Breeders' Cup Betting Guide 2020

Odds, Strategy, And How To Place Your Bets

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships bring together the best horses from around the world. Keeneland Race Course first hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2015, and the 37th edition of the Breeders’ Cup returns to Keeneland Nov. 6-7, 2020 and the place where the very idea was born: Lexington, KY.

The 2015 Breeders’ Cup saw Triple Crown winner American Pharoah complete his historic season. American Pharoah became horse racing’s first ever Grand Slam champion when he captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic in front of a record crowd at Keeneland.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup will likely have limited fans allowed to attend due to the continued Covid-19 health crisis. Updates will continue to be provided by the Breeders’ Cup and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

The Breeders’ Cup format will feature five ‘Future Stars Friday’ races for 2-year-olds for the third time in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup. Nine additional Breeders’ Cup races will highlight horses racing’s biggest day of racing on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Breeders’ Cup information on this page will continue to be updated.

Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series

Beginning in 2007, the Breeders’ Cup developed the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, a series of races in each division that allots automatic qualifying bids and fees paid entries to winners of defined races. These “Win and You’re In” qualifying races have become popular races throughout the Thoroughbred season, and generate more wagering interest as well.

Breeders’ Cup race and TV schedule

Here is more information on the 14 Breeders’ Cup races, and how you can watch and wager on this year’s event.

  • Date: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, 2020
  • Post Times and Odds: Post times announced in late October
  • TV: NBCSN and NBC
  • Tablet, Online, Mobile: NBC Sports App and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live and TVG and  fuboTV
  • Track & Location: Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, KY
  • Prize Pool: $30 million with 14 Grade 1 races from $1 million to $6 million

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Breeders’ Cup odds 2020

Races on Friday, Nov. 6

Juvenile Turf Sprint

The Juvenile Turf Sprint is a 5 furlong race open to all 2-year-olds. It offers a $1 million purse.

Race Insights: The race made its debut at the 2018 Breeders’ Cup. Average $2 win payout in the Juvenile Turf Sprint is $19.06.

Juvenile Fillies Turf

The Juvenile Fillies Turf is a 1 mile race for 2-year-old fillies. It offers a $1 million purse.

Race Insights: Leading into the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, European shippers had won this race just twice out of the 11 times it has been run but both of those victories came at Santa Anita. Each were fillies with a sharp late turn of foot with success running at the route distance. Trainer Chad Brown’s Juvenile Fillies have won four of the last six editions of this race. Average $2 win payout in the Juvenile Fillies Turf is $17.33.

Juvenile Fillies

The Juvenile Fillies is a 1 1/6 mile race for 2-year-olds. It offers a purse of $2 million.

Race Insights: This race has been most kind to pace and presser types. Favor fillies that produced a lifetime top last time out, and note horses that last prepped at the host track have won 3 of the last 4 runnings of the Juvenile Fillies. Average $2 win payout in the Juvenile Fillies is $18.43.

Juvenile Turf by Coolmore America

The Juvenile Turf is a 1 mile race for 2-year-olds. It offers a purse of $1 million.

Race Insights: European shippers have dominated this race. The US horses that have finished the best in this race are those exiting a race from Belmont Park. However, trainer Chad Brown has never won the Juvenile Turf. Average $2 win payout in the Juvenile Turf is $15.04.

TVG Juvenile

The TVG Juvenile is a 1 1/6 mile race for 2-year-olds. It offers a purse of $2 million.

Race Insights: Unlike other Breeders’ Cup races, prefer colts that submitted a lifetime top last out. Average $2 win payout in the TVG Juvenile is $16.61.

Looking for picks to win various Breeders’ Cup races? Our friends at PlayPicks.com will offer some best bets during race week.

Races on Saturday, Nov. 7

Filly & Mare Sprint

The Filly & Mare Sprint is a 7 furlong race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $1 million purse.

Race Insights: Suggest avoiding pace types despite their favoritism as no pace horse has survived long enough to hold onto a spot in the Trifecta. Average $2 win payout in the Filly & Mare Sprint is $13.39; the lowest of all Breeders’ Cup races.

