A Wagering Guide to the Breeders’ Cup®

By Darragh Farrelly October 12, 2016

Among the allure of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships®, an international showcase with the greatest horses from around the globe competing against one another, whether you’re a high roller looking to splash the cash or simply there for the experience, one aspect which remains consistent throughout is picking a winner from the two-day racing extravaganza.

At the Breeders’ Cup, the value for your money is simply unmatched. Given the level of horse competing, the chance of a long-shot being first past the post is heightened. Since its inception, the Breeders’ Cup has 96 favorites out of a possible 292 horses win, giving favorites a 33% strike rate. Who knows at that rate, you might just be collecting on a winning ticket with one of the outsiders!

Wagering 101 - How to Bet

Placing a bet is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Over the course of the two days racing, a few Benjamin’s will exchange hands, make no mistake about that. Nowadays, venues such as the Chandelier Room at Santa Anita Park have their own private wagering stations, so the experience of dealing with a teller is foregone. For those of us not fortunate enough to avail of such a luxury, we have listed some steps to make your wagering experience as painless as possible. 


  1. The race’s number (i.e., the first race of the day would be “race number one”).
  2. The type of bet you would like to make. Here you’ll use betting terminology like Win, Place, (as listed below), etc.
  3. The dollar amount of your wager.
  4. The number of the horse as it is referred to in your racing program. While it’s tempting to use a horse’s name, simply refer to it by its number.

For Example: “Race 3, $2 to win on #4”

If you’re looking for inspiration on picking a winning horse, that, fortunately, is to your own discretion. Whether it’s a lucky number, you like the look of a horse or its name, make sure you do it while having fun!

Types of Bets

Whether this is your first or tenth time to the Breeders’ Cup, the heart of the action will be based around the placing of bets for the forthcoming race.

“Will he like the ground? Is the horse too far off the pace coming into the home straight? I don’t know how to place a bet!”

These are just some of the questions that will be raised from every type of race-goer on November 4th and 5th at Santa Anita Park. If you’re one of the latter ones who’s going in blindly, fear not; we have you covered!

The most common bet placed is a Win. It’s quite simple; you collect if your horse wins the race. A Place is a punter hedging their bets: the horse they’ve selected must finish in 1st or 2nd place in order for them to collect. Similarly with a Show bet, though this bet covers 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Thereafter, the type of bet you can place can become more intricate, as listed below.


WIN – You collect if your horse wins.

PLACE – You collect if your horse wins or is 2nd.

SHOW – You collect if your horse wins or is 2nd or 3rd.

EXACTA – You collect if you select two horses in one race to finish 1st and 2nd in the exact order.

DAILY DOUBLE – You collect if you pick the horses to win each of two designated races.

TRIFECTA – You collect if you select three horses in one race to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in exact order.

SUPERFECTA – You collect if you select four horses in one race to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in exact order.

PICK 3 – You collect if you pick the horses to win each of three designated races.

PICK 6 – You collect if you pick the horses to finish 1st in each of six designated races.

BOX – Term to indicate covering your selections in all possible finish orders. Example: $2 Exacta Box numbers 3 & 8 horses.

Time Is Running Out!

With just three weeks to go until the Breeders’ Cup®, the start of this season-ending event is fast approaching. Regarded widely as the ultimate test of a thoroughbreds’ credentials, the Breeders’ Cup® is simply an unmissable event! If you haven’t booked your spot for Santa Anita Park just yet, strike while the iron is hot as we have a limited number of ticket packages still available. Coupled with our unique hospitality and VIP Fast Access, make this a truly unforgettable experience by booking your spot today.


Take Me to The 2016 Breeders’ Cup!