The defining event of the horse racing season is just two weeks away. On November 4th and 5th, fourteen horses will exit the starting gates and make the 1 and ¼ mile run that we know as the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic. A total purse worth $6,000,000 will give every team something to shoot for while even more than that amount will exchange hands among betting fans around the world.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic will take place at Santa Anita Park in California. Santa Anita has been a popular stopping point for past Breeders’ Cups, with the park last playing host from 2012 through 2014. The last time Santa Anita hosted the Breeders’ Cup, it set two-day attendance records. All indications are that 2016 is going to be another great running in Breeders’ Cup history.
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TwinSpires.com is another top-notch betting site for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup online. Not only is TwinSpires licensed and legal, not only will they cover every race of the big weekend, but they also provide online access to the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Betting on the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic
In days past, betting on the Breeders’ Cup Classic could only be done in person at the track on race day. Those days are long gone now thanks to the internet and favorable gaming laws that make it completely legal to bet on horse racing online in most states.
The only thing you need to do is choose a licensed betting site (see above) and sign up for an account. You can deposit with a credit card, PayPal account or eCheck and then have your winnings sent straight to the bank after you’re all done. There is still plenty of time to bet on the Breeders’ Cup online, but it never hurts to get an early start as far as getting signed up and making your first deposit.
TwinSpires, BetAmerica and TVG are the three horse racing websites I would recommend first for betting on the Breeder’s Cup Classic online. All three are licensed, headquartered in the USA and safe for real money customers. Additionally, all three pay out at full track odds because all wagers taken online are pooled with wagers taken at the track. There is no difference in payout odds whether you bet online or in person.
Breeders’ Cup betting odds will be published at each racing betting site closer to the race. We should start seeing early, anticipatory lines published online as more runners are confirmed. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is sign up for an account, fund it and begin reading up on the contenders. The more preparation you do now, the easier it will be to make smart picks when the odds go live.
At the time of this writing, ten horses have been confirmed on the Breeders’ Cup website as likely contenders. Four of those made it in through the Challenge series and six others have entered via traditional means.
Perhaps most familiar entrant of all is California Chrome who is planning to make his second start at the Breeders’ Cup Classic. We last saw him compete in the event in 2014 to cap off his huge 2014 with a third place finish. Incredibly, California Chrome is still racing at the highest level two years after making his historic run at the 2014 Triple Crown (winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes).
California Chrome is undefeated through six races in 2016 and has a chance to make history as the only horse to win the Kentucky Derby and then come back two years later to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Frosted is another Challenge series winner who has won three races so far in 2016. Those include the Al Maktoum Challenge, Mohegan Sun Metropolitan and the Whitney in August. His latest outing at the Woodward last month resulted in a third place finish. The Metropolitan was his best performance of the year as he cruised to a 14-length victory back in June.
Hoppertunity has six lifetime wins and two this year. His most recent run at the Jockey Club Gold Cup was good for a first place finish earlier his month. Hoppertunity also had a qualify showing at the Dubai World Cup in March where he came in third place behind California Chrome.
Melatonin has won three out of his four races so far this year with his single non-win being a second place finish at Oaklawn in April. One thing in particular that stands out is Melatonin has won two races at Santa Anita so far this year. He seems comfortable with this track and that could portend well for his chances at the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Melatonin is lucky to be here; he battled a serious neurological disease back in 2014 and would sit out for a year and a half before coming back stronger than ever.
Arrogate started his racing career this year with a third place finish, but went on to win his next four straight. However, it is his performance at the Travers Stakes two months ago that put him on the map. His 1:59.36 run at Travers set a new Saratoga track record and instantly brought him to the attention of the horse racing world. After that impressive display of speed, trainer Bob Baffert jokingly called him the fastest horse in the world. Joke or not, that’s quite a compliment coming from Baffert.
The five-year-old Effinex has won two of six races this year and nine total lifetime wins. His best performances this year were wins at the Oaklawn Handicap in April and the Suburban Handicap in July. Effinex came close to winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup earlier this month but ultimately had to settle for a second place finish
Gun Runner has had a strong 2016 with two wins to start the year, a third place finish at the 2016 Kentucky Derby and one more win at the Matt Winn Stakes. Gun Runner has since placed 5th, 3rd and 2nd at the Haskell Invitational, Travers Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby in that order.
Another familiar name expected to run in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup is Nyquist. After winning the Kentucky Derby, the usual talk of a Triple Crown run started up but that was not to be. Nyquist took third at the Preakness Stakes and then withdrew from the Belmont Stakes to put an end to his Triple Crown exploits. Since then, Nyquist has logged a 4th place finish as the Haskell Invitational and a 6th place finish at the Pennsylvania Derby.
Shaman Ghost has two wins in four starts so far this year. He won the Brooklyn Invitational but then faltered at the Suburban Handicap. It was revealed later he was suffered from a lingering cough. After getting past that, Shaman Ghost went on to win the Woodward Stakes early last month.
Win the Space has a couple of wins in smaller races so far in his career, but has yet to come up with a huge win to date. In one of his better performances, Win the Space came in second behind Melatonin in the Gold Cup by 1 ½ lengths.
Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) is the largest live handicapping tournament in the United States this year with an expected prize pool of at least $1,000,000. It’s also one of the most expensive with a $10,000 buyin fee. This is truly a handicapping contest for the most dedicated of horseplayers.
The high price of admission does come with some benefits: last year’s winner took home $230,000 in addition to more than $90,000 in personal winnings. Second place ended up earning $1650,00, third place got $1120,00 and so on.
Of the $10,000 buyin fee, $7,500 of that is used as your personal handicapping bankroll throughout the event while $2,500 goes towards the general prize pool. Each participant will then use his or her own money to place bets on at least five different races on Friday and five different races on Saturday. The players who win the most money will also earn payouts from the general prize pool.
If last year’s payouts were impressive, the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge may take I even further. For the first time ever, the BCBC will also be open to online entries. That is, you can participate in the event from the comfort of home. If they manage to attract 400 participants in total, first place could exceed $300,000.
TwinSpires.com will provide online access to the 2016 BCBC for anyone with an account. If you’re interested, you can visit TwinSpires to sign up for an account and then register for the BCBC. Initial registration is free, but you will be required to pay the full $10,00 buyin online by October 31st to participate in the contest.
BCQualify.com is also hosting a few online satellites that you can use to win your way in to the main event at a fraction of the cost. You can register for an account at BC Qualify just like you would any other horse racing site and then play in smaller events for as little as $44. Win one of those and then you’ll go to a $400 main qualifier for which the top prize is entry to the 2016 BCBC.