November 4, 2010

Playing the Exotics at the Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup has given us even more opportunity to go after the big ticket cash. In recent years, bettors have become accustomed to being able to place bets in lower wagering increments. Unfortunately, much of these ‘under a dollar bets’ have not been an option at some of our sports' biggest days like the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup. Not so this year. The floodgates have opened and bettors can now bomb away at racing’s more exotic bets. Ten-cent superfectas, along with 50-cent trifectas, pick threes, and pick fours, are now available.

While dime supers were available at the last two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, minimums on trifectas, pick threes, and pick fours were previously $1. These new options allow bettors a greater chance to cover all the horses they like in the large Breeders’ Cup fields. With this in mind, let’s jump right in and take a look at some of my favorite exotic bets of the weekend.

Pick 3 - I fully expect either Gio Ponti or Goldikova to win the Mile getting my pick 3 bet off to a good start. I will then include a number of horses in the wide open Dirt Mile, with extra emphasis on Crown of Thorns and Vineyard Haven. The key to hitting this pick 3 will then rest in the final leg where I will single Al Khali in the Turf. He will not be one of the favorites, and if he wins, not only will I cash my bet, but it should ensure a solid payoff.

Pick 4 - I will look to the final four races of day 1, for a strong play in the pick 4. Evening Jewel, Awesome Feather, Midday, and Blind Luck will be my base horses, with Midday being the only single. I’ll have a variety of pick 4 tickets using my top picks the most, but I will also be sure to include Champagne D’oro, Sara Louise, Rightly So, and Gabby's Golden Gal in the Filly & Mare Sprint, Theyskens' Theory, Tell a Kelly, A Z Warrior, and Delightful Mary in the Juvenile Fillies, and Life at Ten, Havre de Grace, Acoma, and Acting Happy in the Ladies’ Classic. If Midday and at least one of my other top picks win, I will have a fighting chance at pick 4 glory.

Superfecta - Al Khali is my boy in the Turf, and with some juicy odds likely on him, I am looking forward to playing him in a variety of ways, including the superfecta. My superfecta bet will be Al Khali on top, with everyone but Telling boxed for the 2-3-4 positions. If all horses run, this bet will have 120 combinations, meaning a 10-cent wager will cost only $12. Not bad if I can get the winner home as no better than the fourth choice.

Trifecta - In the Breeders’ Cup Classic, I expect things to come down to the big 4 of Blame, Zenyatta, Quality Road, and Lookin at Lucky. The trifecta is an attractive play in here, because if I am right and they prove best, I can afford one of the four to have an off day and still hit the triple. No time to back down now, I like Blame to win, so I will key him over the other three favorites. The trifecta key would only cost $3 for a 50-cent wager. I might place more than 50-cents on this one.