The Breeders’ Cup is the year-end championship event of horse racing and it will be held in Churchill Downs from November 2-3, 2018.
The two day affair has existed since 1982 and as in previous installments, this year’s edition promises plenty of exciting races as well as excellent betting opportunities. Let’s check them out.
2018 Breeders’ Cup Schedule
Below is the two day full schedule for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup. The juveniles take center stage on Friday with five races while the main event which is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, headlines day two of the event. Below is the full schedule of races for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup:
DAY 1: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2018
3:21 PM EDT Juvenile Turf Sprint ($1 million purse)
4:00 PM EDT Juvenile Fillies Turf ($1 million purse)
4:40 PM EDT Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies ($2 million purse)
5:22 PM EDT Juvenile Turf ($1 million purse)
6:05 PM EDT Sentient Jet Juvenile ($2 million purse)
DAY 2: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2018
12:00 PM EDT Filly & Mare Sprint ($1 million purse)
12:38 PM EDT Turf Sprint ($1 million purse)
1:16 PM EDT Dirt Mile ($1 million purse)
2:04 PM EDT Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf ($2 million purse)
2:46 PM EDT Twinspires Sprint ($2 million purse)
3:36 PM EDT Mile ($2 million purse)
4:16 PM EDT Longiness Distaff ($2 million purse)
4:56 PM EDT Longiness Turf ($4 million purse)
5:44 PM EDT Classic ($6 million purse)
As you can see, there’s a lot of prize money at stake this weekend at Churchill Downs. But while you can bet on all of the races, let us focus our attention on the big ones. For the purposes of this preview, let us take a look at the top three races of the event. So let’s go through them and check out which horses are worth your bets:
**Odds from Bovada as of 10/31/18
2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds
- Catholic Boy+650
- West Coast+700
- Mind Your Biscuits+1000
- Roaring Lion+1200
- Thunder Snow+1200
- Catalina Cruiser+1600
- Vino Rosso+4000
- Toast Of New York+5000
- Bolt D’Oro+5000
Accelerate is the betting favorite here as he is the steadiest horse in a field with plenty of question marks. He is a perfect 4-4 in Grade 1 starts in 2018 and his only loss this year was a neck to neck 2nd place finish to City of Light at the Oaklawn Handicap in Arkansas which happened to be Accelerate’s only start in 21 career races outside of California.
And then there is McKinzie, who was Baffert’s best derby bet before he got knocked off the picture with a leg injury. Justify came along and won the Triple Crown. But McKinzie made a comeback six weeks ago and won impressively in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. Starting at post position number 6 with 26-time winner Mike Smith on the saddle, McKinzie is the top challenger to the favorite.
If you’re a fan of trends, it’s worth knowing that John Sadler is 0-41 at the Breeders’ Cup heading to this weekend. Meanwhile, Bob Baffert has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2014, 2015 and 2016. With two prime contenders in this race, he could be winning his fourth. Look for West Coast to take the early lead, with McKinzie near the front early on. I like both horses but I’m going with McKinzie.
We’re picking McKinzie to win the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff Odds
- Monomoy Girl +150
- Abel Tasman +350
- Midnight Bisou +450
- Wow Cat +800
- Eskimo Kisses +1400
- Red Ruby +1400
- Blue Prize +1600
- Wonder Gadot +1600
- Moonshine Memories +2500
- Paradise Woods +2500
Monomoy Girl is the odds on favorite to win the Distaff. Technically, she has won 8 races in 10 starts but one of her losses comes with an asterisk because she crossed the line first but was disqualified and relegated to second by the stewards for interference. Her other loss came last November when she drifted in the stretch and lost by a neck. She has five wins this year including the Kentucky Oaks on the eve of the Derby here at Churchill Downs. With two wins and a second place finish at this track, no doubt Monomoy Girl is the horse to beat here.
Midnight Bisou was the beneficiary of Monomoy Girl’s disqualification at the Cotillon. She’s won five of eight races this year and was moved to Steve Asmussen’s barn after finishing third at the Oaks. Mike Smith rode her in her last outings but John Velasquez get to ride the saddle for this race.
Clearly the distaff isn’t a two-way race with the likes of Midnight Bisou around. I don’t really go with favorites but I really think Monomoy Girl is an absolute beast in this field. And yes, I like numbers too and Bob Baffert is 0-5 in this race.
We’re picking Monomoy Girl to win the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile Odds
- Polydream +400
- Recoletos +500
- Expert Eye +600
- Oscar Performance +650
- Benbatl +1000
- Yoshida +1100
- Lightning Spear +1200
- Lancaster Bomber +1200
- Gustav Klimt +1400
- Without Parole +1400
- Analyze It +1400
- Delta Prince +1600
- Catholic Boy +1800
- Lord Glitters +2000
- Heart to Heart +3300
- Voodoo Song +3300
- Hunt +4000
- Forge +4000
- Frostmourne +5500
- Om +6000
There are three Euros who are favored here including odds on favorite Polydream who will be taking on the boys here. Her trainer Freddie Heat steered Goldikova to three victories in the Mile. But Polydream is coming off a 7th place finish at the Prix de la Foret in Longchamp in her last outing. Recoletos is a favorite after winning the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp in his last start. Meanwhile, Expert Eye heads into this race finishing third behind Recoletos at Longchamp last September 9th.
Eight fillies have won the Miles including four Euros, the last of which was Goldikova in 2008. Meanwhile, the home team has won six out of the last seven installments of the mile. Oscar Performance has the shortest price among U.S. based runner. The Brian Lunch colt finished 9th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year and won the Woodbine Mile in his last start. Catapult has gotten better since leaving Chad Brown’s stable. He won the Grade 2 stakes at Del Mar but hasn’t raced since August although he’s been training for this.
I like Catapult’s mid-pack running style but John Sadler’s winless in the Breeders’ Cup. I think this is a Euro year and while Polydream may be the one, I’m going with Expert Eye because he’s had a solid summer and loves firm turf.
We’re picking Expert Eye to win the .2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile