2021 Breeders’ Cup Odds & Betting Guide

The Breeders’ Cup is an annual thoroughbred horse racing series consisting of over $30 million worth of stakes races held over two days in the fall.

The Breeders’ Cup host track changes annually to a different horse racing facility in the US. The Breeders’ Cup has been held more than half the time at either Santa Anita Park in California (ten times) or Churchill Downs in Kentucky (nine times).

The Breeders’ Cup Classic race presents Triple Crown winners with the opportunity to complete the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing. American Pharoah did it in 2015, winning the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Triple Crown winner Justify did not run in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic due to injury.

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup is set for Friday, Nov. 6, and Saturday, Nov. 7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Read on to find out about betting on the Breeders’ Cup in Virginia, including how to bet online, where to bet in-person, and how you can find up-to-date odds for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup.

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How to bet on the Breeders’ Cup

Virginia and neighboring states — including Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, and West Virginia — all offer legal online horse race wagering. That means you have options when it comes to betting on the Breeders’ Cup.

The most convenient way is to bet using a smartphone or computer wherever you have internet access inside the state with a horse betting app like TVG.

Just download the TVG app to your mobile device or access the website on your computer. Then, sign up for an account, deposit funds, and browse through the Breeders’ Cup betting choices until you find a bet you like.

Your other options include a visit to the Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent or one of four off-track betting facilities across the state-run by Colonial Downs.

Once they launch, Virginia sports betting operators may also take fixed-odds bets on Breeders’ Cup races. Sportsbooks don’t participate in the same pari-mutuel pools that TVG, racetracks, and OTBs do.

Check with the sportsbook to see how they handle horse race betting, if at all.

Breeders’ Cup odds

The fields for the 14 races in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup series are still being finalized but initial Breeders’ Cup betting odds have been released. The odds will also change when post position draws are conducted ahead of each of the races.

The following 14 stakes races comprise this year’s Breeders’ Cup schedule:

  • $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
  • $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
  • $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
  • $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
  • $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
  • $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
  • $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint
  • $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile
  • $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff
  • $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
  • $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
  • $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
  • $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf
  • $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic

Who are the favorites to win the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic?

In 2020 the Kentucky Derby was on Sept. 5 and the Preakness Stakes runs Oct. 3, making the races closer to the Breeders’ Cup than ever before. That means the horses that perform well and avoid injury at Churchill Downs and Pimlico should be in shape to run again and among the morning line favorites in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Here are the initial odds on the Breeders’ Cup Classic as provided by TVG.

PositionHorseJockeyTVG Odds
1Math WizardRicardo Santana Jr.30/1
2Seeking the SoulBrian Hernandez Jr.20/1
3OwendaleJavier Castellano15/1
4War of WillTyler Gaffalione20/1
5Yoshida (JPN)Mike Smith8/1
6ElateJose Ortiz6/1
7Higher PowerFlavien Prat6/1
8McKinzieJoel Rosario3/1
9Mongolian GroomAbel Cedillo12/1
10Vino RossoIrad Ortiz Jr.4/1
11Code of HonorJohn Velazquez4/1

Check back here for further updates on the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic favorites closer to the race start.

2021 Breeders’ Cup betting menu

Betting on the Breeders’ Cup is no different than betting on any horse race.

The process can be as simple as picking a horse to win a race, or as complicated as picking multiple combinations of the top horses in a race in exact finishing order.

The following list of basic and exotic horse bets are available for Breeders’ Cup races:

  • Win: Bet on a horse to win a Breeders’ Cup race and get paid at odds set once all the bets are in if your pick wins. Vino Rosso won the 2019 Breeders’ Cup and paid 4.60:1. The horse began the day at 4:1.
  • Place: Bet on a horse finish first or second in a Breeders’ Cup race and get paid at odds set once all the bets are in if your pick wins or finishes second. McKinzie was a 3:1 favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2019 and $2 “place” bets paid $4.80 when he finished second.
  • Show: Bet on a horse to finish first, second, or third, in a Breeders’ Cup race, and get paid at odds set once all the bets are in if your pick finishes in the top three. Higher Power finished third in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic and $2 “show” bets on the horse paid $6.
  • Exacta: Bet on two horses to finish first and second in exact finishing order in a Breeders’ Cup race. Big payouts await when you can pick the top two horses in the exact finishing order. The $1 exacta paid $23.80 in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic. You can box exactas placing an additional bet flipping the finishing order.
  • Trifecta: Bet on three horses to finish first, second, and third in exact finishing order in a Breeders’ Cup race. Even bigger payouts await when you can pick the top three horses in the exact finishing order. The $1 trifecta paid $197.00 in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic. You can box trifectas placing bets on all the combinations of the horses’ finishing order.
  • Superfecta: Bet on four horses to finish first, second, third, and fourth in exact finishing order in a Breeders’ Cup race. Some of the biggest paydays in horse racing await when you can pick the top four horses in the exact finishing order. The $1 superfecta paid $1,213.00 in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

You can box superfectas placing bets on all the combinations of the four horses’ finishing order, but boxing superfectas can be costly.

Wheel the bet

Exotic bets like the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta can be “keyed” or “wheeled,” which involves fixing the finishing position of your top horses in the bet and placing bets on combinations involving those specific horses and various others.

Breeders’ Cup 2019 Results

The 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic was run on Nov. 2, 2019, at Santa Anita Park in California.

