Bodog Breeders’ Cup Betting Preview

Breeders' Cup betting

There are thoroughbred races, and then there’s the Breeders’ Cup. This year’s World Championships will be at Keeneland racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky, with five races this Friday and nine more on Saturday, capped off by the all-important $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic. With so much action taking place, Bodog is THE place for your Breeders’ Cup betting.

It’s hard to overstate just how big the Breeders’ Cup is. The best horses in the world will be competing for some of the largest purses on the circuit; a strong performance here is also vital towards winning one of the prestigious end-of-year Eclipse Awards.


As always, Bodog Sportsbook will be at the heart of the action. We’ve been a major player on the thoroughbred racing scene for decades – you can bet on the horses every day from hundreds of different tracks across the world at Bodog Racebook, where you’ll also find Breeders’ Cup betting odds waiting for you on the horse racing futures market.

The same odds can be found on the Horse Racing menu at Bodog Sportsbook. Friday’s slate of five races will focus on the 2-year-olds, with the $2-million Juvenile (1-1/16 miles, dirt, colts and geldings) as the centrepiece. Winning this race will put a horse in strong contention for next year’s Kentucky Derby, and at press time, Bodog Sportsbook has Cave Rock favoured over the field at –135, with Forte (+375) his closest rival.

The action picks up again Saturday with the 3-year-olds (and up), many of whom have already made a name for themselves on the Triple Crown Trail. Some races, like the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, will be for fillies and mares only; others will take place on Keeneland’s turf track instead of the dirt oval. Distances both long and short will be covered, but it all leads up to the most important race on the card, the $6-million Classic (1-1/4 miles, dirt).

Breeders’ Cup Betting Favourites

The leading contender for this year’s Classic will be hard to beat – no one’s done it yet. Here are the top five favourites at Bodog Sportsbook for Saturday’s big race (5:40 PM ET):

Flightline                     –225

Epicenter                     +600
Life Is Good                 +800
Taiba                           +1200
Olympiad                    +3300

Flightline is a Kentucky-bred bay trained by John W. Sadler and ridden by Flavien Prat, and he’s already considered one of the best dirt runners of all-time, despite not racing as a 2-year-old or competing at any of the Triple Crown events. Now four years old, the son of Tapit is a perfect 5-0 with Grade I victories at the 2021 Malibu Stakes, the 2022 Metropolitan, and the 2022 Pacific Classic, where Flightline’s 126 Beyer Speed Figure was the second-fastest ever recorded in any race.


All five of Flightline’s races were on a fast track, which he should find once again at Keeneland given the relatively good weather Lexington is enjoying this week. That’s bad news for the remaining eight horses in the field, although Epicenter (trained by Steve Asmussen, ridden by Joel Rosario) is coming off eight straight races on fast tracks where he finished first or second, including a victory at the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, and second at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

Speaking of the Kentucky Derby, surprise 2022 champion Rich Strike is also in Saturday’s Classic field as a +4000 long shot, as is Hot Rod Charlie (+2500), who finished fourth in last year’s Classic at Del Mar. Happy Saver is bringing up the rear at +6600.

Past Breeders’ Cup Winners

The Breeders’ Cup has been around since only 1984 – as has Breeders’ Cup betting, but the list of horses who have won at the World Championships is impressive. Even if you focus entirely on the Classic, the list includes Ferdinand (1987), Alysheba (1988), Sunday Silence (1989), A.P. Indy (1992), Cigar (1995), Skip Away (1997), Tiznow (2000 and 2001) and Curlin (2007).

Arguably the most impressive of the Classic winners was American Pharoah in 2015. After completing the Triple Crown, the Kentucky-bred stallion went to Keeneland and took down the Classic by 6 1/2 lengths, tying the record set by Volponi in 2002. It was the first time a Triple Crown winner went on to take the Classic; this feat has since been referred to as the Grand Slam of thoroughbred racing, and American Pharoah is still the only one to do it.

Memorable Breeders’ Cup Betting Moments

Flightline may prove to be the greatest Classic winner of them all, but there is hope for underdogs like Epicenter. Back in 1993, a French thoroughbred named Arcangues entered the race at Santa Anita Park, having only competed on turf back in Europe, and with Jerry Bailey taking over the reins at the last minute. Arcangues closed as a 133-to-1 long shot before overtaking the favoured Bertrando down the home stretch and pulling off the biggest upset in Breeders’ Cup betting history.

Arcangues may be one of this sport’s most inspiring stories, but history is on Flightline’s side this Saturday. Cigar had won seven straight Grade I races when he went off as the 3-to-5 favourite at the 1995 Classic; despite the muddy track at Belmont Park, Cigar won the race by 2-1/2 lengths and set the Classic record of 1:59.4, which has since been topped by Ghostzapper (1:59.2 in 2004).

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