The two-day Breeders’ Cup festival is one of the most prestigious races on the calendar and capstones the thoroughbred horse racing season every November. Each year, Breeders’ Cup betting handle from all sources easily exceeds $150 million to make this one of the most heavily bet-upon sporting events in the nation.

The Breeders’ Cup World Championship awards $35 million in purses across fourteen events in total, capped by the $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Currently branded as the Longines Classic, the main event is open to horses three or older and runs 1 ¼ miles.

Each year, the Breeders’ Cup brings together what is arguably the highest concentration of horse racing talent in the world. It is a fitting finale for the thoroughbred horse racing season each year, and with fourteen races packed into two days, presents no shortage of betting opportunities for fans.

Best Breeders’ Cup Betting Sites

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Betting on the 2020 Breeders’ Cup

  • When: Friday & Saturday, November 6th-7th, 2020
  • Where: Keeneland Race Course, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Watch it: NBC Sports

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup returns to Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky for the second time, following a wildly successful running there in 2015.

The last time Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup, horse racing fans got to see American Pharoah complete the sport’s first Grand Slam in winning the Classic following his Triple Crown victory.

While coronavirus concerns have derailed much of the 2020 horse racing season, the 2020 Breeders’ Cup plans to proceed as normal in November. The implications this has for handicapping the event are numerous, but there should be no disruptions in betting on the Breeders’ Cup online via licensed ADWs or in-person at OTBs barring new lockdown orders.

Where to Bet on the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Online

It is legal to bet on the Breeders’ Cup online in most states through licensed betting apps and websites that are run by reputable, well-known names in racing such as Churchill Downs and TVG among others.

Each of the following horse racing betting sites is legal, licensed and available to customers in most US states:

For most horse racing fans, the easiest way to watch and wager on the Breeders’ Cup is with one of the above providers. Each offers mobile betting apps for iOS and Android devices, free racing programs in most cases, live streaming offered at no additional fee and advanced handicapping tools.

States Where It is Legal to Bet on the Breeders’ Cup

The legality of online and off-track horse racing betting is decided at the state level, leaving a patchwork of laws across the country. Some states regulate online horse racing betting, others prohibit the activity and yet others have little to say on the matter one way or another.

As a result, not all betting sites are available in all states. Anyone interested in betting on the Breeders’ Cup online can select any state on the following map to see which mobile betting operators are available where.

Online horse racing betting is allowed in the blue states and prohibited in the red states:

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2020 Breeders’ Cup Betting Odds

As the Breeders’ Cup approaches and probable entrants earn their way into the race, the 2020 betting odds will begin to come into focus. Odds listed too far out in advance are speculative at best as they cannot take into account post positions or other information that will be gleaned as the season progresses.

The official morning line odds will be announced following the post position draw on Monday, November 2nd, 2020. Betting will open on the morning of Friday the 6th and from that point on, public money will push and pull the odds right up until each race’s post time.

Closer to race day, we will update this page with Breeders’ Cup betting odds and adjust them as the event draws nearer.

Where to Watch the Breeders’ Cup Online and on TV

NBC Sports holds broadcast rights to the Breeders’ Cup and will be showing it live this year. Additional details regarding broadcasting times and scheduling will be released closer to the race.

Alternatively, fans with an account at a licensed racing betting site may log in on the day of the race to watch the Breeders’ Cup live via desktop or mobile device. Most betting sites offer free live video to all verified accountholders.

How the Breeders’ Cup Works

The two-day Breeders’ Cup consists of 14 races in total, each open to a maximum of 14 runners.

Currently, the Breeders’ Cup hosts five races on Friday and nine on Saturday. The Friday races are all juvenile events that showcase two-year-old up-and-comers. The Saturday races are all open to horses three and up.

Friday Races

RacePurseDistance
   
Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2)$1 million5 ½ furlongs
Juvenile Turf (G1)$1 million1 mile
Juvenile Fillies (G1)$2 million1 1/16 miles
Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1)$1 million1 mile
Juvenile (G1)$2 million1 1/16 miles

Saturday Races

RacePurseDistance
   
Filly & Mare Sprint (G1)$1 million7 furlongs
Turf Sprint (G1)$1 million5 ½ furlongs
Dirt Mile (G1)$2 million1 mile
Filly & Mare Turf (G1)$2 million1 3/16 miles
Sprint (G1)$2 million6 furlongs
Mile (G1)$2 million1 mile
Distaff (G1)$2 million1 1/8 miles
Turf (G1)$6 million1 ½ miles
Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)$7 million1 ¼ miles

Qualification

Horses gain entry to Breeders’ Cup races through one of three paths:

  • Accumulating enough points in select races throughout the year
  • Winning a “win and you’re in” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race
  • Being invited by a panel of horse racing experts

Each Breeders’ Cup race is contested by up to seven horses selected by the experts and seven that have won their way in through points or by winning a Challenge Series race (see the full schedule here).

Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) is an annual, real money handicapping contest with an estimated prize pool of $1,000,000. Players can buy in directly for $10,000 or win their way in via feeder contests hosted at Horseplayers.com.

Of the $10,000 entry fee, $7,500 is used as the player’s bankroll and $2,500 goes to the prize pool.

How It Works

Once entered, the contestants use their $7,500 bankroll to bet on Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and Saturday. All races are open for action, but players may only place the following types of wagers:

  • Win
  • Place
  • Show
  • Exacta
  • Trifecta
  • Daily Double

After the Breeders’ Cup is complete, all contestants keep their winnings and are ranked according to who performed the best.

Where to Enter

Players can buy in and participate in-person at Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Monmouth Park or Santa Anita Park.

Players may also enter and play online at:

Prizes

The BCBC prize pool is determined by the number of entrants but is estimated to be worth something in the range of $1 million based on an expected 400 or so entries. If there are exactly 400 entrants, the following prizes will be paid:

  • 1st: $300,000
  • 2nd: $200,000
  • 3rd: $110,000
  • 4th: $75,000
  • 5th: $60,000
  • 7th: $50,000
  • 8th: $35,000
  • 9th: $30,000
  • 10th: $25,000
  • 11th: $20,000
  • 12th: $17,500
  • 13th: $15,000
  • 14th: $12,000
  • 15th: $10,000

Breeders’ Cup Future Wagers

The Breeders’ Cup introduced futures wagers for the first time in 2018 in conjunction with Churchill Downs to accept wagers well ahead of race day.

That year, Churchill Downs conducted two futures wagering pools for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and one pool each for the Longines Turf, Longines Distaff, Sentient Jet Juvenile and Juvenile Sire races.

In each pool, bettors could select from 23 total potential runners or an “all others” category to place wagers months in advance of the Breeders’ Cup. Although the runners were not even certain that far in advance, the futures pools provided bettors the potential to lock in their picks at much higher odds than on race day when more information was known.

Legal horse racing betting in the United States typically does not play well with futures, which are normally relegated to traditional sports betting. This is because in the US, nearly all horse racing betting is conducted in the parimutuel format in which all wagers are pooled together and payouts determined by the amount wagered on each type of bet.

The Breeders’ Cup has not offered futures wagers since then, but they do remain a possibility the next time the race returns to Churchill Downs.