The Profile of a Breeders' Cup Turf Winner

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Thursday, October 29, 2020

It's a grueling 1 ½ miles on the grass for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf.  Let's take a look at the last 10-years to build the Profile of a Breeders' Cup Turf winner. One of the fist things we noticed is that favorites tend to do well with eight of the last 10 finishing in the money. However, only two of the eight, the last two, ended up in the winners' circle. While you can probably fade the favorite at the top of the ticket, you can't knock'em out of exactas or trifectas.

Longer shots are the way to go for the win. Prior to the past two years, the average winner paid a hearty $20.90.

Another group of horses to keep close to the top of the ticket are the international invaders from Ireland and/or Britain. They have claimed the crown in seven of the last 10 Breeders' Cup Turf marathons. It's not surprising when you watch European races as closers appear to win more than their fair share.

Only HIGHLAND REEL in 2016 managed to lead from gate to wire in the last 10 years. DANGEROUS MIDGE ran second most of the way around the track and LITTLE MIKE raced third for the first mile. Other than that trio, the remaining seven Breeders' Cup Turf champs were no closer to fifth at the half-mile marker.

Off the pace might be the right running style for 1 ½ miles on the grass at Keeneland Racetrack as well. The Lexington, Kentucky course hosts the 2020 Breeders' Cup but doesn't run a lot at the distance/surface. Of the few there have been during the past year, almost two out of three winners stayed patient from the jump, much closer to the back of the pack than the front.

In the few efforts at 1 ½ miles on Kentucky turf, nearly all the winners had an inside draw. That stands in contrast to the last 10 to capture the Breeders' Cup Turf's checkered flag, seven left from gate seven and out.

To recap, when handicapping the Breeders' Cup Turf, horseplayers might want to pay special attention to:

·         Horses coming from Ireland and/or England

·         Post time odds of between 8 and 12 to 1

·         Closers

·         Playing the favorite for place or show money

·         An inside draw based on a limited Keeneland data set

We hope this helps to narrow down your selections and find a winning ticket come Breeders' Cup day.


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