Breeders’ Cup Betting Guide 2023

Odds, Strategy, And How To Place Your Bets

breeders cup 2019 betting

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships bring together the best horses from around the world. Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky will host this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Nov. 4-5. Below we will look at Breeders Cup betting odds and wagering strategy.

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Breeders’ Cup betting odds

Breeders’ Cup betting odds for the top races have been posted. Click on the odds below to bet now.

Breeders’ Cup Classic odds

Post PositionHorseML OddsTrainerJockey
1Taiba8-1Bob BaffertMike Smith
2Life Is Good6-1Todd PletcherIrad Ortiz
3Happy Saver30-1Todd PletcherJohn Velazquez
4Flightline3-5John SadlerFlavien Prat
5Hot Rod Charlie15-1Doug O’NeillTyler Gaffalione
6Epicenter5-1Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario
7Olympiad10-1William MottJunior Alvarado
8Rich Strike20-1Eric ReedSonny Leon

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile odds

Post PositionHorseML OddsTrainerJockey
1Hurricane30-1J Paulo LoboJoseph Talamo
2Congruent30-1Antonio SanoJose Ortiz
3Cave Rock4-5Bob BaffertJuan Hernandez
4Forte4-1Todd PletcherIrad Ortiz
5Verifying10-1Brad CoxJoel Rosario
6Blazing Sevens6-1Chad BrownFlavien Prat
7Wound Up30-1Michael McCarthyMario Gutierrez
8Lost Ark20-1Todd PletcherLuis Saez
9Curly Jack20-1Thomas AmossEdgar Morales
10National Treasure8-1Bob BaffertJohn Velazquez

Breeeders’ Cup Classic

Here are horses that will factor into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Life Is Good 6-1

  • Trained by Todd Pletcher
  • Listed Rider: Irad Ortiz

Life is Good has been great. He has been a horse to watch ever since wiring the field to win by 9 1-2 lengths at Del Mar in 2020. He was considered a 2021 Kentucky Derby contender after romping to an emphatic eight-length victory in the San Felipe Stakes. But he was diagnosed with an ankle chip, and subsequently missed the Triple Crown series.

Upon returning, he notched a victory in the Grade II Kelso at Belmont Park. That propelled him into the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last November at Del Mar. He won there and has enjoyed a stellar 2022 campaign.

Life Is Good was expected to win the $12 million Dubai World Cup in March and had the lead heading for home but faltered. He was passed  by three horses including victorious Country Grammer in the last couple hundred yards, finishing fourth. Also beaten by Hot Rod Charlie, who is expected to go here.

Follow-up wins included the John Nerud, the Whitney and the Woodward Stakes. Still needs to prove he can get the distance and he will be facing those who have.

Epicenter 5-1

  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen
  • Listed Rider: Joel Rosario

Epicenter sold for $260,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2020. His running pattern has been of steady improvement and the ability to peak late in the 2022 campaign. He was beaten by  7 3-4 lengths in his debut in September of 2021 at Churchill Downs, but broke his maiden there two months later.

Epicenter began his road to the Kentucky Derby with an impressive victory in the Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds last December. Became involved a slew of exciting finishes in 2022. Was nailed at the wire by Call Me Midnight in the Lecomte. He later won the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby prep Races.

Seemingly had  the Kentucky Derby seemingly in his pocket until Rich Strike surged from the back of the pack to beat him  at 80-1. Epicenter finished second in the Preakness, but finally obtained major victories in the Jim Dandy and the Travers at Saratoga.

Major threat. Always on the board.

Flightline 3-5

  • Trainer: John Sadler
  • Expected Rider: Flavien Prat

Flightline sold for $1 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale in 2019. His sire is top stallion Tapit, while his dam, Feathered, was a graded stakes winner. Has been as good as the pedigree suggests, making an argument to become America’s most beloved horse.

Most of his major races unfolded in California. His last two have been eye-opening efforts on major stages. He overcame a slow start to obtain a late lead and convincing triumph at the Metropolitan Mile on the undercard of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in June.

Three months later, he unleashed a blistering performance to win the TVG Pacific Classic by a record 19 1-2 lengths at Del Mar. In running an industry-best 126 Beyer on that afternoon, he started the countdown to Keeneland. The public can’t wait to see if he can become 6-for-6 and become Horse of the Year and perhaps this generation. Think Secretariat and Sea Biscuit in terms of his ability to capture attention from beyond the racing circles.

Taiba 8-1

  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Listed Rider: Mike Smith

He’s the  $1.7 million son of 2017 Horse of the Year and promising young sire Gun Runner. He set the racing world on fire by exceeding 100 Beyer figures in his first two races. Taiba won the Santa Anita Derby in just his second outing.

