The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is the year-end culmination of racing in the United States and offers participation to horses around the world.
The odds to win the 2021 Breeders' Cup World Championship are now available. The odds are subject to change and will adjust as the event approaches. This page was last updated on November 13, 2020:
2021 Breeders' Cup Classic Odds
With the exception of the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Cup races are among the most popular horse racing events in North America. This series was conceived in 1984, consisting of a day of races involving different classes of thoroughbreds, surfaces, and lengths. For the 2007 edition, another day of competition was added to accommodate even more big-money races.
The Breeders’ Cup is a series of 14 Grade 1 races overrun two days, taking place on the first Friday and Saturday in November. The races offer huge payouts, competitive betting, and phenomenal fields with spectacular finishes, and the winners have often crowned champions in their divisions.
Breeders' Cup Betting Sites
The Breeders' Cup races offer horse wagering enthusiasts some of the best opportunities to parlay their knowledge of the field into victory.
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Breeders’ Cup Races
- There are 14 races that make up the Breeders’ Cup. The Friday races are for two-year-olds as follows:
- $2 million Juvenile for males over 1 1/6 miles
- $2 million Juvenile Fillies for fillies over 1 1/16 miles
- $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf for fillies at one mile on the grass
- $1 million Juvenile Turf for males at one mile on the turf
- $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint for either sex at 5 ½ furlongs. This race is a Grade 2 but will be upgraded to a Grade 1 by 2022.
The Saturday races are all for three-year-olds and up:
- $7 million Classic, run at 1 ¼ mile on the dirt
- $6 million Turf, run over 1 ½ mile on the grass
- $2 million Distaff, run over 1 1/8 miles on the dirt
- $2 million Mile, over one mile on the turf
- $2 million Sprint, at six furlongs on the dirt
- $2 million Filly and Mare Turf, where the distance depends on the track configuration
- $2 million Dirt Mile, over a mile on the main track
- $1 million Turf Sprint, where the distance depends on the track configuration
- $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint, seven furlongs for fillies and mares
The Breeders’ Cup began in 1984 at Hollywood Park. It was the brainchild of John Gaines, who outlined a day of Super Bowl-Esque racing in America comprising of seven rich races for the world’s best horses of either sex. The Breeders’ Cup has gone through several changes since then, with races being added and removed as the demand from fans and breeders changed.
The Breeders’ Cup is a traveling event, moving from track to track around the country. After Hollywood Park it was held at Aqueduct, Santa Anita Park, Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park, Belmont Park, Woodbine, Arlington Park, Lone Star Park, Monmouth Park, Keeneland, and Del Mar. Santa Anita Park has hosted the event more times than any other track, ten times through 2019. It has only been held once at tracks like Woodbine, Monmouth, and Lone Star. Keeneland will host for the second time in 2020, and Del Mar for the second time in 2021.
The Breeders' Cup changes horse racing tracks every now and then.
Breeders' Cup Picks
The Breeders’ Cup is an event that regularly has huge longshots come in because of the depth of quality in the races. Horses get overlooked or pace scenarios fall apart.
The biggest upset in Breeders’ Cup history was in the 1993 Classic, where Arcangues won at 133-1. He was a French import ridden by Jerry Bailey and ran down favorites Bertrando and Best Pal in the stretch at Santa Anita.
Court Vision was 64-1when he stunned the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Mile, winning by a nose over Turallure. Three-time Mile winner Goldikova, a heavy favorite, finished third while trying to win her fourth consecutive Breeders’ Cup race.
Spain was 55-1 when she defeated Beautiful Pleasure and Riboletta in the 2000 Distaff. She ultimately lost by a head trying to defend her title in the 2001 Distaff.
At 47-1, One Dreamer caused another Distaff upset when she won the Breeders’ Cup in 1994. Storm the Court was 45 – 1 when he took the 2019 Juvenile over 28 – 1 Anneau d’Or. The $488.20 exacta was helped by the fact that favorites Dennis’ Moment and Eight Rings both finished off the board. 39 – 1 Wrecking Crew finished third, capping a $1,965.25 trifecta.
