By Kevin Martin
This year's Triple Crown winner, Justify, retired in the summer due to an injury, so he won't be among the 14 starters in this Saturday's Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. While the race might not have its big-name superstar, it's full of talented runners and plenty of gambling options. It'll be a great race to place a wager.
Two talented entries with a shot to win at a square price are Yoshida and Catholic Boy. Catholic Boy has won twice at the 1 1/4 mile distance of the Classic. After a series of high-class scores on the turf, Yoshida scored in his only career race on dirt when he won the Grade 1 Woodward in his most recent start. With odds that could hover around 10-1, they will offer value for their backers should either hit the wire first on Saturday.
Bob Baffert won't have his Triple Crown winner, but he has two starters, in West Coast and McKinzie, with the potential to give the trainer his fourth Breeders' Cup Classic win in the last five years. Baffert has been targeting the Classic since the summer, and he enters the race with a well-rested pair in peak form.
The $100 Breeders' Cup Classic Bet
I think either Yoshida and Catholic Boy could score at square odds, but I give a slight edge to Catholic Boy, since he has two wins at the Classic distance. I will use half of my $100 bankroll for a $50 win bet on his nose.
I'll use the remainder of the bankroll on a $2 trifecta box using Catholic Boy, Yoshida, West Coast, and McKinzie. The total cost on that bet will be $48 ($2 x 24 possible outcomes = $48). If any of my four selections finish first, second, and third in any order, the trifecta bet will be a winner.
The best case scenario for this $100 bet would be if Catholic Boy wins and the second and third positions are filled out by Yoshida and either West Coast or McKinzie.
How to Ask for the Bet
When it comes to placing the wagers proposed here, it requires some knowledge in 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. Another option is to bet the race online, which is legal in most states -- just do your research to ensure you are betting with a reputable company. Many of the online wagering sites have information about how to place bets if you are new to the game.
Let's start with the trifecta, it requires some precise language, so ask for it exactly like this:
"Churchill Downs race 11, $2 trifecta box, 3, 6, 7, 10" (The BC Classic is the 11th race at Churchill on Saturday, Catholic Boy, McKinzie, West Coast, and Yoshida are numbers 3, 6, 7, and 10 in the race program. The bet has a total of 24 possible outcomes, so for $2 the total cost of the bet is $48)
The win bet is easy, simply ask for:
"Churchill Downs race 11, $50 to win on the 3" (Catholic Boy is number 3 in the race program)
That's it and with $2 to spare! Good Luck!
Post time for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs is scheduled for 5:44 ET.
For more information all 14 expected starters, check out the Hello Race Fans 2018 Breeders' Cup Classic Cheat Sheet
Kevin Martin is the founder of the thoroughbred racing history site Colin's Ghost.
for more features.