Equinometry 101

Breeders' Cup Post Position Draw Ponderings

October 28, 2014 12:29pm

Final entries and post positions were drawn yesterday for the 2014 Breeders' Cup.  In total 174 horses (164 in the main body of the races and 10 also eligibles) were entered in the 13 Breeders' Cup races.  The average field size (excluding also eligibles) is a robust 12.6.  No race has less than 10 entrants (Dirt Mile and Filly and Mare Sprint) and 6 races are filled beyond capacity with 14 runners and at least 1 also eligible (Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Fillies Turf, Turf Sprint, Sprint, Mile and Classic).


The supporting races on both days also drew large fields with Friday's non-Breeders' Cup races averaging 11.2 horses and Saturday's non-Breeders' Cup races averaging 11.3 horses.  What this amounts to is intra-race and multi-race wagers with a massive number of combination and a much higher likelihood of producing four, five or even six figure payouts.


Exacta - Trifecta - Superfecta Combinations


9 Horse Field: 72 - 504 - 3,024

10 Horse Field: 90 - 720 - 5,040

11 Horse Field: 110 - 990 - 7,920

12 Horse Field: 132 - 1,320 - 11,880
13 Horse Field: 156 - 1,716 - 17,160

14 Horse Field: 182 - 2,184 - 24,024


Friday's Multi-race Wagers


Pick 5 (Races 1 - 5): 12 x 9 x 9 x 12 x 12  = 139,968 combinations

Pick 4 (Races 3 - 6): 9 x 12 x 12 x 14 = 18,144 combinations

Pick 6 (Races 4 - 9): 12 x 12 x 14 x 10 x 14 x 11 = 3,104,640 combinations

Pick 4 (Races 6 - 9): 14 x 10 x 14 x 11 = 21,560 combinations

Pick 4 (Races 7 - 10): 10 x 14 x 11 x 13 = 20,020 combinations


Saturday's Multi-race Wagers


Pick 5 (Races 1 - 5): 12 x 8 x 14 x 12 x 11 = 177,408 combinations

Pick 4 (Races 4 - 7): 12 x 11 x 10 x 14 = 18,480 combinations

Pick 6 (Races 7 - 12): 14 x 13 x 13 x 14 x 14 x 14 = 6,492,304 combinations

Pick 4 (Races 9 - 12): 13 x 14 x 14 x 14 = 35,672 combinations


In addition to these multi-race pools there are rolling Daily Doubles and Pick 3's and a Super High 5 on the Classic.  Unless you have very deep pockets there is no way to bet into every pool or even half the pools so the key to a profitable Breeders' Cup is to focus on one or two spots each day and to take smaller shots in the other pools or pass completely if you have no strong opinion.


Post Position Winners and Losers


The benefits of large fields are larger wagering pools and higher payouts.  The downside is a few horses are going to draw post positions that will increase their chance of winning or decrease their chance of winning.  Following are the biggest winners and losers (in my opinion) from the post position draw.


Breeders' Cup Classic


Winner: California Chrome runs best when outside of horses.  Drawing post position 13 would be detrimental to most horses but not for him.  Although I don't think he has a very good chance of winning this post will certainly help him.  With the long run to the first turn he should be able to secure a good stalking position without losing too much ground.  If you liked him going into the race you should like him even more.


Loser: Moreno needs the lead and so does Bayern.  Moreno drew inside of Bayern and will now be forced to go early.  He doesn't look like a 10 furlong horse and now with the bad draw has almost no chance.


Breeders' Cup Mile


Winner: Obviously has the ability to go gate to wire in graded stakes at one mile.  With the other speed (Tourist) drawing very wide his post position 2 draw should give him the best chance of winning.  Can he take the Breeders' Cup Mile field all the way?  If he can rate a little better early the answer is yes.  He'll have no excuse with a rail trip on the lead so if he's good enough watch out.


Loser: Tourist drew post position 13 in the Mile and now his jockey will have to decide whether to send hard and try to clear the field or take back.  If he goes with the former he probably won't have much left in the tank late.  My guess is he takes back and tries to win from off the pace but that's not how he does his best running.


Surprising Entry


With 13 races there was bound to a be at least one surprise entry.  For me that is Chicquita in the Breeders' Cup Turf.  She is trained by Aidan O'Brien who also entered defending champion Magician.  While Magician may have lost a step he still looks like a logical contender on paper.  So why enter Chicquita?  She would have been one of the favorites in the Filly and Mare Turf against her own sex.  This leads me to believe that O'Brien thinks Magician is vulnerable and the filly has a better chance here than against the girls.


It's also a bit of a surprise that Chicquita was entered at all considering she ran poorly in Arc De Triomphe and lost again two weeks later on British Champions day.  This will be her third start in four weeks in three different countries.  If she wins or Magician wins I won't because I'll be tossing both. 



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About The Blog

 Lenny Moon is the founder of Equinometry.com where he shares his thoughts on handicapping and betting horses and handicapping contests and WagerLogged.com a site designed to take the hassle out of one of the most important parts of being a profitable horseplayer: record keeping. You can also occasionally find him in the grandstand of Laurel Park and more often in a handicapping contest on Derby Wars.  He can also be found on Twitter @Equinometry.

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