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Homeracing

Fun with Breeders' Cup Favorites

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

October 28th, 2014

As much as I hate the cliché “wide open” moniker to describe any race or series of races (especially major events such as the Breeders’ Cup or Kentucky Derby), it does seem apt for this year’s World Championships on October 31-November 1 at Santa Anita Park—not because favorites can’t win but because their competition is similarly capable as well.

There are 13 Breeders’ Cup races this year, and the morning line favorites for these events range from 6-to-5 Goldencents in the Dirt Mile to a pair of 9-to-2 shots in No Nay Never for the Turf Sprint and Secret Circle for the Sprint. Interestingly, both Goldencents and Secret Circle are defending winners of their races as is champion Dank, the 5-to-2 morning line favorite for the Filly & Mare Turf.

Using morning line odds to estimate the percentage of win money each of the projected favorites will take gives us a sense of the probability of them winning. The chance that all 13 favorites will win is about 167-million-to-1, which is significantly greater than the 36-to-1 that none of them do.

And of course there’s all sorts of fun to be had in between:

OVER-UNDER (3):

over-under:

odds:

under 3

3-to-2

over 3

3-to-2

3

3-to-1

 

INDIVIDUAL NUMBERS:

winning faves:

Odds-to-1

0

30

1

7

2

4

3

3

4

4

5

8

6

20

7

60

8

250

9

1000

10

10000

11

100000

12

1000000

13

100000000

no favorites by SURFACE:

 

Surface:

odds-to-1

Dirt

6

Turf

3

Special prop:

You pick any four races. Even money that no favorite wins among those four.

Overall, favorites have won 33% of all Breeders’ Cup races, and that is the same percentage of winning favorites at Santa Anita Park during the two-day era (2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013).

This could be the first year since 2006 at Churchill Downs without an odds-on favorite (and thus the first year in the two-day format without one). Odds-on favorites have won 44.9% of Breeders’ Cup races. The most likely candidates to dip below even money this year are the aforementioned Goldencents in the Dirt Mile and Shared Belief (9-to-5 morning line) in the Classic.

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