By Kevin Martin
California Chrome is one of the most popular horses in thoroughbred racing. He will be the heavy favorite and likely winner in this Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in California. A win will satisfy race fans but cash back on a win bet will be far from satisfying. He is expected to be even money or less to win, while we might root for California Chrome, we need to look elsewhere to make money on the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Longshot Effinex — morning line odds of 15 to 1 — is far from a superstar but he is a competitor who has run well in major stakes during a 26-race career that includes a second place finish behind American Pharoah in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. In races at the Classic distance of 1 1/4 miles, he has finished in the top three in seven of eight attempts. It is hard to imagine him in the winner’s circle on Saturday but a top three finish is well within reason. That is why I will use half my bankroll on Effinex to place (finish 2nd) and show (finish 3rd).
I will use the other half of my bankroll on an exacta and trifecta with California Chrome keyed to win on both tickets. I will play a straight exacta with California Chrome first and Effinex second. The trifecta bet will put California Chrome in the first position and three horses underneath. I will use Arrogate, Melatonin, and Effinex boxed in the second and third positions. All three have proven they can get the 1 1/4 distance. Arrogate is expected to be the second choice in the betting behind Chrome. Melatonin and Effinex are expected longshots in the race and will add value to my tickets should they crack the top three.
How to place the bet
When it comes to placing the wagers proposed here, it requires some knowledge in the language of betting on horse races. When placing a bet with a live teller at a racetrack or at an off-track betting facility, you need to use the track name, race number, type and amount of the bet, and the program number(s) for the horse(s) you are playing. (Of course, you can also make legal wagers on horse racing online, a less intimidating proposition than placing bets with a live teller.)
The first one is easy. The bet is placed as follows: “Santa Anita Park, Race 12, $25 to place and show on the 1.” [The BC Classic is the 12th race on Saturday and Effinex is #1 in the program.] Total cost of the bet is $50 since we are making two bets – $25 to place and $25 to show. If Effinex finishes second, the bet pays the place and show price. A third place finish, pays the show bet only.
The second bet is an exacta, a wager that requires picking the top two finishers. To place the bet, ask for: “Santa Anita Park, Race 12, $25 exacta 4 over 1.” California Chrome (4) must finish first and Effinex (1) second to cash this wager.
The final bet is the most complicated. The trifecta keys California Chrome in the win position with three horses boxed in the second and third positions: “Santa Anita Park, Race 12, $4 trifecta, 4 with 1, 6, 10 and 1, 6, 10.” The bet includes six combinations so at $4 the total bet is $24 ($4 x 6). Like the exacta, California Chrome (4) must win but Effinex (1), Melatonin (6), or Arrogate (10) must finish second or third. Any of those three finishing behind California Chrome equals a winning ticket.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic will headline a huge weekend of racing at Santa Anita Park in southern California. Postime for the 2016 Classic is 8:30 Eastern.
If you would like to read more about the Breeders’ Cup and learn how to wager on thoroughbred racing, check out Hello Race Fans.