The 2018 Breeders’ Cup is coming up Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, and with millions being wagered during one of the biggest weekends of racing all year, it’s time to start handicapping.
With that in mind, we asked Canterbury Park Paddock Analyst Brian Arrigoni for advice about the Breeders’ Cup, what to expect, and how to structure your bets. You can watch and wager on all the action at Canterbury Park.
Canterbury Park: What gets you excited about the Breeders’ Cup?
Brian Arrigoni: Two times a year the best horses from around the country and the world come to battle it out for supremacy. The best meet early in the racing season in May during the Kentucky Derby and in the fall for Breeders’ Cup.
The Breeders’ Cup has quite literally been in my blood since Day 1. The day I was born Alysheba (the winner of the Kentucky Derby) and Ferdinand (the winner of the Kentucky Derby the year prior) battled nose to nose all the way to the wire in one of the classic races in Breeders’ Cup history.
There’s been a developing rivalry between the best European horses and the best American horses, while also having bragging rights on the line with East Coast and West Coast horses.
It’s also great that the location is constantly moving between East Coast and West Coast. There is so much to get excited about Breeders’ Cup it’s hard to pin it down to exactly what it is, but each owner, trainer, and horse has pointed to these races for months, oftentimes longer, and it all comes together over two days.
CP: What’s your overall wagering plan going in?
BA: When the best come to compete, the racing analysis only gets harder.
These are the best horses in the world, and almost all of them are coming in off of victories at tracks from around the country. This also makes it one of the most difficult weekends to be successful. However, it also makes it the most rewarding when you are successful because the payouts can be huge!
My wagering plan going in is to expand my action a bit. I have a little bigger bankroll and I will play slightly more aggressively than usual. This is not a weekend to shy away, this is a weekend to go in confident and swing for the fences. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
I will continue to focus on pick 4’s and pick 5’s as always. However, with the massive fields I will also try and play individual races as well. I enjoy keying a horse in an exacta and using 3-4 underneath, and will also mix in some rare Win, Place, Show bets on horses above 8-1 that I like in large fields, as well.
CP: Any specific horses and/or races you like?
BA: While writing this there are certainly horses I have my eyes on and are waiting to come back, but without knowing which race they are opting toward or their post position it’s very difficult to give out anything with confidence. Here are three horses I’m keeping my eye on for various reasons.
• Monomoy Girl
She is a complete freak has tactical speed and can go to the lead or sit off the pace. This is a mare who truly loves to win and have seen time and time again when someone runs up on her, she will find another gear and give you everything she has to the wire.
• Newspaperofrecord (IRE)
This horse is lightly raced from Chad Brown and only debuted a few months ago at Saratoga. However, this horse is highly talented. Might be tested for class and asking a lot for a lightly raced horse, but could be monster!
• Limousine Liberal
This is a familiar face many have heard of.
The late running sprinter has a tendency to settle for less. However, if you want to see a race that’s much better than it looks on paper watch the Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland. It’s rare I judge jockey decision-making, but Jose Ortiz likely should have refunded all bets on Limousine Liberal that day for what he did in a four-horse field. Go watch for yourself: Keeneland Oct. 5, 2018, Race 8.
CP: How should people approach their betting structures?
BA: I’m going to play the same as I always do, key my pick 4’s and pick 5’s around two horses I like.
However, I will also expand to include Win, Place wagers along with exactas keying a horse on top over a few I like, and then using the few I like over my keyed horse. Here are a few examples of how I may structure my tickets.
|Pick 4:||Pick 4:||Exacta: 1/1234|
|1: 12||1: 12||Exacta: 1234/1|
|2: 1||2: 123456|
|3: 12345||3: 12345|
|4: 123456||4: 1|
CP: Anything else people should know?
BA: Come out early and take Friday off!
These are the best horses with the best wagering opportunities of the year, and Breeders’ Cup only comes around once a year. I would recommend doing your homework early, as these are the most competitive races you will see and it may take you more than 30 minutes to feel comfortable about the race.
Do your homework and try and watch replays to find the sneaky troubled trip that could be the key to a massive score.