By Kevin Martin
This Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at the Del Mar Racetrack in California is being billed as a two-horse race between last year’s winner, Arrogate, and Gun Runner, who dominated the East Coast’s older-horse division in 2017.
While all of the focus is on the two favorites, nine other runners are entered to run for the six-million-dollar purse. One of those nine, Collected, beat Arrogate the last time both horses ran in August. That race, the Pacific Classic, was run at Del Mar at 1 1/4 miles — this is the same track and distance as the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Collected has won eight of 11 career races and is a perfect seven-for-seven on fast and dry tracks. With little chance of rain Saturday at Del Mar, he should have his ideal track conditions. At 6-1 on the morning line, Collected offers value in the win pool and is my pick to win.
The $100 Bet
I am going to split my wagering money in half and put $50 to win on Collected. I will hedge slightly and play Collected with Arrogate in a $25 boxed exacta bet. Boxing an exacta means my two picks must finish first and second but it can be Arrogate beating Collected or the reverse. Since there are two possible outcomes, the cost of this bet is $50 ($25 x 2).
If you are interested in playing trifectas and superfectas, I think Gun Runner is a must to include, because a top-four finish is extremely likely (even though I am playing against him in my wagering). If you want to cast a wider net, a few long shots to consider are Gunnevera, Churchill, and War Decree. A winning trifecta or superfecta with a few long shots would be lucrative, but I am going to keep my bet simple with a win and exacta bet only.
How To Ask For The Bet?
When it comes to placing the wagers proposed here, it requires some knowledge of 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 wager on races legally online, which is a little less intimidating. Most racetracks have machines where you can place your bet on a touchscreen — another less intimidating option.)
The $50 win bet on Collected is easy. Place the bet by asking for the following:
“Del Mar race 12. $50 to win on the #11.” (The Breeders’ Cup Classic is the 12th race on the Del Mar schedule, and Collected is the number 11 horse in the program.)
On the $25 exacta bet, it will be boxed, so we are actually placing two bets when we ask for:
“Del Mar race 12. $25 exacta box with the #1 and #11” ($25 x 2 bets = $50)
The Breeders’ Cup is the 12th race on Saturday, capping a stellar two days of stakes races at Del Mar. Post time for the race is 5:35 local California time (8:35 ET).
Of course, it’s more fun to make your own picks. For a quick rundown of the entire field, check out the Breeders’ Cup Classic cheat sheet at Hello Race Fans.