Louisville Magazine

Breeders Cup 2018

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32 BREEDERS' CUP #BC18 $ ◊ It's a good thing the Breeders' Cup is coming back to Churchill Downs this fall. Some of our local expert bet- tors are in deep need of cashing another big-ticket betting score — like the one they hit the last time the Breeders' Cup was here in 2011 — when Drosselmey- er wrapped up the day with a 14-1 odds triumph in the Breeders' Cup Classic. e friends, sitting together in a box on Breeders' Cup day, were thinking the Classic's 1¼ miles distance might be just perfect for distance-bred Dross- elmeyer — and it was. But these guys and gals took their betting beyond Drosselmeyer. ey played him in the clean-up spot in multi-race bets on races previous to his. And after they'd hit the lead-up races to be "live" in the finale, good old Drosselmeyer came rolling down the lane under the ancient Twin Spires to get the job done. ree of them in that grandstand box hit or shared Pick 3's that came in at $10,272, and one knocked out the Pick 4 at $93,628. Payday at the races! And if past performances are any indication, there'll be enough big Breeders' Cup money flying around Churchill Downs this fall that anyone might stand a reasonable chance to capture some and take it home. Maybe not $93K. But maybe. ALL THOSE NUMBERS. HOLY MOLY! As noted, great, big booming payoffs follow the Breeders' Cup, as it travels from one venue to another. e reasons are simple. e horses are very good, and the fields are full. Plenty of horses at all odds are capable of winning big races. LET THE HORSE PUT YOU IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT e really big payoffs usually come from the exotic multi-race bets, but there are simpler ways to win big in the Breeders' Cup. A private handicapping theory is the shorter the odds, the less you should bet. e longer the odds, the more you should bet. Seems obvious, except it just seems to be human nature to double down on favorites, and relegate long shots to the back of your pocket book. After all, the thinking goes. I don't have to bet much on a 30-1 shot to win some money. Should be the opposite. Say you would like to bet on Zenyat- ta, to root that champion mare home in the final race of her career in the Breed- ers' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in 2010. Go ahead. She was even money (1-1). Bet $10 to get back $20, and you have nothing to be embarrassed about cashing on a champion. When Zenyatta came up just a head short of Blame, you lost just $10. But if the horse you like is 30-1, don't bet $2 and consider yourself lucky it wins and you get back $62. Fire that $10 in there at 30-1 and get back $300. If you lose, you just lost $10 — same as on the even-money shot. at advice is especially good on a Breeders' Cup Day, when the tote board simmers and sizzles. e longer the odds, the more you should bet. It's the only way to win a car. LET 'EM ALL RUN FOR YOU A middle road. It seems like the ideal bets for many years at Churchill Downs have been the exactas, in which the Downs holds a high-average payoff. And especially in the Breeders' Cup. Exactas aren't hard to bet, and often pay off handsomely — especially when horses at modest odds seem inevitably followed home by long shots out of the blue. Bombers who come along late to sweep up place money behind a solid selection. So here's a tale: One Breeders' Cup week we stop in at the Irish Rover, a wood-booth kind of place, full of atmosphere, and find a covey of Irish "lads" who are in town accompanying Irish horses flown in for the Breeders' Cup. Only the horse they are talking about is not on of their own clover clippers. It's an Irish-bred horse trained in En- gland, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, one of the world's most illustrious horse owners. e horse was named Barathea, and all felt it would win the Breeders' Cup Mile that weekend. But we remembered Barathea. e year before he'd been in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita, ran wide and finished far up the track. No thanks, we said. Already lost on that one. "Yes," the story went, "but they've fixed him up and he won't be running wide this time, laddie." e thing was, the Irish fellows explained, the horse had been racing mostly at one-mile distances at British courses. Sometimes those have a mild right-hand turn or the mile races might even be run on a straight course with no turn at all. e left turn in Califor- nia, they said, had "confused the poor harse." So the Sheikh had had a practice turn (or "bend" as they called it) built that exactly duplicated the turf course turns at Churchill Downs. So Barathea had been practicing his Churchill left- hand turns. So what happened? Well, all we can say is the same thing everybody says when they win: Shouldda bet more. Barathea turned left beautifully at both bends and won easily. Paid $22.80 to win. Even better, the $2 exacta came in at $583. Caught that with an exacta "wheel." Which is your horse, with "All." Meaning all the other horses in the race. ey have a button for that at the betting windows. You don't worry about sorting them out. You've already got your horse. Just tack on all the rest of them. All running for you. Root for a long shot to come in second. GO FOR BIG PAYOFFS How to win big at the Breeders' Cup? Just turn left and take All. By Bill Doolittle

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