Breeders’ Cup Mile Preview

bejaminfranklinThe road to Breeders’ Cup 2016 has reached its climactic stretch run and now is the time to dig in to your past performances and try to discover which horses will win Breeders’ Cup 2016. Some of you may already have your Breeders’ Cup Mile horse picked out, while others may be staggering home the final eighth of a mile trying to find that horse.

Whichever side of the track you are on, I believe this article can still be of some interest to you. Let’s take a look back in time at the Breeders’ Cup Mile, focusing on a contender’s final prep race before the Breeders’ Cup.

A contender’s final prep race is a key indicator of how well a horse will run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Since the year 2003:

  • Four Breeders’ Cup Mile winners also won their final prep race.
  • Four Breeders’ Cup Mile champions finished in second-place in their final prep race.
  • Two Breeders’ Cup Mile victors finished in third-place in their final prep race.
  • Miesque’s Approval, Court Vision and Karakontie (JPN) were the only Mile winners who did not finish in first, second, and third in their final prep race (the median win odds for the three of them was 14/1).

These stats provide us with a helpful blueprint for horses to consider for this year’s Mile Championship. A first, second, or third place effort in your final Breeders’ Cup prep race has led to 77% of the winners of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (since 2003).

Year Horse Last Race Timeform Year Horse Last Race Timeform
2015 Tepin 1st 132 2016 Alice Springs (IRE) 1st 122
2014 Karakontie (JPN) 11th 103 2016 Miss Temple City 1st 125
2013 Wise Dan 2nd 127 2016 Photo Call (IRE) 1st 137
2012 Wise Dan 1st 127 2016 Limato (IRE) 1st 130
2011 Court Vision 7th 120 2016 Midnight Storm 1st 127
2010 Goldikova (IRE) 1st n/a 2016 Spectre (FR) 2nd 116
2009 Goldikova (IRE) 3rd n/a 2016 Tepin 2nd 129
2008 Goldikova (IRE) 1st n/a 2016 Ironicus 2nd 127
2007 Kip Deville 2nd 123 2016 Tourist 3rd 122
2006 Miesque’s Approval 4th 120 2016 Cougar Mountain (IRE) 5th 117
2005 Artie Schiller 2nd 124 2016 Dutch Connection (GB) 6th 106
2004 Singletary 3rd 119 2016 Ring Weekend 7th 117
2003 Six Perfections (FR) 2nd n/a 2016 What a View 8th 116


NOTE: “n/a” signifies the Timeform Speed rating was not available at this time.

We move now to speed figures and how they are an important part of the Mile equation. Some of you might create your own figures or you might be someone who uses Brisnet or DRF for your racing needs.

No matter which method you choose, it is important to get a feel for what kind of number you should be looking at when picking your Mile horse. In this example, we will be using data from Timeform for our journey through Breeders’ Cup Mile speed figures.

Since the year 2003:

  • Tepin recorded the highest last race Timeform speed figure (132) out of the last 13 winners.
  • 7 winners of the Breeders’ Cup Mile recorded a 120 Timeform figure or greater in their final prep race.
  • The median last-race Timeform figure is 123.
  • Karakontie (JPN) recorded the lowest last-race Timeform speed figure (103) out of the last 13 winners of the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
  • If you throw out Karakontie’s Timeform figure (103), the next-lowest last-race Timeform figure is Singletary (119)
Year Horse Last Race Timeform
2016 Photo Call (IRE) 1st 137
2016 Limato (IRE) 1st 130
2016 Tepin 2nd 129
2016 Midnight Storm 1st 127
2016 Ironicus 2nd 127
2016 Miss Temple City 1st 125
2016 Alice Springs (IRE) 1st 122
2016 Tourist 3rd 122

 NOTE: Goldikova’s and Six Perfections’ final-prep Timeform numbers were not available.

I’ll finish up by dissecting previous Breeders’ Cup Mile odds and what to look for on the tote board on Saturday.

Since 1984:

  • The post-time favorite has won the Breeders’ Cup Mile 34% of the time.
  • The lowest post-time odds to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile was Wise Dan (2-5).
  • The highest post-time odds to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile was Court Vision (65-1).
  • The median post-time odds to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile is 5-1.
Year Horse Odds
2015 Tepin 4.9
2014 Karakontie (JPN) 30
2013 Wise Dan 0.8
2012 Wise Dan 1.8
2011 Court Vision 64.8
2010 Goldikova (IRE) 1.3
2009 Goldikova (IRE) 1.4
2008 Goldikova (IRE) 1.8
2007 Kip Deville 8.2
2006 Miesque’s Approval 24.3
2005 Artie Schiller 5.6
2004 Singletary 16.5
2003 Six Perfections (FR) 5.3
2002 Domedriver 26.0
2001 Val Royal (FR) 5.1
2000 War Chant 3.5
1999 Silic (FR) 7.2
1998 Da Hoss 11.6
1997 Spinning World 2.1
1996 Da Hoss 8.45
1995 Ridgewood Pearl (GB) 2.55
1994 Barathea (IRE) 10.4
1993 Lure 1.3
1992 Lure 5.4
1991 Opening Verse 26.7
1990 Royal Academy 2.8
1989 Steinlen (GB) 1.8
1988 Miesque 2.0
1987 Miesque 3.6
1986 Last Tycoon (IRE) 35.9
1985 Cozzene 3.6
1984 Royal Heroine (IRE) 1.7

Breeders’ Cup 2016 is shaping up to be a fantastic wagering event. I hope this article helped you make a decision or two, or at the very least, brought back some memories from Breeders’ Cup  past. I wish you all the best of luck and have a prosperous Breeders’ Cup!

Andrew Morisch
Drew Morisch, aka “Drew Mo” or the “Bloghorse,” has been an avid sports fan since he was born. Growing up in Nebraska, it was easy for him to fall in love with football and horse racing. He became a huge horse racing fan by attending Ak-Sar-Ben race track before its gates closed (sadly) for the last time in 1995.

Horses such as Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Black Tie Affair, Preakness winner Gate Dancer and local favorite Who Doctor Who all graced the dirt at Ak-Sar-Ben and helped power Drew’s passion for the Sport of Kings.

Drew has other passions to go along with horse racing. He is a big Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. You will usually find him tailgating at some undisclosed location on game days. Drew loves crunching numbers and analyzing data. Whether it’s PE ratios on stocks, speed figures in horse racing, or assist-to-turnover ratios in basketball, there is no such thing as too much information in his book. Drew also plays fantasy sports.

You interact with Drew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrewMorisch or follow him on Twitter @thebloghorse.