Breeders’ Cup Betting Guide — 2024 Odds, Lineup, And Events

The Breeders’ Cup is an annual series of Grade I thoroughbred horse races that take place in the US or Canada each year. It’s a two-day event that features 14 signature races, highlighted by the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

In 2024, the event will be in Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, taking place Friday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, Nov. 6. Let’s take a closer look at one of the most popular horse racing events of the year.

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How to bet on the Breeders’ Cup online

To place online bets on the Breeders’ Cup, you’ll need an account at a legal and regulated site that’s available in your state. One of the most popular and accessible horse betting sites is FanDuel Racing, which is available in a growing number of states. To sign up at FanDuel Racing, simply complete the following steps:

The entire process generally takes just a few minutes. In addition to Breeders Cup betting, FanDuel Racing also has odds and wagering available for all of horse racing’s other signature events, as well as daily action from numerous tracks. Check out our complete FanDuel Racing review for more details.

The 14 Breeders’ Cup races, lineup, and odds

The Breeders’ Cup races take place over two days, with the first five races on Day 1 (Friday) and the final nine, including the biggest races — the Turf and the Classic — on Day 2 (Saturday).

Below, you’ll find the entry conditions for each of the 14 races, as well as a series of “win and you’re inraces, which provide automatic qualification to the winning horses. As you’ll see, the qualifying races take place all around the world, giving the Breeders’ Cup real international flavor.

Each race at the Breeders’ Cup has an upper limit of 14 horses, with other entrants into the race decided by a points system for graded stakes performances throughout the year and, finally, the judgment of a panel of racing experts.

The final two races of the event offer the largest prizes, with a $4 million purse at the Breeders’ Cup Turf and a $6 million purse at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

An American thoroughbred race for 2-year-old horses, it takes place on grass over a distance of exactly 1 mile. The race has a purse of $1 million. There are five automatic berths in the race, which go to winners of the following:

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

An American thoroughbred race for 2-year-old fillies on grass over a distance of exactly 1 mile. The race has a purse of $1 million. There are five automatic berths in the race for the winners of the following:

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

An American thoroughbred race for 2-year-old horses that takes place on grass over a distance of 5.5 furlongs (11/16 of a mile). The race has a purse of $1 million. There are four automatic berths for the winners of these races:

The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

An American thoroughbred race for horses 3 and older that takes place on a dirt course over a distance of 1 mile. The race has a purse of $1 million. The winners of the following two races receive automatic berths:

The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

An American thoroughbred race for 3-year-old or older fillies and mares that takes place on a dirt course over a distance of 7/8 of a mile. The race has a purse of $1 million. There are three automatic berths in the race, which go to these winners:

The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

An American thoroughbred race for horses 3 and older that takes place on grass over a distance of 6.5 furlongs (13/16 of a mile). The race has a purse of $1 million. There are five automatic berths in the race, which go to the winners of the following:

The Breeders’ Cup Sprint

An American thoroughbred race for horses 3 and older that takes place on dirt over a distance of 6 furlongs (3/4 of a mile). The race has a purse of $2 million. There are six automatic berths in the race, which go to winners of the following:

The Breeders’ Cup Mile

An American thoroughbred race for horses 3 and older that takes place on grass over a distance of a mile. The race has a purse of $2 million. There are 10 automatic berths in the race, which go to these winners:

The Breeders’ Cup Distaff

An American thoroughbred race for fillies and mares (3 and older) that takes place on dirt over a distance of 9 furlongs (1 1/8 miles). The race has a purse of $2 million. There are seven automatic berths in the race, which go to winners of the following:

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

An American thoroughbred race for 2-year-old fillies that takes place on dirt over a distance of 1 1/16 miles. The race has a purse of $2 million. There are five automatic berths in the race, which go to the winners of the following:

The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

An American thoroughbred race for fillies and mares (3 and older) that takes place on grass over a distance of 1.25 miles. The race has a purse of $2 million. There are 10 automatic berths in the race, which go to the winners of the following:

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

An American thoroughbred race for 2-year-old colts and geldings that takes place on dirt over a distance of 1 1/16 of a mile. The race has a purse of $2 million. There are four automatic berths, which go to the winners of these races:

The Breeders’ Cup Turf

An American thoroughbred race for horses 3 and older that takes place on grass over a distance of 1.5 miles. The race has a purse of $4 million. There are 11 automatic berths in the race, which go to these winners:

The Breeders’ Cup Classic

An American thoroughbred race for horses 3 and older that takes place on dirt over a distance of 1 1/4 miles. The race has a purse of $6 million. There are seven automatic berths in the race, which go to the winners of the following:

Types of bets available on the Breeders’ Cup

With 14 races in two days, there are certainly lots of options when it comes to betting. Here is a rundown of some of the most popular bets:

Win

This is the most popular and straightforward wager of all. Put your cash down and cheer on your selection to hit the winning post first.