He ran a tiring 12th in the Kentucky Derby, but was up with the leaders until the stretch. Rebounded sharply, just missing at the $1 million Haskell Stakes after an exciting stretch duel with eventual winner Cyberknife. Improved again in winning the Pennsylvania Derby. Taiba gets better each time out. He has turned the tables on some of the horses who beat him in the Kentucky Derby. Can he reverse his fortune against the rest?

Happy Saver 30-1

  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Listed Rider: John Velazquez

Multiple stakes-placed winner Happy Week, by Distorted Humor, is the dam (mother) of Happy Saver. Had a high-level 2020 campaign, qualifying for the Breeders Cup Classic by way of victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. But he was not entered in the Classic.

Hit high form again in 2022 but has run into a wall, or “seconditis”. Finished second to Olympiad in the Alysheba Stakes, to Flightline in the Metropolitan Handicap and Life Is Good in the Whitney. Always runs hard,  but has been performing a notch below the top horses listed in this race.

Olympiad 10-1

  • Trainer: Bill Mott
  • Listed Rider: Junior Alvarado

A son of Speightstown, Olympiad was bred by Emory Hamilton and sold for $700,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2019. Broke his maiden at Saratoga in his second career start in September of 2020. Was on the sidelines for another year  until winning in a first-level allowance at Keeneland last October. That propelled him into stakes company, as he won the Grade III Mineshaft Stakes at Fairgrounds in February, setting a track record of 1:42.01 for 1 1-16 miles.  He then won the Grade II New Orleans at Fairgrounds in March and the Grade II Alysheba in May.

It was all going perfect in 2022 until the Whitney Stakes. That’s where he finished fourth of five in a race won by Life Is Good. He returned late in the Saratoga meet to win the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles in August.

Rich Strike 20-1

  • Trainer: Eric Reed
  • Listed Rider: Sonny Leon

The Cinderella story of horse racing regardless of this outcome. Kentucky Derby fans will always remember that  he gained a last-second entry into the race because of a late scratch that eliminated Ethereal Road. And then he ran down horses who had previously beaten him, seizing the Derby at 80-1.

Although he shocked the world, Rich Strike’s sire was Keen Ice, who beat reigning Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers Stakes.  It’s possible that Rich Strike  likes the 1 1–4-mile distance, which he gets here.

Flattened out after the Derby, finishing sixth in the Belmont Stakes and fourth in the Travers. Was beaten a nose by Hot Rod Charlie in a terrific Lukas Stakes Classic duel in October.

Hot Rod Charlie 15-1

  • Trainer: Doug O’Neill
  • Listed Rider: Tyler Gaffalione

An American favorite because he races often, in high profile events.  Hot Rod Charlie has finished  in the money in 12 of his 13 races since the end of 2020 (not counting a disqualification at the 2021 Haskell Stakes, where he initially won but  was placed out of the money for clipping heels with Midnight Bourbon).

He was sired by Oxbow, the 2013 Preakness Stakes winner, out of the Indian Charlie Mare Indian Miss. Recent efforts include running third in the Whitney to Epicenter and nudging Rich Strike in the Lukas Classic. Also finished second to Country Grammer in the Dubai World Cup.

Always ready and always in it.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

At $2 million, the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is the richest two-year-old race in North America. Keep a watchful eye on this 1 1/16-mile race, as it often previews the Tripe Crown contenders for the following year.

The Juvenile is the highlight of the Future Stars Friday program of two-year-old races held on the first day of the World Championships.

Here is a look at some of the top horses set to compete.

Blazing Sevens 6-1

When it recently rained, he poured. The son of Good Magic popped the cork for trainer Chad Brown by winning the Champagne Stakes in the slop at Aqueduct in October.

This was a $500,000 race in just his third start and he prevailed at 8-1,  The  performance may propel backers to believe he is coming into his own. Began his career with a 6 1/4-length victory in his 2-year-old debut in a 6-furlong maiden race at Saratoga in July. He then raced twice in the slop.

Was beaten 12 lengths by Forte, who is listed as probable for this race, in the Hopeful at Saratoga. The Champagne was a superb bounce-back effort. Bettors won’t have an easy time deciding how much he’s improved, especially if the race unfolds on a fast track.

Forte 4-1

Embodies the song “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” Romped in his debut as a 1-5 favorite in a Belmont Park maiden race in May.

Was propelled into the Grade III Sanford Stakes at Saratoga in just his second outing. Settled for fourth after being sent off as the 7-5 favorite. Advertised his potential going forward with an excellent performance in the Hopeful at Saratoga. It is the signature 2-year-old race of the Saratoga meet.

On a sloppy track, Forte came from off the pace and caught front-running, even-money favorite Gulfport in the Hopeful.  Forte enjoyed a rail trip while favored Gulfport swung wide. Forte then out finished him to win at a nice price of 6-1.

Cave Rock 4-5

California connection. It’s been all systems go so far. And he is well connected.

Cave Rock is trained by Bob Baffert and been ridden by Juan Hernandez., the California circuit’s leading jockey with Flavien Prat now expanding to the East Coast circuit. Hernandez guided Cave Rock to a six-length romp in his debut at Del Mar in August. He ran a 101 Beyer Speed figure, an eye-opening start.

