News and STORIES

2020 Breeders' Cup Preview: Race Profile, Odds, and More

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Wednesday October 28, 2020

2020's edition of the Breeders' Cup World Championship is almost upon us. Ahead of the November 6 kickoff date, let's take a look at some of the exciting bits of news, betting odds, and other crucial information. This article is going to focus more on the Breeders' Cup Classic main event, especially as it pertains to odds and other pieces of betting information. With all that said, let's get into it, shall we?

What is The Breeders' Cup?

Organized and run by Breeders' Cup Limited, the full name of the event is the Breeders' Cup World Championship. By definition, it is an annual series of horse races for Grade I certified Thoroughbred horses.

Breeders' Cup Limited was formed in 1982 with the sole intent of creating a year-end championship horse-racing event that could attract the best horses both from the US and other parts of the world.

The Breeder's Cup, in a sense, owes its existence to another famous horse-racing event. At the Kentucky Derby Festival's awards luncheon in 1982, wealthy pet food heir John R. Gaines proposed the idea for the Breeders' Cup. Being a Thoroughbred breeder and owner himself, he sought to create a competition that would elevate the sport of horse-racing and rid it of its (at the time) unsavory image. Overcoming a barrage of initial criticism and skepticism from the racing community, the Breeder's Cup was initiated and has seen its stock soar ever since.

As mentioned earlier, Breeders' Cup Limited organizes and hosts the competition. The company and competition were formed at the same time and the company performs functions such as collating and awarding the prize money, overseeing the event's logistics, accepting and remunerating trainers, staff, and other personnel, and more.

2020 Breeders Cup Preview

This year's edition is shaping up to be one for the ages. It will be the 37th edition of the competition and will take place over two days, from November 6 to November 7, 2020. Keeneland racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky will host the two-day event that will, once again, bring together the best Thoroughbreds from America and the world.

The last and premier event in the American Thoroughbred racing calendar, it is going to host 14 races over the two days, out of which 13 will be among Grade 1 thoroughbreds. In total, a prize purse of around $31 million will be up for grabs at the event.

What Events, in Particular, Are Taking Place Over The Two Days?

In 2007, the organizers decided to expand the competition's schedule, meaning that it would, from then on, run from the selected Friday till the following Saturday.

This year, Future Stars Friday (or the first day of the event) on November 6 will host a crop of promising colts and fillies racing across both dirt and turf tracks. The purses for these will range between $1 million and $2 million.

Championship Saturday (on November 7 this year) is traditionally the competition's main event and will carry more than $22 million in prize money. Importantly, it will include the event's headliner, the Breeders' Cup Classic which, by itself, has a whopping $6m prize purse.

Speaking of The Breeders' Cup Classic...

This will be the close-out race of the weekend and will feature a 1 1/4-mile-long field with horses aged 3 years and older. The track is wide enough to field 14 competing horses.

Importantly, the last time that the Breeders' Cup was hosted at Keeneland, the legendary Thoroughbred, American Pharaoh, won the Classic and capped off a historic year where he also won the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness Stakes.

Breeders' Cup Betting Preview

Ahead of the event in November, a few strong favorites and contenders have already emerged.

Swiss Skydiver is chief among them. With a win earlier in the year at Preakness Stakes, she is competing both in the main event and the all-female Distaff. Other strong contenders for wins in their respective races include horses Tiz The Law and Authentic who, themselves, are 2020 Triple Crown Champions.

The newbie Improbable has also snuck into contention with a buzz-creating win at the G1 Awesome Again Stakes in September.

2020 Breeders' Cup Odds Highlights

Ahead of the event in about 10 days, bookmakers already have odds on the race. Here are some of the important odds for the Breeders' Cup Classic from TwinSpires' Racebook:

  • Mckinzie: with morning-line odds of 3-1 to win, he is the bookie's favorite - and for good reason. The Thoroughbred has a record of 8-6-0 from 18 races, with wins in events like the Pennsylvania Derby in 2018.
  • Vino Rosso and Code of Honor both have 4-1 morning-line odds of winning.
  • Elate and Higher Power are joint-third in the odds table, with 6-1 morning-line odds according to bookmakers.
  • Yoshida: The only foreign entry on this list, the Japanese Thoroughbred rounds off the top rankings with morning line odds of 8-1.