What Is the Breeders’ Cup?
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships, or Breeders’ Cup, is a huge annual event encompassing two days of thrilling horse-racing action. There are 14 races spread over the two days, with the Breeders’ Cup Classic being the main attraction. The purse for the main event has gradually increased from $3 million up to $7 million, making it the richest horse race in North America and one of the richest races in the world.
Initially, the Breeders’ Cup began as a single-day event back in 1984, but in 2007 the decision was made to develop it into a two-day event. Attracting huge crowds which can reach as high as 118,000-plus, the Championships are a huge draw in the US. The one exception was 1996, when the event was held in Canada.
The Fourth Leg of Horse Racing’s Grand Slam
Many now regard the event as the fourth leg of horse racing’s Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing. This consists of the classic Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – and the Breeders’ Cup. The fact that the race and event is held in such high regard explains why there is so much interest around Breeders’ Cup online betting.
In fact, the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the country’s premier weight-for-age event, for horses of three years and above, over 1 1/4 miles. Interestingly, the horse that wins the Classic often doubles up by winning the US Horse of the Year award, a respected honor which dates back to 1887.
How the Breeders’ Cup Works
As mentioned, the Championships evolved from a one-day to a two-day event in 2007. The new format consists of 14 races over two days, which gives you plenty of Breeders’ Cup betting opportunities.
The event is usually held in late October or early November. Action kicks off on the Friday with five races, followed by a jam-packed schedule on the Saturday with nine more exciting races – including the Classic.
Here’s a full breakdown of the races you’ll find on Breeders’ Cup betting sites:
- $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint (5 ½ furlongs)
- $1 million Juvenile Turf (1 mile)
- $2 million Juvenile Fillies (1 1/16 miles)
- $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (1 mile)
- $2 million Juvenile (1 1/16 miles)
- $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (7 furlongs)
- $1 million Turf Sprint (5 ½ furlongs)
- $2 million Dirt Mile (1 mile)
- $2 million Filly & Mare Turf (1 3/16 miles)
- $2 million Sprint (6 furlongs)
- $2 million Mile (1 mile)
- $2 million Distaff (1 1/8 miles)
- $6 million Turf (1 ½ miles)
- $7 million Classic (1 ¼ miles)
With so much prize money up for grabs, competition to compete and be among the online betting options at the Breeders’ Cup is fierce. There are three ways to qualify:
Win and You’re In
Known as the ‘Win and You’re In’ system, this method involves winnings a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. These are held all over the world in countries such as Ireland, England, and Japan.
Another way for horses to qualify is via a points system, based on races which take place throughout the year. Grade 1 races are worth the most points, but even Grade 3 races contribute towards the total points tally. Here’s how it works:
Finally, horses may be selected by an expert panel for inclusion in the Breeders’ Cup. Betting odds on these horses aren’t far off those who earn their place in the race, as they make up a substantial 50% of the field (seven enter via points and races, and seven join via panel selection).
2022 Breeders’ Cup Betting Odds
Unlike many events which return to the same track every year, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are held at different venues – including Santa Anita Park, Del Mar, and Churchill Downs. This year, the race will be returning to Keeneland in Lexington, KY for the third time since the internationally renowned racecourse hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015.
This year’s event is scheduled to take place on November 4-5 and, as always, there’ll be lots of betting opportunities. Organizers traditionally release Breeders’ Cup morning line betting odds once post-position draws have taken place. As soon as this happens, we’ll update this page with the latest Breeders’ Cup Classic betting odds and share our predictions for the fourth leg of horse racing’s Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing.
How Do You Bet on the Breeders’ Cup?
If you’re new to betting on the Breeders’ Cup online, don’t worry – it’s easy to sign up and bet on the richest race in North America. Just follow the steps below to get started:
Features of the Best Breeders’ Cup Betting Sites
You’ll find Breeders’ Cup online betting options at nearly every sports betting site on the net. However, some are vastly better than others. For example, some sites offer very different odds on the same horse – so it’s important you select the very best Breeders’ Cup betting sites.
Our experts have reviewed hundreds of horse racing betting sites since launching in 2011. Here’s some of the many factors we consider before giving our seal of approval to Breeders’ Cup betting sites:
Notable Breeders’ Cup Classic Records
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is a major event in itself, but the Classic is certainly the crown jewel that draws in the biggest crowds. There have been some startlingly high-quality races since its first running in 1984 and the racing world’s most famous names have been involved.
The fourth leg of horse racing’s Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing has a long and illustrious history, and here are some of the most notable records to date:
The fact that two wins is enough to secure the record of most wins demonstrates how high the quality of racing is in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. And the fact that it was achieved in back-to-back years indicates what a unique horse that was. Tiznow holds the elite record of most wins in the Classic, winning it in both 2000 and 2001 – with just 13/100 of a second between his finishing times. Unsurprisingly, he’s now an entrant to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.
Largest Winning Margin
The biggest winning margin is an honor split between two runners: Volponi in 2002 and American Pharaoh in 2015. The current record is 6 ½ lengths, but the finish is usually much closer. It was only the super elite pedigree of the horses which made such wins possible. American Pharaoh, for instance, captured the Triple Crown and the Classic as part of his record-equaling win.
Most Successful Jockey
This is another tightly contested record, with two gentlemen sharing the top spot: Chris McCarron and Jerry Bailey. Both jockeys have won the race an incredible five times. McCarron first won the Classic in 1988, and most recently in 2001, while Bailey’s wins stretch from 1991-2005. Always consider the jockey as part of your Breeders’ Cup betting strategy.
Most Successful Trainer
Bob Baffert’s successes began relatively recently, yet his sheer consistency makes him the most successful trainer in the race’s history. Remarkably, Baffert sealed victory three times in a row from 2014-2016, then came back for another win in 2020. Again, this is an area you’ll want to study when assessing your Breeders’ Cup online betting options, as the trainer can clearly have a major influence.
Recent Breeders’ Cup Classic Winners
If you read the records above, you’ll see that looking at the history of a race can help with predicting future outcomes and that can assist your Breeders’ Cup online betting. The success of horses in other races is another key Breeders’ Cup betting tip. You only need to look at American Pharaoh to see why, as he captured the Triple Crown and claimed victory in the Classic in 2015.
Here’s some information on the winners of the Breeders’ Cup Classic since 2010:
Ready to Bet on the 2022 Breeders’ Cup?
Now that you’ve read our Breeders’ Cup betting guide, it’s time to make your picks and place your bets. Get started by joining one of the best Breeders’ Cup betting sites on this page, then keep checking back to find the latest odds, as they’ll change right up until the start of the race in November.
It’s easy to access Breeders’ Cup online betting at a wide range of sports betting sites. You can find links to the ones our experts recommend on this page. If you’re a new customer, you can take advantage of a generous welcome bonus, which you may be able to use on the Breeders’ Cup Classic and other races.
You’ll find the best Breeders’ Cup odds at the sites listed on this page. You can compare them by clicking the links on this page, though they’re all highly competitive. That means you can select any of the betting sites here and know you’re getting competitive odds on any selection in the race.
Horses are already going through the qualifying process for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Their betting odds will be released closer to the time of the race, but you can get a head start by analyzing the most successful jockeys and trainers to identify trends and help you pick the winning horse.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup Classic was won by Authentic, a three-year-old horse ridden by John R. Velazquez. The horse was trained by Bob Baffert, who holds the records for most wins as a trainer in the Classic at four total. The impressive win earned connections a purse of $6 million.