Betting options for the Breeders' Cup

Oct 13, 2015 3:01 AM

This column is not really a column. Not in the sense of the classic forum that usually provides an exclusive opportunity for a personal perspective.

Its main focus is to lay out factual, racetrack gambling information horseplayers will need to know if they hope to plan a winning attack on the amazing Breeders’ Cup that will be run at Keeneland on Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Perhaps you might even cut out and save the material listed below, given the extremely complex BCup wagering menu that will focus on 13 Grade-I stakes worth upwards of $23 million.

First, on Friday, Oct 30, Keeneland will host four BC races among its full program of 10 races. These BC races are set as the 6th through the 9th race on the Friday card.

All the races on that day as well as those on the Saturday card, will offer a wide variety of wagering options that include somewhat unusual betting minimums and a few guaranteed pools.

Please note that on Wednesday, Oct. 21, the actual race order for the four BC races on Oct. 30 and the nine BC races on Oct. 31 formally will be set. Also, on Oct. 21, the specific “guaranteed” pool levels for the Pick 5’s and Pick 6’s will be set, although it is already known the Saturday Pick 6 will have a $2 million guarantee.

Regarding Breeders’ Cup takeout percentages: A relatively modest 16 percent will be in play for all win, place and show BCup wagers. An equally modest 19 percent takeout will be in effect for all other BC wagers. Below are the minimum wagering units.

$1 – For Win, Place, Show, Exactas, the Pick 6 & all Daily Doubles (including the special Distaff-Classic DD).

$.50 – For all Trifectas, Pick 3’s, Pick 4, Pick 5’s and the Super Hi-5.

$.10 – For all Superfectas.

Schedule/betting options Oct.30: 

Race 1 – 12:30 p.m., EDT, with Win, Place, Show wagering; plus Exacta, Trifecta, Pick 3, Superfecta, a Pick-5 & a Daily Double into the 2nd race.

Race 2 – 1:03 p.m. with WPS wagering; plus Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, and a DD in the 2nd race going into the 3rd race.

Race 3 – 1:37 p.m. with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 4 & a DD into 4th race.

Race 4 – 2:11 p.m. with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3 & a DD into 5th race.

Race 5 – 2:47 p.m. with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 6 & a DD into 6th race.

Race 6 – 3:30 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 4 & a DD into 7th race.

Race 7 – 4:10 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 4 & a DD into 8th race.

Race 8 – 4:50 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3 & a DD into 9th race.

Race 9 – 5:35 p.m. The BC Distaff; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, a Super Hi-5 & a Special DD into Saturday’s BCup Classic.

Race 10 – 6:10 p.m. with WPS, Ex, Tri & a Superfecta.

Schedule/betting options Oct. 31:

Race 1 – 11 a.m., EDT, with WPS, Ex, Tri, Superfecta, Pick-3, Pick 5 & a DD into 2nd race.

Race 2 – 11:30 a.m. with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3 & a DD into the 3rd race.

Race 3 – 12:05 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 4 & a DD into 4th race.

Race 4 – 12:45 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, & a DD into 5th race.

Race 5 – 1:25 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3 & a DD into 6th race.

Race 6 – 2:10 PM: BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 5 & a DD into 7th race.

Race 7 – 2:50 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3 & a DD into the 8th race.

Race 8 – 3:30 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 4 & a DD into 9th race.

Race 9 – 4:10 p.m. BCup race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3, Pick 4 & a DD into 10th race.

Race 10 – 4:50 p.m. BCup Race; with WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, Pick 3 & a DD into the BC Classic.

Race 11 – 5:35 p.m. The BC Classic; WPS, Ex, Tri, Super, a Super H- 5 & a DD into 12th race.

Race 12 – 6:10 p.m. WPS, Ex, Tri and Superfecta.

In my judgment, horseplayers should focus their play on races that involve a horse or two that exposed relative recent sharpness; or clearly made progress from mid-summer to this Breeders’ Cup.

I also recommend trainers and jockeys who have successful BCup records should be preferred over horses trained or ridden by horsemen and riders that have low BCup win percentages. Winning Breeders’ Cup experience counts. At the same time, do not overlook trainers and jockeys who emerged this year as budding superstars, or have done well at this host track – Keeneland racecourse.

Beyond these few points, I will devote my next two columns to specific handicapping notions I have used successfully in previous Breeders’ Cups. In fact, my Oct. 27 column will analyze the highly potent BC Classic that will match American Pharoah against the great race mare Beholder and the strong pair of older horses from the east, Honor Code and Tonalist.

Steve Davidowitz, author of the best selling “,” has covered racing since Secretariat, lives in Vegas & is writing a new book, “Cashing Big on Racing’s Biggest Days.” Email: SteveDavidowitz @GamingToday.com.