The 2018 Breeders’ Cup returns to Churchill Downs for the first time since 2011 on November 2nd and 3rd with a lineup of 14 races spread across two days of high-class racing. Betting on the Breeders’ Cup is always heavy with this being one of the richest meets in the world and a fitting capstone to the thoroughbred flat racing season.
Best Breeders’ Cup Betting Sites
This year, the Breeders’ Cup has designated the first day of racing as “Future Stars Friday” consisting of five races involving two-year-old runners. The second day of racing will feature nine more races, including the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Today’s 2018 Breeders’ Cup preview will begin with an overview of this year’s schedule of events, compare the odds for two key races across three racing betting sites and then take a closer look at the Breeders’ Cup Classic favorites.
2018 Breeders’ Cup Schedule of Events
Day one of the Breeders’ Cup gets underway on Friday, 2 November as “Future Stars Friday” and will have five races as follows:
- Juvenile Turf Sprint: 3:21 PM EDT / 7:21 PM GMT
- Juvenile Fillies Turf: 4:00 PM EDT / 8:00 PM GMT
- Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies: 4:40 PM EDT / 8:40 PM GMT
- Juvenile Turf: 5:22 PM EDT / 9:22 PM GMT
- Sentient Jet Juvenile: 6:05 PM EDT / 10:05 PM GMT
The main event gets underway on Saturday, 3 November with nine major races, each with a purse ranging from $1 million to $6 million.
- Filly & Mare Sprint: 12:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM GMT
- Turf Sprint: 12:38 PM EDT / 4:38 PM GMT
- Dirt Mile: 1:16 PM EDT / 5:16 PM GMT
- Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf: 2:04 PM EDT / 6:04 PM GMT
- TwinSpires Sprint: 2:46 PM EDT / 6:46 PM GMT
- Breeders’ Cup Mile: 3:36 PM EDT / 7:36 PM GMT
- Longines Distaff: 4:16 PM EDT / 8:16 PM GMT
- Longines Turf: 4:56 PM EDT / 8:56 PM GMT
- Breeders’ Cup Classic: 5:44 PM EDT / 9:44 PM GMT
Breeders’ Cup Betting Odds
Post positions were determined on October 29th and the odds have since been updated to reflect that new information. Now, we have the latest odds on the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Turn straight from the best racing betting sites.
We’ll update these odds again after post positions have been determined.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds
|Mind Your Biscuits||11/1||10/1||12/1|
|Toast Of New York||100/1||66/1||66/1|
Breeders’ Cup Turf Odds
|Liam The Charmer||66/1||66/1||66/1|
|Quarteto De Cordas||100/1||100/1||100/1|
Breeders’ Cup Classic Top Picks
While the entire weekend will be full of watch-worthy races, all eyes will ultimately turn to the $6 million 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Early odds have identified Accelerate as the clear favourite at around 11/4, with McKinzie, Catholic Boy and West Coast bunched up not too far behind at odds in the 6/1 to 7/1 range. Moving down the list, the remaining contenders are all priced at 10/1 or higher.
Looking at Accelerate
- Trainer: John Sadler
- Last Race: 1st in the Awesome Again Stakes by 2 ½ lengths
Accelerate has garnered the lion’s share of the attention leading up to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic for all the right reasons. Just last month, Accelerate became the third horse to win all three of Southern California’s major races in a single year: the Santa Anita Handicap, Gold Cup at Santa Anita and the Pacific Classic
His win at the Grade 1 Pacific Classic by a record-breaking 12 ½ lengths to further establish him as the one to watch this year. By winning the Pacific Classic, which is a “win and you’re in” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Accelerate cemented his place in the Breeders’ Cup lineup.
In his final prep for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup, Accelerate beat out West Coast and Isotherm by 2 ½ lengths in the Grade 1 Awesome Against Stakes. Accelerate now comes in with five wins in six starts this year – his one flaw being a second-place finish at the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap.
Accelerate is in fine form with three straight dominant Grade 1 wins and he has shown versatility between his dominant win at the Pacific Classic and his comeback from trouble at the Awesome Again Stakes.
McKinzie in Contention
- Trainer: Bob Baffert
- Lat Race: 1st in the Pennsylvania Derby by 1 ¾ lengths
McKinzie started the year as Bob Baffert’s number one Triple Crown contender with a Grade 1 win under his belt and his lone second-place finish coming as a result of a disqualification. Then, McKinzie was sidelined for six months with a twisted hock and Bob Baffert’s Justify came along for Triple Crown glory.
Despite the long layoff, McKinzie came back in great form to win the Pennsylvania Derby last month and now heads to the Breeders’ Cup Classic as one of the betting favourites. When asked about McKinzie’s chances after so little action this year, Bob Baffert said this:
“At the start of the year, McKinzie was one of my best horses, until Justify came along. The Classic is a tall order for him because he’s only had one prep coming off a layoff [the Pennsylvania Derby], but McKinzie will move up off that race.”
Catholic Boy Rested and Ready
- Trainer: Jonathan Thomas
- Last Race: 1st in the Travers Stakes by 4 lengths
Catholic Boy has won three of his five 2018 starts, including three straight wins leading up to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup. In his last three, Catholic Boy finished first at the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge, first at the Grade 1 Belmont Derby and first at the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.
Catholic Boy hasn’t run since August, but then again, the last three Breeders’ Cup Classic winners also hadn’t run since August – and all three had their last run at Saratoga Springs, which is where Catholic Boy picked up his latest win.
Punters looking for someone overlooked may want to give Catholic Boy some thought. Trends are broken all the time in horse racing, but the fact that the last three winners hadn’t run since August shows time off isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Catholic Boy will come into this race healthy and rested.
West Coast Looking for a Comeback
- Trainer: Bob Baffert
- Last Race: 2nd in the Awesome Against Stakes
West Coast’s string of second-place finishes this year somewhat blemishes his record among such an elite group of runners in the Breeders’ Cup, but he still hasn’t finished worse than third over a 12-race career to date and ran an almost perfect 2017 that included first place finishes at the Travers Stakes, Pennsylvania Derby and a third-place finish at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
As far as his recent form goes, here’s how Bob Baffert put it recently:
“I shipped him four times, west to east and then to Dubai, and he ran a huge race every time. He’s been first or second in all but one start, never off the board, and won at five different tracks. All the while taking on – and beating – some of the best horses in the world. The good ones like him, they’re just different.”