Big Breeders' Cup Fields Mean Higher Payoffs in Exotics
by Greg Melikov - 10/22/2008
The fuller the fields, the larger the returns on exotic bets. Returns are significantly higher in Breeders' Cup races. The 25th edition will be no exception.
During the Oaktree at Santa Anita meeting from Sept. 24 through Oct. 18, the $2 exacta averaged $56.74, according to Brisnet.com. In the BC's first 21 years, the average return was $224. During the past seven years, payoffs jumped 20 ½ percent to average $270.
So far, $2 trifectas at Oaktree have averaged $535.67. BC trifectas for the first 21 years averaged $2,840. The past seven years, trifectas jumped 17 percent to average $3,323.
Superfectas at Oaktree are averaging $7,496.73. During the past seven BC programs, the average payoff: $34,838.
On Friday, two of the five all-female BC races will feature full fields, including the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint at seven furlongs on the synthetic Pro-Ride surface.
Indian Blessing, who captured last year's Juvenile Fillies on a sloppy Monmouth dirt track, heads the field that's limited to 14 distaffers. Top contenders include Zaftig, who defeated Indian Blessing in June in the one-mile Acorn at Belmont.
The $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf at a mile attracted the most pre-entries: 21. The field, limited to 12 going a mile, is wide open.
On Saturday, two of the nine races will have full fields while at least 12 will start in five contests. The $1 million Turf Sprint at 6 ½ furlongs drew the second highest pre-entries: 19. It's one of three new BC contests that will send 14 horses going 6 ½ furlongs.
The race is contested on Santa Anita's hillside grass course, which is unlike any other. For nearly a quarter-mile, the route is normal over the turf course -- then comes a dip, an incline and a right-handed bend heading to the expansive final turn to the main track crossover. Then down the stretch they come. The course is tricky and should benefit horses that have previously raced over it.
The $2 million Juvenile Turf at a mile, limited to 12, may be the widest open of the 14 BC races. Only Orthodox is familiar with the course, breaking his maiden by 1 ¼ lengths at the distance on Sept. 27.
The $2 million Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles attracted four colts with impressive pedigrees that will make the race.
Lion Heart sired two of them that finished off the board in the Grade 1 Norfolk on Sept. 28 to Street Hero. Midshipman was the runner-up to the son of Street Cry that won by three-quarters of a length at the distance in 1:42.
It's only fitting that the peace de resistance is the $5 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles. Amazingly, only two have raced over Pro-Ride.
Casino Drive, making his fourth start, scored by three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles in an Oct. 12 allowance race.
Curlin, defending champion and most assuredly the odds-on favorite, has worked well over the surface. On Monday, the son of Smart Strike breezed four furlongs in 49 3/5.