His second big effort came in the American Pharoah Stakes in October. At 2-5, he got away to an early lead and was never threatened. Cave Rock has the breeding, being from the first crop of 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate.  He has the backing of Baffert, Hernandez and the bettors. He’s also been 1 1-16 miles. Much to like. The question is how he will ship to a track outside of California.

National Treasure 8-1

National Treasure was bred in Kentucky by the sire Quality Road out of the mare Treasure by Medaglia d’Oro. He is trained by Bob Baffert. He passed  his first test in September, winning a 6 1/2 furlong 2-year-old maiden race in wire-to-wire fashion by 1 1/2 lengths.

The second test was much tougher. He went against Cave Rock, who is expected to run here. It was a solid performance and a second-place finish  at 9-1. Nothing in that race suggested he can turn the tables on Cave Rock, however, unless it’s the natural race-to-race improvement of young horses.

Curly Jack 20-1

Steadily moved up the  ladder after impressive winning debut at Churchill Downs in June.

Entered in the Grade III Sanford Stakes at Saratoga in his next outing  and finished fifth. Followed with a second-place finish, being nipped at the wire in the Ellis Park Juvenile. The race that indicated he could be ready for this was the Grade III Iroquois in September.  He sat off a contested pace by the two favorites and stormed past them in the stretch, winning at 10-1. He also covered the 1 1-16 distance, which will be required here. Will get much respect off the last effort. Trained by Tom Amoss and usually ridden by Edgar Morales.

Keeneland history

Keeneland, site of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup is revered on a number of levels within the horse-racing industry.

First, it is a pillar. Nestled in idyllic Lexington, Ky., Keeneland is an internationally renowned racecourse and the thoroughbred industry’s leading auction house. The track was founding in 1936.

Keeneland hosts four sales annually in January, April, September and November. This is one place where future superstars of the sport can be discovered.

Second, it is a centerpiece of the community. The track conducts a spring and fall meet similar to the Saratoga summer program in upstate New York, in which the meet becomes the fulcrum of the local economy. An abundance of high-level stakes are stuffed into a meet lasting a month, sometimes less.

The Keeneland fall program,  running Oct. 7-29, offered more than $1 million of purses on every Saturday card. It also broke from the gates with a bang, offering nearly $4 million  in purses on its opening Saturday, Oct. 8.

 Furthermore, there were nine “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on the opening weekend. Victors gained an all-expense paid berth in varied Breeders’ Cup races.

Third, it hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2015 and 2020, prior to this year.

In 2020,  the track was able to maintain the purse structure of $31 despite the absence of live-gate revenue because of the pandemic.

Four, it is the site of big moments. The track made history in 2015 as the venue for racing’s first-ever Grand Slam.

American Pharoah won the 2015 Breeders Cup Classic, becoming the first horse to notch the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic in one year.

It was also here that Knicks Go set a track record in winning the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile in 2022. He went on to a rare repeat last year, capturing the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in California.

The racing world is excited to bring its major participants to Keeneland Nov. 4-5.

Throughout the industry, Keeneland is considered a shrine.

Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series

The 2022 Breeders’ Cup will bring fans and spectators together at historic Keeneland in the horse racing capital of the world, Lexington, Kentucky. The two-day event will feature over a dozen Grade I thoroughbred horse races. Post times and race order will be announced on Oct. 26, 2022.

Breeders’ Cup race and TV schedule

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

  • Date: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5, 2022
  • Post Times and Odds: Times will be posted on Oct. 26, 2022.
  • TV: NBCSN and NBC
  • Tablet, Online, Mobile: NBC Sports App and streamed live on and TVG and  fuboTV
  • Track & Location: Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Prize Pool: $31 million with 14 Grade 1 races from $1 million to $6 million

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 Wagering Notes and Guaranteed Pools

Breeders’ Cup will offer a unique Super High 5 bet that will be available on every race – undercard included – during its two-day race card.

Friday’s Pick 6, early and late Pick 5 and Super High 5 may carry over to Saturday.

The 2022 guaranteed pools will be updated as announced by the Breeders’ Cup.

Saturday’s Wagering Notes and Guaranteed Pools

The 2022 wagering menu will include a new All-Turf Pick 4 on Saturday for races 5, 7, 9 and 11. The four races, in order, are the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Race 5), Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Race 7), FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (Race 9), and the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (Race 11).

  • Saturday’s Ultra Pick 6, late Pick 5 and Super High 5 are mandatory payouts.

Also, the Breeders’ Cup will offer a third, middle Pick 5 on Saturday, starting with Race 3. The early Pick 5 will start with Race 1 and the late Pick 5 with Race 8. Last year’s late Pick 5 on Saturday generated a $5.1 million pool while the late Pick 4 offered a $4.3 million pool.

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

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