I love the Breeder’s Cup. The build up to the first weekend in November is overpowering. Why? Because It’s the Super Bowl of thoroughbred horse racing. The best horses in the world compete at a new race course every year in America and do you want to know what the beauty of it all is? Any horse can win. That’s been proven year after every year since the first Breeder’s Cup in 1984 at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Ca.

The payoffs at the Breeder’s Cup? They’re always outrageous. Big bucks galore. Who can forget Arcangues winning the Breeder’s Cup Classic in 1993 going off at odds of 133-1? Or that eye-popping $964 exacta in the 2011 Juvenile Turf? Or what about last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar? That exacta paid a whopping $2,060.

Over the years, there were plenty of Breeder’s Cup races that paid outrageous dividends. You should expect more of that in two weeks at Churchill Downs. How can you make a killing? Just look at the numbers.


Handicapping the world’s best thoroughbred horses at the Breeder’s Cup is daunting. All of the horses that enter Breeder’s Cup races all have a chance at winning. So here are a couple of tips to consider. This is the first of several handicapping analyses I’ll be sharing all the way up to Breeder’s Cup weekend.

Look at those numbers!”: No one else has shaped my handicapping more than Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett at Progressive Handicapping (www.proghandicap.com). The annual information they put out on all of the major tracks in America, meet after meet, is invaluable. I’ve made some big scores over the years thanks to Mazur and Mallett.

I know it’s tempting to bet against the favorites in each Breeder’s Cup race. I mean, we’re all in it to make money, right? My advice is to look at the winning and In-The-Money (ITM) percentages (placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd) for the top three favorites in each race. Today we’re looking at two of races on Friday, Nov. 2: The Juvenile Turf races.

Friday, Nov. 2, 2018: Juvenile races

Juvenile Turf, 1-mile: My advice in the Juvenile Turf for 2-year-old colts is to go with the European shippers. In the last 11 outings, according to Progressive Handicapping, a horse based in Europe won the Juvenile Turf six times, or 64%, while a horse based in the U.S. (KY, CA, NY, FL) won the Juvenile Turf only four times, or 36%.

How have the favorites fared in the last 11 outings? The first favorite has won only twice, or 18%, finished in the money 64% and filled out the superfecta (coming in 1st, 2nd 3rd or 4th) in 73% of the last 11 outings.  The second favorite has never won the Juvenile Turf race since it was first introduced. So bet on the second favorite to win in the Juvenile Turf at your own risk. The second favorite finished ITM in 27% and in the superfectas (finishing 1st, 2nd 3rd or 4th) 40% in the last 10 outings at 36% in the last 11 outings. The third favorite won the Juvenile Turf in three out of the last 11 editions (or 27%), ITM at 36% and in the superfectas at 55%.

Juvenile Fillies Turf, 1-mile: In the ladies juvenile turf for 2-year-old fillies, I recommend the opposite of the Juvenile Turf. The U.S. fillies have dominated this race from the beginning. In the last 10 outings, the Europeans have won only twice. The U.S. fillies won all of the other editions. There’s no rhyme or reason to this. But it’s also been the historical pattern in this particular race.

How have the favorites done in the last 10 outings? Not as well as the favorites in the juvenile turf. Bet the favorites in the juvenile fillies turf at your own risk, but definitely use them in your exotic bets (exactas, trifectas and superfectas).

The first favorite has won once, or 10%, finished ITM and in the superfectas in 40% of the last 10 editions. The second favorite also captured the Juvenile Fillies Turf race once. The second favorite finished ITM at a 30% clip and filled out the superfecta at 50% clip in the last 10 editions. The third favorite also won the race once but finished ITM in 50% and the superfectas in 60% in the last 10 editions.


Things to consider when betting on the juvenile turf races. If you’re playing the percentages and playing on past historical patterns:

  • Bet on the European horses in the Juvenile Turf, but the American horses in the Juvenile Fillies;
  • The first three favorites in the Juvenile Turf are much more poised to win according to historical patterns; the first three favorites in the Juvenile Fillies should be played in your exotic bets.

Tomorrow I’ll cover the final three races on Juvenile Friday: The Juvenile, the Juvenile Fillies and the inaugural Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Photo By Lisa Andres from Riverside, USA (IMG_0520.JPG) [CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]