Best in Breed: Breeders’ Cup Insights

Horse racing’s greatest weekend, the Breeders’ Cup, coming Friday and Saturday to Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, will reward bettors who pick their spots. And there’s a lot to choose from. The two-day event includes 14 spectacular races, a legion of top-flight horses, and near-limitless betting options.

Here are some observations:

  1. There’s good value on the win line. In the $6 million classic, Improbable, Tiz the Law, Authentic and Maximum Security will all pay a nice price, probably in the 5-2 to 4-1 range. They all have credentials. Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes, and Authentic nipped him in the Kentucky Derby. Maximum Security was the Horse of the Year in 2019. But in September, Improbable throttled Max at the Awesome Again Stakes and is the hottest recent horse coming in. You’ll get better value on the win line this weekend than in most others.
  2. Expand the philosophy on a horse you love. Take a couple of exacta boxes. Take a stab at some $1 trifectas (getting the first three finishers in order) or $1 superfectas (top four finishers in order). Some will have enormous payouts. A $1 trifecta key entry allows you to put a horse in the first position, with three others running in the second and third slots. A $1 partial wheel enables you to put that same horse in the second position, with three other horses in the first and third spots. The superfecta is more expensive, because it involves the top four finishers, but it pays handsomely. A $1 trifecta box covering three horses costs $6. A $1 trifecta or superfecta box involving four horses costs $24.
  3. Swiss Skydiver goes to the Distaff side. The Preakness winner, a filly, had options to go against the boys in the Classic, but will instead become a strong favorite in the Longines Distaff on Saturday.
  4. Saturday’s Longines Classic will cap 14 feature events over two days at Keeneland, and go off without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic. The weekend features other notable favorites vying for signature wins. Jackie’s Warrior is the 7-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which caps Friday’s five-race feature card for 2-year-olds.
  5. Notable races. The $4 million Longines Turf on Saturday will be headlined by Magical and Arklow. But many other races, including the $2 million Sprint, are wide, wide open. Even a stab at a random longshot is not a bad idea in some of Saturday’s early races.

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Classic Odds

Here are the odds and post positions for the ultimate Breeders’ Cup race, the $6 million Classic.

  1. Tacitus (20-1)
  2. Tiz The Law (3-1)
  3. By My Standards (10-1)
  4. Tom’s d’Etat (6-1)
  5. Title Ready (30-1)
  6. Higher Power (20-1)
  7. Global Campaign (20-1)
  8. Improbable (5-2)
  9. Authentic (6-1)
  10. Maximum Security (7-2)

The Schedule

Watch NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup starting with Future Stars Friday on November 6 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and continuing with Championship Saturday on November 7 from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. ET.

Friday, November 6

  • Juvenile Turf Sprint (Post time: 2:30 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Juvenile Fillies Turf (Post time: 3:10 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Juvenile Fillies (Post time: 3:50 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Juvenile Turf (Post time: 4:30 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Juvenile (Post time: 5:10 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse

Saturday, November 7

  • Filly and Mare Sprint (Post time: 12:02 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Turf Sprint (Post time: 12:39 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Dirt Mile (Post time: 1:18 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Filly and Mare Turf (Post time: 1:57 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Sprint (Post time: 2:36 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Mile (Post time: 3:15 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Distaff (Post time: 3:54 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Turf (Post time: 4:33 p.m. ET) – $4 million purse
  • Classic (Post time: 5:13 p.m. ET) – $6 million purse

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