ADVERTISEMENT

Homeracing

Ghosts of Breeders' Cup Classics past

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

October 22nd, 2014

I probably need an intervention.

I’ve picked the favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic in eight of the past 12 editions with just two wins to show from it (and in six of the past eight with just one win).

On the other hand, until the last two goose eggs (and four of the last five) picking favorites such as Medaglia d’Oro and Bernardini still netted across-the-board profits when they finished second, and the two winning favorites Zenyatta and Ghostzapper also paid enough to place & show to cover an across-the-board bet (a big reason my ROI is best for place, then win-place, the win).

The summary line looks like this: 15-3-3-0-4. All three of my winners came 2001-2009, and it’s pretty incredible to think the win ROI was a robust 68.8% considering the relative soft strike rate (33.3%) and that two of the three winning picks (Ghostzapper & Zenyatta) were favored.

In the 15 years I’ve handicapped the Breeders’ Cup World Championships seriously, I’ve picked eight favorites, including two of the three who actually won—the aforementioned Ghostzapper and Zenyatta with Saint Liam in 2005 the other winning favorite.

I’ve picked three foreign-based horses—Giant’s Causeway in 2000, Hold That Tiger in 2003, and Starcraft in 2005—and all lost, though the foreign-based Raven’s Pass did when in 2008 when I picked favored Curlin.

I don’t love going back to the chalkboard for this year’s Classic, and even though favorites haven’t been kind to me in recent years they’ve been kind enough over the long haul that I can’t pass up tabbing who I think is the best horse in the world right now. Still, if Shared Belief gets the job done he’ll do so as the lowest-priced since the recently deceased Cigar won at 7-to-10 in 1995 and the first favorite since Zenyatta in 2009.

The other thing worth pointing out is "top pick" doesn't really indicate how I bet the race, but the Breeders' Cup (especially the Classic) is one of those events (along with Triple Crown races such as the Kentucky Derby) that requires a singular pick. People want to know who will win, and explaining who your As and Bs are is a sure way to glaze a casual fan's eyes. As Shania Twain might sing, "OK, so you have a Pick 4 strategy; that don't impress me much."

For the record, though, I've gone BBCAACBBACBABX in the past 15 Classics. 

Year:

Pick:

finish:

Win

Place

Show

WPS

WP

WS

PS

winner:

odds:

2014

Shared Belief

                   

2013

Game On Dude

9th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Mucho Macho Man

4.00

2012

Game On Dude

7th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Fort Larned

9.40

2011

Havre de Grace

4th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Drosselmeyer

14.80

2010

Lookin At Lucky

4th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Blame

5.20

2009

Zenyatta

1st

$7.60

$5.60

$3.80

$17.00

$13.20

$11.40

$9.40

Zenyatta

2.80

2008

Curlin

4th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Raven's Pass

13.50

2007

Street Sense

4th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Curlin

4.40

2006

Bernardini

2nd

$0.00

$3.40

$3.00

$6.40

$3.40

$3.00

$6.40

Invasor

6.70

2005

Starcraft

7th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Saint Liam

2.40

2004

Ghostzapper

1st

$7.00

$4.00

$3.60

$14.60

$11.00

$10.60

$7.60

Ghostzapper

2.50

2003

Hold That Tiger

5th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Pleasantly Perfect

14.20

2002

Medaglia d'Oro

2nd

$0.00

$4.60

$3.80

$8.40

$4.60

$3.80

$8.40

Volponi

43.50

2001

Tiznow

1st

$15.80

$7.20

$5.60

$28.60

$23.00

$21.40

$12.80

Tiznow

6.90

2000

Giant's Causeway

2nd

$0.00

$7.80

$5.20

$13.00

$7.80

$5.20

$13.00

Tiznow

9.20

1999

Lemon Drop Kid

6th

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Cat Thief

19.60

 

italics = favorite

 

$30.40

$32.60

$25.00

$88.00

$63.00

$55.40

$57.60

 

10.61

   

ROI:

$1.01

$1.09

$0.83

$0.98

$1.05

$0.92

$0.96

   

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Loading...