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Breeders’ Cup betting – early Breeders’ Cup odds

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:49:05 AM

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Racebook - Big Brown odds lead the way in this year’s race

  • WHO: Big Brown
  • WHAT: Breeders’ Cup Classic
  • WHERE: Santa Anita Park
  • WHEN: Saturday, October 25, 2008

After dispatching a solid group of older turfers last weekend at Monmouth Park, Big Brown settled back into the quiet confines of the Aqueduct backstretch. He will remain there until a few days before his engagement in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park. Waiting there to challenge him will be an assortment of top equine talent from across the globe. Let’s take a moment to assess Big Brown’s Breeders’ Cup odds before analyzing the competition.

Big Brown has been perfect in his career, except for the Belmont debacle. He has won at five different tracks, on dirt and grass, at the Classic 1 ¼-mile distance, on the lead and from off the pace, against his elders as well as members of his own generation.

Big Brown has displayed great determination in his two most recent victories, and his top Beyer Speed Figure (109 in the Kentucky Derby) is close to what it will take to win the Classic. Also, he’ll have plenty of time (six weeks) to prepare for his final engagement.

There are some concerns, however. First, he’ll be flying to sunny Southern California for the first time, and he’ll be racing on an unfamiliar surface—Santa Anita’s new Pro-Ride synthetic surface.

Several of his competitors will have already demonstrated an affinity for the artificial stuff but, with Big Brown, we won’t know until race day. And this group will undoubtedly be the most accomplished and talented that he’s faced in his brief career, making Breeders’ Cup picks tougher to make.

Last year’s champ Curlin will be starting next Saturday in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont. Although his connections have been noncommittal about an appearance in the Classic due to the track’s artificial surface, they may ultimately succumb to the temptation of a face-off with Big Brown to nail down Horse-of-the-Year honors.

Then there’s the rejuvenated Commentator. Fresh off a 14-length tour de force in the Massachusetts Handicap, you might see some Breeders’ Cup lines for this seven-year-old Nick Zito trainee. He’s been dynamite going two turns, and owns this year’s top two Beyer Speed Figures (120 and 119), albeit on dirt.

It’s commonly held that horses that do well on grass often perform well on polytrack. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that top European grass horses such as Duke of Marmalade, Henrythenavigator, New Approach and Spirit One are all receiving serious consideration for the Classic.

Highly-regarded Japanese invader Casino Drive is slated to run in the Classic and will probably be given a prep in an allowance race at Santa Anita. The older horses that have been knocking heads out West this year, such as Albertus Maximus, Mast Track, Surf Cat, Tiago, Tres Borrachos and Well Armed, probably won’t garner much respect in Breeders’ Cup betting odds, but they’ll own a distinct home-court edge. Travers winner Colonel John could be a factor on the artificial stuff as well.

This year’s Breeder’s Cup Classic shapes up as a highly contentious affair. If you’re looking to make an early play on this event, check out the Futures/Props section at They’re currently offering Big Brown at odds of +250, and The Field at odds of -325.

Stay tuned with for all your Breeders’ Cup odds, lines and props, plus more tips on horse racing betting.

Pete Mitchell, Racebook Director, has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?



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