Volponi won the 2002 Classic at 43 – 1. The field included the likes of War Emblem, Medaglia d’Oro, and European superstar Hawk Wing.
The original Classic in 1984 went to 30 – 1 Wild Again, who was running against some of the top horses in training, Gate Dancer and Slew O’Gold.
Other big longshots included Sheikh Albadou, Alphabet Soup over Hall of Fame runner Cigar, Cash Run, Adoration, Lashkari, and Shared Account.
The winningest Breeders’ Cup jockey is Mike Smith, who has a staggering 26 wins through 2019. John Velazquez has 16, Jerry Bailey 15, and Italian jockey Frankie Dettori 14.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds an edge amongst all trainers, with 20 wins. Bob Baffert and Chad Brown have 15 each, and Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has 12.
Possibly the most famous horse to win a Breeders’ Cup race was Zenyatta, who took the 2009 Classic in addition to the 2008 Distaff/Ladies Classic. Zenyatta, trained by John Shirreffs, was unbeaten through her first 19 starts but didn’t face males until her attempt at the Classic in 2009. She came from well behind the field, rallying to defeat a strong group of international Group 1 winners.
Zenyatta tried to repeat her Classic win in 2010, her 20thcareer start.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds
Picking favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Classic requires studying history. Every Breeders’ Cup Classic winner of the last two decades finished in the top three in their final prep before the big race.17 of the last 21 winners prepped in either New York or California.
Actual race favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Classic have won only five of the last 20 runnings, but the winner is almost always under 7 – 1 odds.
The only horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice was Tiznow, a California-bred horse by Cee’s Tizzy who won the 2000 and 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classics at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park. Both times he defeated the best horse in Europe, first with Giant’s Causeway and then with Sakhee.
Breeders’ Cup Contenders
When trying to make Breeders’ Cup predictions, it is important to remember that the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has only produced the winner of the Kentucky Derby twice in history: Street Sense in 2007 and Nyquist in 2016.
Four horses have won two different Breeders’ Cup races: Zenyatta, Beholder in the 2012 Juvenile Fillies and 2013 and 2016 Distaffs, Secret Circle in the 2011 Juvenile Sprint (now defunct) and the 2013 Sprint, and Stephanie’s Kitten in the 2011 Juvenile Fillies Turf and the 2015 Filly and Mare Turf.
Goldikova and Beholder are the only two horses to win three Breeders’ Cup races. Zenyatta failed in her bid to win a third, and Goldikova failed in her bid to win a fourth.
18 different horses have repeated in their bids to win second Breeders’ Cup races: Tiznow, Bayakoa, Beholder, Royal Delta, High Chaparral, Conduit, Ouija Board, Miesque, Lure, Da Hoss, Goldikova, Wise Dan, Goldencents, Midnight Lute, Roy H, Mizdirection, Stormy Liberal, and Groupie Doll.
Breeders’ Cup Pick 4 Payouts
The 2019 Breeders’ Cup Saturday Pick 4 paid $440.80.
In 2018, the same wager paid just $157.95 for a 50-cent ticket after favored Accelerate took the Classic.
In 2017, the Breeders’ Cup Saturday Pick 4 paid $1,257.15 after second-choice Gun Runer won the Classic.
Breeders’ Cup Betting
Breeders’ Cup expert picks can be found online close to the main event. Breeders’ Cup fields and odds will be posted 72 hours before each event. Breeders’ Cup morning line odds are available shortly before the post position draws on Tuesday, November 3, and Wednesday, October 4.
Friday’s card has a $500,000 minimum guarantee Pick 5, a late Pick 5 worth $1 million, and a Breeders’ Cup Pick 4 with a $1 million guarantee.
Saturday’s card has a $1 million guaranteed Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick 6, and the late Breeders’ Cup Pick 5 has a $2 million guarantee. There is also a $2 million guaranteed Breeders’ Cup Late Pick 4.
Regular win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, Pick 3, and daily double wagering on all the races on the card. Depending on the host track, the undercard races are usually all stakes or high-class allowance races. The 2020 Breeders’ Cup will take place November 6 and 7.