09/23/2010 8:13PM

A Better Betting Cup


The Breeders' Cup today announced the race schedules and betting menus for Nov. 5 and 6 at Churchill Downs, and there's a lot for horseplayers to like, particularly when it comes to betting minimums, guaranteed pools and even field size.

As the charts below illustrate, trifectas, pick-3's and pick-4's will all be available in 50-cent minimums for the first time this year, and five pick-4 and pick-6 pools will be guaranteed at a total of $6 million. Also, all Breeders' Cup fields will accomodate up to 14 starters, whereas some races had been limited to 12 starters in the past:


The 50-cent minimums, a good idea in general, are particularly welcome on the Breeders' Cup, where the races are so full and contentious that many everyday horseplayers have felt priced out of their usual comfort zone in playing multirace and multihorse bets.

The other huge advantage of these minimums is that they will subject fewer payoffs to IRS withholding and reporting. So even if you want to play tris, pick-3's and pick-4's for more than 50 cents per combination, you'd be wise to buy multiple tickets at the lower minimums.

Perhaps the BC's endorsement of fractional betting will awaken the few major jurisdictions (primarily New York) that have yet to offer the lower-minimum bets. If they still stubbornly don't want to change the minimums on their own daily product, they will at least have to secure regulatory approval and reprogram their totes to accept Breeders' Cup bets at the same minimums as the rest of the country.


--I'll be in Toronto this weekend doing a couple of seminars: Saturday from 11 am to noon at Woodbine, on the third floor of the grandstand, and Sunday at the Greenwood Teletheatre from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

I'll talk about some stakes races but the best part of these gatherings is taking questions from the audience, so we'll talk about whatever you'd like.

Greenwood is hosting a live-bankroll handicapping tournament Sunday (click here for rules) with the top two finishers earning berths in the 2011 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

Lex87 More than 1 year ago
Dan I think they do allow $1 exacta boxes at the Breeders Cup. I went last time and I was able to. [url=http://www.liverystable.net]horseforsale[/url]
Tony More than 1 year ago
The good news is all the gambling stuff cited therein. The bad news is that the same old condescending "Ladies Day" card that basically diminishes half of the races, marginalizes the horses and insults the fans is still in effect. The worst news is that, unless they dump the entire Board, not only will this never change, no other track in big-time racing locations will even sniff a Breeders Cup outside of Churchill or Santa Anita. It doesn't matter what things need to be put in place on the wagering side; as long as the California-centric folks are in charge, the Breeders Cup won't ever be held in the place that deserves it, New York...or, for that matter, anywhere else not in California or Kentucky. Until they settle that mess, everything else is rearranging betting platforms on the Titanic.
knm More than 1 year ago
Mr. Crist, We attended your seminar last Saturday at Woodbine, and enjoyed it very much. It was enjoyable as well as informative. Thanks for coming.
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Two days of great racing are hopefully on their way. Unfortunate that they have to be associated with the name Breeders Cup Ltd. - it disgusts me to type the words. It seems the marketing gurus are again committed to the Ladies Day concept. Still feel the Distaff and F&M Turf would be more at home on the Saturday menu. Don't see the lower minimums increasing my handle but your advice to buy multiple lower value tickets for the same bet could prove a tremendous boon for players on a day with often large competitive fields. As an aside, I'm hoping the Dirt Mile field comes up loaded. The straight one turn mile contested by quality thoroughbreds is, bar none, my favorite race. Here's hoping.
John_L More than 1 year ago
Steve , After a two year hiatus (I have never bet a nickel) on kitty litter, I am really excited about the Breeders Cup this year. Only a return to Belmont Park and Tom Durkin could make it any better for me.
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Dan: BC has allowed for $1 bets going as far back as I know, so they should here. Joeywoge: You might lose SOME east coast players if the BC were at night, but those lost would be more than offset by handle from the Asia-Pacific region, which could be anywhere from $500 million-$1 BILLION or more (given how Asians love to bet), as well as on Friday those who can't play the BC right now because they are stuck at work. This year's Derby showed the potential for handle from Asia and Australia. Hong Kong took the Derby and some supporting races on that program from Churchill from 3:00-6:30 AM local time on a Sunday morning and still handled $3 Million, which while chump change to what I think could be the case shows the potential for what are supposed to be the "World Championships" if they are shown at a more reasonable hour (Saturday morning for Friday night races here and Sunday morning for Saturday night races here). Especially if the BC got more interest in horses coming from Japan, I suspect that can soar, along with the purses for the BC from handle in the Asia-Pacific region. And as for NBC getting the BC back, as late as two years ago I would have said never, but situations have changed dramatically since then, especially with NBC continuing to reach new all-time lows for overall ratings along with the Jay Leno-Conan o'Brien fiasco that caused some loyal fans of Conan to refuse to watch NBC at all. Especially with Saturday night TV ratings in the toilet, the BC can be a very good fit for NBC where it would not have even two years ago. It all depends on what Comcast (who is about to become majority owner of NBC) decides to do, and a nighttime BC that can at least give NBC a chance to bring in viewers who otherwise would not watch NBC at all might very well be a good fit, especially the way noted in my prior post (Friday telecast split between USA Network and NBC with the last hour ending prime time in the east/starting prime time in the west and the Saturday telecast beginning in the late afternoon and continuing through the evening on NBC).
edward More than 1 year ago
as a former announcer, i'd love to see durkin and denman, both has-beens, step down and hand the mike to keenelands kurt becker, who is calm and unbiased...the older durkin and denman get the louder and more obnoxious they are....
scottie More than 1 year ago
nothing i saw mentioned bringing down the two dollar bet on the Breeder's cup doubles. Dollar doubles would be a real shot in the arm and give the doubles betters more opportunities to hit , especially since the full fields afford big double payoffs.
Arthur P More than 1 year ago
I like how this forces NYRA's hand to accept the smaller base wagers through the tote. Now they will have no excuse. With NYRA being generally the last people to catch up to the industry in terms of innovation and advancement for our sport into the 21st century because of the blue bloods running the show. Simulcasting and internet wagering will never work right? My only concern with the *primetime BC is that it will now be running the biggest races of the day after midnight in europe and with many more of the entrants coming from europe than eastern asia this is something that must be accounted for. However, I am a strong proponent of this primetime shift as it should tremendously help our domestic handle. The biggest players in the foreign markets will obviously be still involved in the market as with these huge pools and field sizes it offers the best value for these *whales. I imagine them betting 20-35% of our total handle on this day so this must be accounted for. All we need now is to adjust the takeout to a tiered takeout percentage to allow for the smaller fields to be a betable product too. Does anyone know if the BC is allowing computer assisted wagering (*batch) into the pools? or if we are still having those rediculuous match wagers between two horses in races that have a 20% takeout?
ray More than 1 year ago
10 cent supers and 50 cent Tri-Fectas kill the pool money and are split to many ways