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Breeders’ Cup 101

With the largest two-day event in racing just around the corner, there are plenty of resources, opinions and thoughts out there on the Breeders’ Cup. However, here’s some quick advice on where to find what you’re looking for:

Who: Although post positions won’t be drawn until next week, pre-entries for all Breeders’ Cup races are now available.  Mike Watchmaker of the DRF gives his approximate line and a brief comment for each pre-entrant at this link.

Links for Past Performances:

DRF Past Performances

Brisnet Past Performances

Equibase Past Performances

There is a series of races run throughout the year called the Win & You’re In Breeders’ Cup Challenge, with each winner guaranteed a spot in the field of that race’s division. For example, the final “Win & You’re In” race winner in the Sprint division was Coil in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Thus, Coil is in the field regardless of his ranking in earnings with other nominees. Winners of these races are posted with their respective divisions here.

What: The Breeders’ Cup post position draw will be streamed online at on October 29th at 5:30 Central time.  Track conditions and bias trends are also available on the Breeders Cup main page. Friday is Ladies’ Day, as the last four BC races of the day are restricted to females.

The schedule of the races for both days:


Race Name Distance Grade Purse Post Time (Central)
Juvenile Sprint 6 Furlongs Two $500,000 3:06
Marathon 1 & ¾ Miles Two $500,000 3:48
Juvenile Fillies Turf 1 Mile One $1,000,000 4:28
Juvenile Fillies 1 1/16 Miles One $2,000,000 5:08
Filly & Mare Turf 1 ¼ Miles One $2,000,000 5:48
Ladies’ Classic 1 1/8 Miles One $2,000,000 6:30

Coverage of Friday’s racing will begin at approximately 3:00 PM and continue until 7:00 PM on NBC Sports.


Race Name Distance Grade Purse Post Time (Central)
Juvenile Turf 1 Mile 1 $1,000,000 1:50
Filly & Mare Sprint 7 Furlongs 1 $1,000,000 2:35
Dirt Mile 1 Mile 1 $1,000,000 3:14
Turf Sprint 6 ½ Furlongs 1 $1,000,000 3:57
Juvenile 1 1/16 Miles 1 $2,000,000 4:36
Turf 1 ½ Miles 1 $3,000,000 5:18
Sprint 6 Furlongs 1 $1,500,000 5:58
Mile 1 Mile 1 $2,000,000 6:40
Classic 1 ¼ Miles 1 $5,000,000 7:30

Coverage of Saturday’s racing will begin at approximately 2:30 on NBC Sports.  The Classic will be shown on NBC from 7:00-8:00 PM Central.

Where:  This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.  Their configuration is unique:

The oddity at Santa Anita is their turf course for the Turf Sprint. Their turf chute contains the only right hand turn in American racing, and provides another small challenge for unfamiliar horses when they cross the dirt coming down the stretch.  It is also a downhill course for most of the way, providing particular momentum for closers on the outside. This particular handicapper tends to avoid the rail unless the runner has good early speed.  It is often difficult for closers & stalkers to find a way through in full fields unless taken to the outside very early on in the race.  The dirt overall tends to favor speed. The lack of rain in the area contributes to this, but even when wet or muddy it just isn’t the most fair of surfaces.  Keep this in mind when handicapping!  Further information on Santa Anita can be found at their website

When:  Post times for each race are shown above in the schedule of Breeders’ Cup races, but keep an eye on races on Thursday to see if certain jockeys/trainers have come in from the East to get a test run over the track.  First post on Thursday is 3:00 PM Central.  Friday’s card begins at 1:15 PM, and Saturday’s at 12:05 PM.

Why: $1 Exactas, $.50 Trifectas, .10 Superfectas, and $.50 Pick Threes, Pick Fours and Pick Fives.  Small investments yield giant payoffs in the Breeders’ Cup!  The last time the Breeders’ Cup was held at Santa Anita (2009), average payoffs over the 14 races were:

Type of Bet Average Payoff
$1 Exacta $80.06
$1 Trifecta $704.49
$1 Superfecta $5,895.11
$1 Pick Three (All Three Legs BC Races) $1,473.71
$1 Pick Four (All Four Legs BC Races) $13,141.57

How:  Wagering on the Breeders’ Cup will begin when windows open Friday.  Advance wagering on Saturday’s races is also available starting at Noon Friday!  This year’s wagering menu:

For more information about Breeders’ Cup Weekend at Canterbury Park, visit

Don’t forget Canterbury College Alumni… join us November 1st for our Breeders’ Cup Seminar for tips, selections and more about the 2012 Cup from Santa Anita! Good luck to all!

This blog was written by Canterbury Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann. Angela Hermann just completed her second year as Canterbury’s Paddock Analyst after previously serving in a similar role at Lincoln Racecourse and Columbus Ag Park. She blogs about both local and National racing.