Saturday marks what many believe to be the biggest horse racing day of the year.
Sorry, Triple Crown trio.
Friday kicked off the two-day international thoroughbred racing competition known as The Breeders' Cup with five races (four of them Grade 1), but Saturday's action brings wall-to-wall excitement and some incredibly high stakes.
Starting with the 1 1/6 mile Juvenile Fillies race in the afternoon all the way to highly anticipated finale—the Breeders' Cup Classic—at night, there are nine races on Saturday. All of them are Grade 1, and all of them have a purse that is at least $1 million.
The Breeders' Cup Classic, in fact, has a purse ($5 million) bigger than the three Triple Crown races combined.
With a silly $19.5 million in total prize money on the line for the entire day, there will be loads of betting interest.
Let's take a look at your best options for each race.
Note: Check out BreedersCup.com for complete odds for every Breeders' Cup race.
|Saturday's Breeders' Cup Schedule and Best Bets|
|Race||Time (ET)||TV||My Best Bet||Odds|
|Juvenile Fillies||3:05 p.m.||NBC Sports||Concave||15-1|
|Filly & Mare Turf||3:43 p.m.||NBC Sports||Tiz Flirtatious||7-2|
|Filly & Mare Sprint||4:21 p.m.||NBC Sports||Groupie Doll||5-2|
|Geico Turf Sprint||5:05 p.m.||NBC Sports||Tightend Touchdown||12-1|
|Juvenile||5:43 p.m.||NBC Sports||We Miss Artie||8-1|
|Turf||6:22 p.m.||NBC Sports||Big Blue Kitten||6-1|
|Xpressbet Sprint||7:01 p.m.||NBC Sports||Fast Bullet||6-1|
|Mile||7:40 p.m.||NBC Sports||Bright Thought||20-1|
|Classic||8:35 p.m.||NBC||Game On Dude||8-5|
Xpressbet Sprint: Fast Bullet (6-1)
With a purse of $1.5 million on the line for a race that covers a mere six furlongs, you would be hard-pressed to find a more thrilling and exhilarating competition than this sprint.
In races like these, I like to stay away from the heavy favorites—anything can happen with such a small span to cover, so it's worth it to go with a slight underdog who will give you more bang for your buck.
Fast Bullet finished just sixth at the Breeders' Cup Sprint last year, and he is coming off a disappointing performance at the Grade 1 Forego in August, but there is no questioning this horse's immense talent.
Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, he has won four of six career races and looked extremely impressive his only other time (besides last year's Breeders' Cup) at Santa Anita.
If Fast Bullet is comfortable—a good bet with Joel Rosario, who has had a fantastic 2013 season, riding him—he will undoubtedly be close at the finish line.
As the No. 4 favorite in the field according to the odds, that's a bet worth taking.
Mile: Bright Thought (20-1)
This race is stacked. Wise Dan won the Breeders' Cup Mile last year, but Silver Max beat Wise Dan at Shadwell in October. Olympic Glory just won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes a couple of weeks ago. No Jet Lag and Obviously look strong, as well.
As such, Bright Thought is a bit of a long shot. But you're getting terrific odds for a horse that is 3-0 at Santa Anita, most recently setting a world record in a dominant win at the 1.5 mile Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes.
Many worry about rust, as that transcendent performance was all the way back in March. But I'm betting Jorge Gutierrez and Julien Leparoux have this horse in tip-top shape.
As long as that happens, Bright Thought has the talent to take care of the rest.
Classic: Game on Dude (8-5)
It may be boring, but in the most high-stakes race of the year, I'm going with the perennial favorite.
I just can't find a reason to pick against Game on Dude.
Trained by the legendary Bob Baffert, the six-year-old Gelding has been unstoppable this year, winning all five of his races (and six in a row overall). Of those, two have come at Santa Anita and three have been Grade 1 races.
He flopped in this race last year, finishing seventh behind several horses who are also in this year's field, but he has looked like a different horse ever since, turning in impressive speeds in almost all of his wins.
Look for him to continue his dominance.
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