Breeders’ Cup Betting Part I

With the Breeders’ Cup races just around the corner — go to a corner and check if you don’t believe me — now is a good time to start preparing for the wagering war to come. Starting this week, US Racing will be providing so much BC (had to double-check and make sure I typed a “C” there) information that I’m confident many readers will want to send me an extravagant gift or sizeable check out of gratitude. This is not necessary… although neither will be refused.

So, while some of you dig out your checkbooks or rifle through the family jewelry for a suitable offering, I present the following BC betting nuggets:

Since 1997…

  • Horses that last raced within two weeks of the big event are just 1-for-50 with a -85 percent ROI. Although I am generally not a fan of layoffs, the Breeders’ Cup does seem to require at least some freshening. Only Found, who was second in the Champion Stakes at Ascot exactly two weeks prior to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf, managed to visit the BC winner’s circle.
  • Excluding the juvenile races, Breeders’ Cup entrants that went to post at odds of 2-1 or greater in their final prep have won 59 percent of all BC races, while producing a 10.47 percent ROI. Although the Breeders’ Cup typically matches superstars from around the globe, it is often the unheralded, still-blooming stars that offer the most value.
  • Animals that met or exceeded the Brisnet speed par for their specific BC event last out have won 14.9 percent of the time and produced a 16.38 percent ROI, proving, once again, that Hugh Keough was right: “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that is the way to bet.”
  • In dirt races, the 97 horses possessing the lowest (best) last-race early speed ration (ESR) have won 15 times with an ROI of 102.27 percent. What’s more, the three winners at Santa Anita Park produced an ROI of 289.23 percent.
  • Horses that entered the Breeders’ Cup having won fewer than 15 percent of their starts over the past two years have won or placed just 4.4 percent of the time.
  • BC entrants with an “F” (front-running) style on my Pace Profile Report have won over a third of all BC races and offered their backers $2.41 for every $2 bet. A forward running style is especially important in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where 10 of 19 editions have been won by “F”-rated horses.



Derek Simon
Derek Simon is the Senior Editor and Handicapper at US Racing.