$174,000,574 was bet on all the races in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup series, including $117,483,346 on Saturday when the Breeders’ Cup Classic was held.

Here’s a look at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic results:

FinishProgram #HorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Final Odds
110Vino RossoIrad Ortiz Jr.Todd Pletcher4-14.60
28McKinzieJoel RosarioBob Baffert3-12.90
37Higher PowerFlavien PratJohn Sadler6-19.80
46ElateJose OrtizWilliam Mott6-19.30
51Math WizardRicardo Santana Jr.Saffie Joseph Jr.30-139.10
62Seeking the SoulBrian Hernandez Jr.Dallas Stewart20-137.90
711Code of HonorJohn VelazquezClaude McGaughey III4-13.70
85YoshidaMike SmithWilliam Mott8-17.40
94War of WillTyler GaffalioneMark Casse20-116.00
103OwendaleJavier CastellanoBrad Cox15-114.50
DNF9Mongolian GroomAbel CedilloEnebish Ganbat12-115.60

The Road to the Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup is a world championship and the organization hosts a series of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races throughout the year offering the winners the chance to run in specific Breeders’ Cup races.

The lengthy list of Breeders’ Cup Challenge events includes races held from December through the following August at tracks across the globe that include:

  • San Isidro Racecourse
  • Kenilworth
  • Tokyo Racecourse
  • Hanshin Racecourse
  • Santa Anita
  • Belmont
  • Ascot
  • Churchill Downs
  • Hanshin Racecourse
  • Monmouth Park
  • Goodwood Racecourse
  • Saratoga
  • Del Mar
  • France Galop
  • York Racecourse

Breeders’ Cup history

Here’s a look at the five great moments in Breeders’ Cup history:

  • 1984: Wild Again came in at 31:1 to win the first-ever Breeders’ Cup Classic at the inaugural Breeders’ Cup series.
  • 2001: 2000 American Horse of the Year Tiznow won back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Classic races.
  • 2010: Goldikova became the first-ever three-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, having won it in 2008 and 2009.
  • 2015: After becoming the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown, American Pharoah entered the Breeders’ Cup Classic with the first-ever opportunity to complete the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing. American Pharoah went wire-to-wire in the Classic to make history.
  • 2016: After winning the Juvenile Fillies in 2012 and the Distaff in 2013, Beholder won the Distaff again to become only the second three-time winner at the Breeders’ Cup.

Breeders’ Cup Classic records

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is widely considered the World Championship race for three-year-old thoroughbreds.

The race is run on dirt at a distance of 1 1⁄4 miles. It is the highest-profile race outside of the Triple Crown and offers a purse larger than the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes combined.

Ghostzapper posted the fastest Breeders’ Cup Classic time in history running a 1:59:02 at Lone Star Park in 2004.

However, American Pharoah’s 2:00.07 set a track record at Keeneland in the 2015 Classic. Plus, American Pharoah holds the record for the largest winning margin in the race, winning that one by 6.5 lengths.

American Pharoah’s win also helped Bob Baffert set the record for most wins by a trainer. Baffert-trained horses won the Breeders’ Cup Classic three years in a row from 2014 (Bayern) through 2016 (Arrogate).

Virginia horse racing facilities

Colonial Downs is the only live horse racing facility in the state. The facility features live thoroughbred racing throughout the summer and standardbred harness racing in the fall. Plus, simulcast racing with pari-mutuel wagering and historical racing machines that resemble video slots.

Colonial Downs offers Breeders’ Cup betting at the track and the four off-track betting parlors it runs across Virginia, including:

  • Breakers Sports Grille in Henrico
  • Ponies & Pints in Richmond
  • Buckets Bar & Grill in Chesapeake
  • The Windmill OTB Sports Grill in Collinsville

Breeders' Cup FAQ

When is the 2020 Breeders' Cup?

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for Nov. 6-7, 2020 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.

It will be the 37th edition of the series with TV coverage provided by NBCSN on Friday and early Saturday, and by NBC in the late afternoon on Saturday.

This will be the second time Keeneland has hosted the Breeders’ Cup. The first time featured Triple Crown winner American Pharoah winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015.

How much does the Breeders' Cup Classic winner earn?

The Breeders’ Cup Classic boasts one of the richest purses in horse racing at $6 million.

In 2019, the top eight horses got paid, with the winner earning $3.3 million. Here’s a look at the payout schedule:

  • 1st: $3,300,000
  • 2nd: $1,020,000
  • 3rd: $540,000
  • 4th: $300,000
  • 5th: $180,000
  • 6-8th: $60,000

How many horses run in the Breeders' Cup Classic?

The Breeders’ Cup Classic field is limited to 14 horses. Seven or eight horses earn automatic berths through Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series qualifying races.

The remainder of the field is chosen by a panel of experts.

When is post time?

The Breeders’ Cup Classic boasts one of the richest purses in horse racing at $6 million.

In 2019, The Breeders’ Cup Classic ran on Nov. 2 in California. The posting time was 8:44 pm ET or 5:44 pm PT in California.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup Classic will go off in Kentucky in the Eastern time zone, so you can expect post time to be moved up.

Who was the fastest horse to win the Breeders' Cup?

American Pharoah won the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing in 2015 by winning the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

He also set the track record in the Classic at Keeneland posting a 2:00.07 and won by a record .5 lengths.

However, there is one horse that might be considered faster in the Classic. Ghostzapper holds the record for the fastest Breeders’ Cup Classic in history. He ran a 1:59:02 at Lone Star Park in 2004.