08/22/2002 11:00PM

Cup to have head-to-head bets


Breeders' Cup will offer new head-to-head bets on all eight World Thoroughbred Championships races on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park, Breeders' Cup officials said Friday.

No details about the bets have been released, but the head-to-head wagers are expected to match one type or category of horse against a different type or category. For example, Breeders' Cup is expected to offer head-to-head bets in the Mile and Turf that will pit foreign-based horses against American-based horses. In the Classic, a head-to-head wager might pit 3-year-olds against older horses.

"We can have a lot of fun with the head-to-head bets, as far as which matchups we come up with," said Ken Kirchner, the vice president of product development for Breeders' Cup.

Head-to-head wagers are most commonly offered in Las Vegas as a type of novelty wager, although Churchill Downs experimented with a similar "odd-or-even" wager several years ago based on the winning horse's number. The wagers have not attracted significant amounts of handle in the past.

Every Breeders' Cup race will also offer win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets. Rolling picks threes will be offered throughout the day beginning with the first World Thoroughbred Championship race, the Distaff, which is scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

The Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 will start with the third World Thoroughbred Championship race, the Mile, and will also include the Sprint, Filly and Mare Turf, Juvenile, Turf, and Classic, in that order. Last year, the pick six had a guaranteed pool of $3 million; Kirchner said the pick six will have a multimillion-dollar guarantee this year, but that Breeders' Cup has not yet decided what amount.

Three daily doubles will be offered on the World Thoroughbred Championship races, linking the Distaff and Juvenile Fillies, the Turf and the Classic, and the Classic and the Steinlen, a stakes race that will follow the Classic.