Place

The place bet is one where you’ll be cheering on your selection to finish first or second. The payout is fixed whether the horse finishes in first or second place. With double the chance, the payout for a successful wager will be lower than a win bet on the same horse.

Show

This time around, you’ll be hoping your selection finishes anywhere in the top three. The “show” payout will be lower than the “place.”

Exacta

For those who are a little more adventurous and are looking for the potential for a bigger win, the exacta might be a good choice. Aim to predict first and second place in the correct order.

Trifecta

For even more significant potential returns (and significant difficulty), pick the first-, second– and third-place finishers in the correct order.

Superfecta

This is the home-run wager, where you can expect some incredible payouts (especially if one or two long shots sneak into the mix). It’s a tough ask, however, as you’ll need to pick the first, second, third and fourth places in the proper order.

Below is the chart for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic, won by racehorse Accelerate.

WinPlaceShow
First: Accelerate$7.40$6.00$4.40
Second: Gunnevera$21.8011.80
Third: Audible$8.00
ExactaTrifectaSuperfecta
$130.80$806.55$1,617.91

As you can see, the winning payout for Accelerate is the largest of the three, with diminishing returns had you placed a place or show bet. A place bet on racehorse Gunnevera paid out nearly double the amount of a show bet. As you would expect, the exacta, the trifecta and the superfecta payouts increase quite rapidly.

The ‘Grand Slam’ of US horse racing

Racing fans in the US have been fascinated for nearly a century by the Triple Crown, won by a horse that finishes first in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

With the advent of the Breeders’ Cup, there is now an unofficial “Grand Slam” in racing, which a horse can win by achieving the Triple Crown and then winning the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic race at the end of the year.

The only horse to have achieved this feat was American Pharoah in 2015, winning the Classic by a stunning 6.5 lengths, a fitting conclusion to a fantastic year.

In 2018, Justify was all set to aim for the Grand Slam until trainer Bob Baffert noticed a slight filling on the horse’s ankle, which would ultimately see him retire to stud three months before the Breeders’ Cup.

History of the Breeders’ Cup

The initial idea for the Breeders’ Cup was proposed at a luncheon for the Kentucky Derby Festival by pet food entrepreneur John R. Gaines, a leading thoroughbred owner. Initially met with skepticism, the support of legendary trainers, such as John Nerud, gave the event the traction to form Breeders’ Cup Limited in 1982.

The Breeders’ Cup was a one-day event at its inception, with the first meeting taking place at Hollywood Park in 1984. In 2007, it was decided that the event would take place over two days, and the number of races has gradually increased over the years to the 14 it is today. The event typically changes venues on an annual basis, although there have been tracks that have hosted the event two or three times in a row in the past.

Breeders’ Cup FAQ

Who is the most successful horse at the Breeders’ Cup?

In terms of prize money, Zenyatta is the most successful horse in the history of the series, earning a total of $4.68 million. The incredible filly, who won 19 of 20 races in her career, raced three times at the Breeders’ Cup, winning the Distaff and the Classic while finishing second in the Classic in her final race.

Which jockey has had the most success at the Breeders’ Cup?

Legendary jockey Mike Smith, who in 2018 won the Triple Crown on Justify, is the all-time leading jockey in the Breeders’ Cup with an incredible tally of 27 wins.

Which trainer has had the most success at the Breeders’ Cup?

US racing hall of fame inductee D. Wayne Lukas is the most successful trainer at the Breeders’ Cup with a total of 20 wins, his last win coming with thoroughbred Take Charge Brandi in the Juvenile Fillies race in 2014.

Image credit: Frederic J. Brown / AP Getty, Richard Mackson-USA Today Sports