brown, Romans, and Catalano….Both Maram in 2008 and Tapitsfly in 2009 used the Ms. Grillo (G3) as their final prep…


Dirt Mile

Here is yet another race where the betting favorites have been blanked in six tries..The shortest price winner was Corinthian ($9.40) in the first running of the race in 2007 in the slop at Monmouth Park…This race just seems to be ripe for upsets, and we have seen several including Dakota Phone ($77.40) and Furthest Land ($44.60)…

Caleb’s Posse ($15.60) in 2011 is the lone three-year-old to win the race…Both Albertus Maximus and Dakota Phone prepped in the Goodwood (G1) which is now called the Awesome Again (G1)…



Royal Delta goes for her third straight Distaff, which was called the Distaff until it was called the Ladies’ Classic and now it is back to Distaff, got it?….Favorites have won this race a dozen times in 29 runnings, Royal Delta getting the job done paying $5.40 and $6.40 the past two years…The average $2 win mutuel for the race is $19.50 with the average exacta returning $127.00…

The Beldame has been the hot race recently, with five of the last seven winners using the Belmont Park race as a prep for the Distaff…Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has won the last three Distaffs, Unrivaled Belle taking the 2011 race paying $17.00 to go along with Royal Delta’s two victories…Mott also won the race in 1997 with Ajina ($11.60) and 1998 with Escena ($8.00)…Fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas has four winners, the last coming with Spain in 2000, who returned $113.80, the biggest upset in the history of the race…The exacta with Surfside (10-1) paid $664.60, which was the second highest…Pleasant Home (63.50) and Society Selection combined to pay $692.00)…

Betting trends for Saturday will be included in my Breeders’ Cup Package.


Michael Dempsey’s Breeders’ Cup Report $34.95 (Fri-Sat)

Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the Friday and Saturday card from Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1-2.

The Breeders’ Cup offers 14 championship races over two days, bringing together the best top horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, this year to compete at Santa Anita Park.



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