Updated on 09/16/2011 7:42AM

Bet October's races today


The Breeders' Cup races won't be run until Oct. 26, at Arlington Park outside Chicago. But bets will be taken on three of them, the , beginning Thursday, in the first parimutuel future bet pool on a Breeders' Cup event. The betting will open at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday and close four days later, on Sunday, at 7 p.m.

The future bets have been designed along nearly identical lines to the Kentucky Derby future wager, which has been offered by Churchill Downs for the past four years. Churchill officials credit that wager, which drew $1.5 million in bets this year, with spurring interest in the Derby earlier than usual and giving fans an additional wagering option - while at the same time providing Churchill with a little extra revenue.

For players of the Derby future bet, the format of the Breeders' Cup pools will be familiar. All three pools for the races will offer single bets on 23 horses, with a 24th selection composed of all other horses - the "field" bet. Bets will only be to win, and no refunds will be given. Takeout will be 17 percent.

Oddly enough, Churchill Downs and its four other tracks - including Arlington Park, which is acting as the hub for the wager - may not take bets on the Breeders' Cup futures. As of Monday afternoon, discussions between Churchill and Breeders' Cup over a simulcast agreement were still proceeding, with nothing yet in place.

"It is certainly their intention to take it," said Ken Kirchner, Breeders' Cup senior vice president of product development. "We're just hung up on a few things."

Churchill officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

On Monday, the five-person committee that sorted through hundreds of horses over the past two weeks to narrow the fields down to 23 released its selections for the three pools being offered this weekend. Among the eight Breeders' Cup races, Breeders' Cup officials decided to offer betting on the Classic, Distaff, and Sprint first because horses in those divisions are most easily sorted out early in the summer, the officials said.

Pools for the three Breeders' Cup grass races - the Turf, the Mile, and the Filly and Mare Turf - will be offered Aug. 9-11, and pools for the two 2-year-old races - the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies - will be offered Sept. 20-22, just five weeks before the races. A second pool for the Classic, Distaff, and Sprint will be offered Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

Street Cry, winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap two weekends ago following a long layoff after his Dubai World Cup win, has been made the 6-1 morning-line favorite for the Classic, while Kona Gold, the 8-year-old California-based sprinter, has been made the 6-1 favorite for the Sprint. In the Distaff, Azeri, winner of three Grade 1 races in a row this year, is the 5-1 morning-line favorite.

The morning line was set by Mike Watchmaker of Daily Racing Form and a member of the selection committee. Other members of the committee are Kirchner; Nigel Gray, senior handicapper of the British Horseracing Board; Frank Gabriel, the director of racing at Arlington; and Pamela Blatz-Murff, senior vice president of operations at Breeders' Cup.

Bettors should remember that some horses are not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and their owners will have to fork over hundred-thousand-dollar entry fees to run. Among the individual betting interests for the Classic who are not nominated are Lido Palace (12-1), whose owners would need to pay $800,000 to start; Europeans Grandera (15-1) and High Chapparal (15-1), whose owners would each need to pay $360,000; and two 3-year-old longshots, Magic Weisner (50-1) and Sunday Break (50-1), whose owners would also need to pay $360,000 each. In the Distaff, the owners of Miss Linda (20-1) would need to pay $60,000.

If the Churchill negotiations are successful, the bet this week is expected to be offered at nearly all simulcasting sites in the U.S., with one notable exception: New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation.

"I'm sorry for the fans in New York City, but they will be able to go to Belmont Park [on Long Island] to make the bets, and we are encouraging them to do so," Kirchner said. New York residents could also make bets through phone or Internet accounts.

Ray Casey, the president of New York City OTB, said on Monday afternoon that "time ran out for us to put something together that we felt was equitable to all parties involved." Casey said the OTB corporation, which has a history of balking during simulcast negotiations, would try to reach an agreement to allow the OTB's to take bets on the other future pools.

DRF Online subscribers can access free Future Bet past performances via the DRF.com of Daily Racing Form.