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Breeders' Cup Wagering Guide: The New Races

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Over the past three years the Breeders' Cup has introduced five new races to the event - the Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Filly Turf, Filly and Mare Sprint, Dirt Mile, Turf Sprint, and Marathon - all of which have produced some very nice payouts in their short existence. Below are the return for a $2 win bet for all of the new races over the last three years, along with a few observations.

Year

2007

2008

2009

JuvTurf

$24.20

$13.60

$6.80

JuvFilTurf

$24.20

$21.60

DirtMile

$9.40

$14.60

$44.60

F&M Sprint

$18.00

$7.60

$8.80

TurfSprint

$75.00

$8.80

Marathon

$26.80

$14.70

Average

$21.25

Median

$14.70

Overall, the Juvenile Turf races have produced the biggest payouts, including three winners at 10/1 or higher since 2007, which really should be that much of a surprise when you look at those fields during that time.  The juvenile turf races have been completely full and very, very evenly matched races. 

Generally speaking, turf sprints tend to wild, no-hold-barred affairs that have the ability to produce big-time payouts.  We've only had a chance to watch two Turf Sprints at the Breeders' Cup but I have a hunch we'll continue to see a mix of short priced winners and complete bombs.  The race moves from 6 1/2 to 5 furlongs at Churchill Downs.

As long as they keep running the Marathon on the main track I think we'll continue to see a race that's very difficult to predict.  There have been some rumblings about moving the Marathon to the turf, which I think would be a big mistake from the pari-mutuel side of things.  What makes the Marathon a tough bet right now is the fact that the American horses aren't bred to go that far and the Europeans aren't bred to run on dirt.  It's a hard race to handicap but that's what the Breeders' Cup is all about.

Let's take this one step further and check out the $2 Exacta payouts for all of the new races.

Year

2007

2008

2009

JuvTurf

$180.00

$47.30

$62.00

JuvFilTurf

$350.20

$152.40

DirtMile

$60.20

$218.60

$658.20

F&M Sprint

$374.80

$25.40

$15.40

TurfSprint

$786.20

$77.20

Marathon

$266.20

$120.20

Average

$226.29

Median

$152.40

 

The story of the new races only gets better when you take a look at the exacta payouts.  A $226 average and a $152 median are phenomenal return.  With the exception of the 2008 and 2009 F&M Sprint (when the top two spots were pretty chalky), an correct exacta bet in any of these races has produced excellent payouts.

The last chart to present is the total number of starters per year for each of the new races.  The juvenile turf races were limited to twelve starters the past three years.

Year

2007

2008

2009

JuvTurf

12

12

12

JuvFilTurf

12

12

DirtMile

8

12

10

F&M Sprint

10

13

9

TurfSprint

14

14

Marathon

8

10

Average

11.2

Median

12.0

 

As I mentioned the other day, there has been a lot of talk that some of the new races, specifically the juvenile turf events, are overkill.  But if the Breeders' Cup is attempting to generate large, competitive fields that produce extraordinary payouts, then they've hit the jackpot with these new race and especially with the new turf races.  Not one time since the introduction of the new juvenile races has the event gone to post without a full field.