Turf Sprint

The Turf Sprint is a 5 furlong race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $1 million purse.

Race Insights: The distance of the Turf Sprint was reduced from 6.5 furlongs to 5 furlongs for the 2019 edition. In analyzing all races contested at that distance to date, pace/presser types on the inside comprise the vast majority of winners. Average $2 win payout in the Turf Sprint is $19.06.

Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile

The Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile is a 1 mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $1 million purse.

Race Insights: The winner of this race has consistently exited a race from either Santa Anita or Belmont Park. One-turn mile specialists that have shown no success going two-turns should be avoided. Average $2 win payout in the Dirt Mile is $22.78.

Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf

The Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf is a 1 1/4 mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $2 million purse.

Race Insights: Trainer Chad Brown has done exceptional in this race and he was loaded in the 2019 edition at Santa Anita. Average $2 win payout in the Filly & Mare Turf is $19.89.

Sprint

The Sprint is a 6 furlong race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $2 million purse.

Race Insights: Longshots have fared well in the Sprint, and horses at odds of 15-1 or greater regularly hit the Superfecta. Target 4-5-year-old horses and pressers. The average $2 win payout in the Sprint is $20.66.

TVG Mile

The TVG Mile is a 1 mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $2 million purse.

Race Insights: Year after year, this race on the turf has longshots hit the board and big Superfecta payoffs. Favor horses exiting a race from Europe (especially France) or Keeneland. European-based horses won half of the races. Average $2 win payout in the TVG Mile is $21.31.

Longines Distaff

The Longines Distaff is a 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $2 million purse.

Race Insights: The winner over the past 6 editions leading into the 2019 race run at Santa Anita had gone off at odds of 5-1 or less. The distance of the Longines Distaff was reduced from 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/8 miles for the 2019 edition. Average $2 win payout in the Longines Distaff is $18.21

Longines Turf

The Longines Turf is a 1 1/2 mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $4 million purse.

Race Insights: European shippers just dominate this race. Closers preferred. Average $2 win payout in the Longines Turf is $21.11.

Longines Classic

The Longines Classic is a 1 1/4 mile race for 3-year-olds and up. It offers a $6 million purse.

Race Insights: Pace and Pressers have done well finishing top-2 in 3 of the last 4 editions of the Classic leading into the 2019 race. Average $2 win payout in the Classic is $26.67; the highest of all Breeders’ Cup races.

How to bet on horse racing

The opportunity for bigger payouts is greater during the Breeders’ Cup, as full fields of 14 horses are common. For example, the average $2 win payout in the Breeders’ Cup Classic is $26.67. The traditional Win, Place and Show bets all have higher payouts due to larger field sizes. The chance to hit a big score is greater as well in the ‘exotic’ pools when picking the exact order of finish in an Exacta, Trifects, Superfecta or even Super High 5 – the exact order of finish of the top five horses. Some of the exotic wagers are offered with a minimum wager amount of .50 cents.

Beyond those bets are also guaranteed prize pools offered by the Breeders’ Cup. With guaranteed prize pools or $1 million and up, cashing a ticket in any of these pools can produce a huge payday.

  • Win: A bet on a horse to Win means you only get paid if the horse finishes first. 
  • Place: A bet on a horse to Place means you get paid the 2nd place money if the horse finishes first or second.
  • Show: A bet on a horse to Show means you get paid the 3rd place money if the horse finishes first, second or third.
  • Exacta: Correctly betting on the first and second place horses in exact order.
  • Trifecta: Correctly betting on the order of finish of the first three horses in win, place and show position.
  • Superfecta: Predicting and betting the first four horses in the correct order.
  • Super High Five: Predicting and betting the first five horses in correct order.
  • Pick 5 – Correctly betting the winner of five consecutive races prior to the initial first race in the sequence. (Also Pick 3 and Pick 4 offerings).

