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Breeders' Cup Wagering Guide: The Daily Double

ARCADIA, CA - OCTOBER 20: A box holding betting cards is seen during the morning workout session before the 2008 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park on October 20, 2008 in Arcadia, California (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ARCADIA, CA - OCTOBER 20: A box holding betting cards is seen during the morning workout session before the 2008 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park on October 20, 2008 in Arcadia, California (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

I've been compiling Breeders' Cup payout data into an Excel file (Breeders' Cup Historical Payouts) for about the last four or five years. During that time I've tracked WPS, exactas, tris, supers, Pick 3s, 4s, and 6s, but I've never followed the Daily Double payouts.  When I noticed the absence of that data this year I was racking my brain to figure out how in the hell I could have missed those in the past.  Then I started to go back through the results charts and it become pretty clear why the omission was made - there hasn't been enough DD data (until recently) to make any substantive analysis.

The first time the Daily Double was offered at the Breeders' Cup was the 2002 event at Arlington Park.  That year the Cup offered a DD on the first two and last two Cup races of the day.  The next year, with the Cup at Santa Anita, the Breeders' Cup offered rolling Daily Doubles throughout the entire Breeders' Cup card.  However, from 2004 through 2007, Daily Doubles went back to their position at the beginning and end of the cards.  In 2008 and 2009, with the Cup back at Santa Anita, the rolling DDs returned and we were treated with more opportunities to bet the Double during those two events than all of the other Breeders' Cups combined.

I didn't start compiling and averaging payouts until 2006, which left me with only four years of Double data, of which three years only offered the early and late options.  Now that we finally have some beef behind the wager I've updated the file to include all Daily Double payouts.

This year the rolling Doubles remain a part of the entire Breeders' Cup card, and now that we've got a better sampling of data it's probably a good time to try and finally take a look at the historical payouts.

$2 Double Average:

 $  216.45

$2 Double Median:

 $  103.00

 

 

 

All data only includes races where the Double involved two Breeders' Cup races.  In some instances a Double was offered with a non-Breeders' Cup and a Breeders' Cup race.   Those payouts were specifically excluded.

Right off the back those are some Daily Double payouts that anyone should be able to get behind.  A fat $216 average with an exceptionally strong $103 median tells you all you need to know about betting the Double at the Breeders' Cup - there is value to be had.

One of the things I really like about the Double is that it's a bet that is easy to go after multiple times given the fact that you only have to go for two races.  What I mean by that is that if you wanted to take a big stab at a Double by going 3 x 2, you play that for the $2 minimum and the $12 total, or if you really think you got a shot at taking it down at a big price you could play it for $5 or $10.  Or if you love a 1x2, perhaps you play it for a $20 base and a $40 total.  If you were to hit the median payout five or ten times that's would be a nice bit of change in your pocket.

Let's take a quick look at some year-by-year Double payouts.

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Arlington

Santa Anita

Lone Star

Belmont

Churchill

Monmouth

Santa Anita

Santa Anita

10.40

830.40

19.60

45.60

137.80

112.40

133.00

170.00

150.60

48.00

390.40

76.00

191.80

83.00

84.00

181.80

323.00

55.60

29.80

93.00

218.00

19.40

35.20

293.20

41.00

84.20

259.40

1,169.20

44.20

370.00

697.40

303.80

157.20

49.60

1,915.60

85.00

30.40

224.60

74.20

139.20

43.80

114.40

93.60

23.20

212.00

92.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A note on the 2003 payouts at Santa Anita: the dead-head between Johar and High Chaparral in the Turf keyed off split payouts in two races.  Other years include a Ladies' Classic/Classic Double, a F&M Sprint/Sprint Double, etc. 

The Double payouts at Santa Anita in 2008 were a bit on the light side, historically speaking, but nothing to really turn your nose up at.  If you play the Double on a regular basis at your home track you know that a couple of favorites can usually mean a ten or fifteen dollar payout.  The lowest payout in 08 was just a tick under $20, but there were still four $100+ payouts, including the $1,169.20 return for the Dancing in Silks/Vale of York, Sprint/Juvenile Double.

With the introduction of Pick 3s and 4s, and the popularity of the Ultimate Pick Six, the old time Daily Double tends to get a bit over looked.  I tend to think that it's a great bet to get involved in if you are looking for some value and yet don't want to invest the funds that some of the more flashy wagers require.