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Learn How to Bet on the Breeders’ Cup

Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders' Cup is arguably the biggest horseracing event in the year. It consists of 14 horseraces run over different distances and contested by colts and geldings, fillies, mares or a mixture. Each event receives huge media coverage, and the purses of the individual races are $1 million or $2 million, with the exception of the Breeders' Cup Turf that has a purse of $4 million, and the Breeders' Cup Classic, that has the biggest purse at $6 million.

The event is hosted by different racecourses in the United States each year, with Churchill Downs, Santa Anita Park, Keeneland and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club being the most prominent. The 2-day event can attract crowds of over 100,000 and has an even larger media following, watched by horse racing fans around the world.

Betting On the Breeders’ Cup

There is a lot of hype surrounding the Breeders Cup, and for good reason: it offers horseracing purists the chance to watch some of the finest thoroughbreds from around the world, and it also offers punters a huge range of betting options.

Due to the massive interest in the event, there will definitely be a lot of information available online about each of the contestants so it is not hard to gather information when planning bets. There are several bets you may wish to place. Here we shall explore some of the most popular.

Race Winner

This is a bet on which horse will win the race. In the Breeders’ Cup, each of the races can have a total of 14 runners, which is considerably higher than a lot of ungraded races. This means that the odds offered on each of the horses will be considerably longer, even for the favourites.

Place Bets

The place bet has more insurance than the race winner bet. It covers a horse to finish in any of the first three places, which eliminates the possibility of any last minute disappointments if the chosen horse is in the lead and the race goes down to the wire. Whilst they are safer to place, the odds will be considerably shorter than that of the race winner bets.

Each Way Bets

Each way bets can vary from race to race. These are bets where a punter places two stakes of equal value, one will cover the horse to win whilst the other will cover the horse to place at a given fraction of the odds to win.

To put this in an example, there may be a bet on a horse to win at 4/1, and the each way bet offers ⅓ of the odds for the horse to finish anywhere in the first three places. The stake will be doubled, so for a €10 bet the punter will need to stake €20. If the horse finishes in first place, the €10 bet on the horse to win will have a return of €40 + the original stake of €10, whilst the bet on the horse to place will return €13.33 + the stake of €10. This will bring a return of €73.33, meaning a profit of €53.33.

If the horse places second or third, then the first bet loses but the bet on the horse to place pays out at €13.33 + €10. This will bring a return of €23.33, meaning a profit of €3.33.

If that stake of €20 was placed on the horse to win, at the same odds, the returns would be €100, which is considerably larger than the €73.33, but there would be no returns if the horse placed.


This bet can come at far longer odds than the other bets mentioned so far. It requires punters to predict which horses will finish in first and second place. This is by no means an easy bet to predict correctly, but even if a bettor were to place their money on the two horses with the shortest odds, a win would guarantee some large wins.


The exacta bets are similar to the quinella, only the punters will also need to put the order in which the two horses will finish.


Trifecta bets are a step up from the exacta in terms of difficulty. This is a bet on which horses will finish in the first, second, and third places, in the correct order. If punters use the trifecta as a side bet, with a small stake, it could still generate some considerably large winnings if the horses and order picked is correct.


Superfecta bets have the longest odds that can be found in a single bet for horseracing. This bet requires punters to pick which horses will finish in first, second, third, and fourth place, and in the correct order. It is a bet that is extremely difficult to win, but if a punter picks the right horses in the right order, the payout is likely to be huge.

Betting Systems & Combinations

The bets mentioned above offer punters a large variety of options when it comes to single races. This may be more than enough for bettors who want to place bets on races one at a time, and enjoy the thrill of watching their chosen horses bolt down the track.

However, there are even more options when it comes to combining bets from different races. The Breeders’ Cup is a 2-day event that features 14 races. Bettors can take advantage of the constant action by combining single bets from different races in all types of ways to generate potentially massive odds.

Combination Bets

This is the equivalent of a parlay, where a number of single bets can be combined and the odds for each bet will be multiplied against each other. Punters can combine as many bets as they wish to, as long as these do not contradict any of the other bets in the combination. The only downside about this method is that if one of the bets loses, then all of the bets are considered void.

For example, a punter puts €30 on three horses to win their respective races. Horse A comes at odds 2/1, horse B comes at odds 7/2, and horse C comes at odds 5/2. In the combination, the new odds will be 189/4. The €30 will pay out at €1417.50, should all horses win. The returns are gigantic when compared with the €110 returns if the same stake was placed in three bets of €10, one for each horse.

System Bets

The huge downside to the combination bets is that they need all bets in the combination to win. This does not mean that they are not extremely lucrative if they win, but they do not have any insurance if one of the horses does not win a race.

This is where system bets can be useful. These systems start from combinations of two bets, and can include combinations of three, four, five, and upwards.

If two bets are picked, then the system bets will offer bettors 3 bets: 2 singles bets and 1 double bet.

If three bets are picked, the system will offer 6 bets: 3 singles, 3 doubles, and 1 triple bet.

If four bets are picked, the system will offer 15 bets: 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 triples, and 1 quadruple.

The combinations grow quickly when more and more bets are added to the system, and these bets can offer truly massive returns if all bets win, but they also provide a lot of insurance, here is an example of how system bets can work.

If three bets are chosen, with horse A at odds 2/1, B at 7/2, and C at 5/2, a €1 system bet will require a total stake of €6. €3 will go on the singles, €3 on the doubles and €1 on the triples. The singles bets would win a total of €11, the doubles €39.75, and the triple €47.25, for a total of €98. If the first horse fails, only 2 singles would win, bringing €8, and only 1 doubles would win, bringing €15.75, for a total return of €23.75. If the first two horses in the bet lost, then only 1 single would pay out, for a return of €3.50.

There is some profit in case one horse fails to win, but when two fail then the punter only receives a small return, but this still cuts the loss.

When 4, 5, 6, or more bets are combined, using these systems, then the potential returns grow exponentially. The insurance also becomes far larger. At 4 bets, there may still be profit if two horses fail to win, as there will still be 2 single bets and 1 double bet that will pay out.

Betting combinations can be tricky to understand at first, that is why it is recommended to start with smaller combinations of two, three or four, before trying to go for the huge combinations.

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