The more horses and combinations used in placing an exotic bet the greater the cost of the wager. Payouts at the Breeders’ Cup are determined by the pari-mutuel system at the track. The amount a person wins depends on how much money is in the pool overall divided by how many bets are placed. The odds on the horses change as the money is bet right up to post time.

Beyond the win, place, show bets and popular exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagers, there is also Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 pools. These can be life changing scores, as the Pick 6 has had a single ticket winner at the Breeders’ Cup three times since 2000 with each more than $1.4 million. There have been at least five times when nobody hit the Pick 6 since 2000, and each of the consolation prizes (5-of-6) paid between $43,000 to $114,000.

Friday’s Guaranteed Pools

The 2019 “Future Stars Friday” card offered a $500,000 Pick 5 guarantee on races 1-5 followed by a $1 million guarantee for the Late Pick 5 on Breeders’ Cup races 5-9. There was also a $1.5 million guaranteed Pick 4 on Breeders’ Cup races 6-9. The 2020 guaranteed pools will be updated as announced by the Breeders’ Cup.

Saturday’s Guaranteed Pools

The $1,000,000 guaranteed Pick 6 was offered on 2019 Breeders’ Cup races 6-11. Also, a Late Pick 5 on races 7-11 with a $2,000,000 guarantee and a Breeders’ Cup Pick 4 on races 8-11 with a $3,000,000 million guarantee.

Saturday’s Pick 6, late Pick 5 and Jackpot Super High-5 had a mandatory payout in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday.

Bet minimums

  • $10 Head2Head
  • $2 WPS, Daily Double, Pick 6
  • $1 Exacta and SPDD
  • $.50 Trifecta, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 and SH-5
  • $.10 Superfecta

Breeders’ Cup betting tips

The Breeders’ Cup consists of 14 Grade 1 races with prize pools from $1 to $6 million totaling more than $30 million. Full fields up to 14 horses provides the opportunity for more winners at bigger prices and odds.

Beyond having a number of places to bet on the Breeders’ Cup like top online sites TVGTwinSpires and BetAmerica, look for sportsbooks that offer more Breeders’ Cup betting options like head-to-head matchup wagering, which was first offered during the 2018 Breeders’ Cup and proved to be popular bets. As more legal sportsbooks enter the market in the US, like FanDuel SportsbookDraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet, you’ll also see these sportsbooks get more creative with potential offerings like cross-sport parlay props. It’s another way for the sportsbooks to provide special offers and promotions on big events like the Breeders’ Cup.

At the Breeders’ Cup, big multi-million dollar betting pools are common. Regular race fans can dream of a big score with less risk when wagering on the expanded Pick 5s or the exacta, trifecta, superfecta or Pick 6.

The Pick 5 is one of the most popular wagers in the country as it offers a $.50-cent minimum wager and a player-friendly 15% takeout, allowing more racing fans to take a shot at a bigger payday with less takeout. In addition, the Jackpot Super High 5 wager also with a $.50-cent minimum will be offered on every race on the Friday and Saturday cards, including the “Future Stars Friday” races. If the bet goes unhit and there are no winning tickets, the carryover pool will continue to the next race, including into Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup card.

In handicapping and preparing for the Breeders’ Cup, you can be more informed and have a better chance to win if you follow some simple tips from experts like Mike Shutty; author of Super Screener and co-founder of Horse Racing Nation.

  1. Learn to project the pace of the race
  2. Form cycle analysis – look at contenders form cycle
  3. Workout analysis – last workouts before the Breeders’ Cup

The 37th Breeders’ Cup draw for post positions will be in late October with date and tiem to be announced. We’ll post the odds and horses for each race at that time.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. In addition to the TVG network’s added horseracing coverage, TVG will have a special features and announce those closer to the Breeders’ Cup.

Breeders’ Cup betting at Keeneland

This will be the second time the Breeders’ Cup will be run at Keeneland Race Course with the previous edition in 2015.

Biases – A track bias will be updated as more information from Keeneland Race Course becomes available.

Post Position

Off the Pace

Long Shots