How to Bet the Breeders’ Cup Mile

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• Horse racing

Breeders’ Cup Mile

The FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile is a feature race in the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships series of Grade 1 races. This high-profile event is a highlight of the horse racing calendar and takes place every November.

As its name suggests, the Breeders’ Cup Mile is run over a distance of one mile. While other races in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships have been added and taken out through the years, the Breeders’ Cup Mile has been run every year since the inception of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 1984.

Breeders' Cup Mile History 

The Breeders' Cup World Championship was the brainchild of pet-food heir John R. Gaines. He first shared his idea for the series of races, which included the Breeders Cup Mile, at a Kentucky Derby luncheon. 

His idea was not a popular one initially, but after a very successful first event in 1984, that changed. Nowadays, the Breeders' Cup World Championship is one of the biggest horse racing events in the world. Every race in the series is a headline event, with the biggest being the Breeders' Cup Classic. 

In the first running of the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1984, Royal Heroine won the race, and the jockey was Fernando Toro. The winning time was 1:32.60. The slowest time for Breeders' Cup turf mile winners was 1:43.60 when Ridgewood Pearl won, and that is the only year where the time was over 1:40. 

In the first Breeders' Cup Mile, the purse was $1 million. It was raised to $1.5 million in 2003 and, in 2007, was increased again to $2 million, which is what the current purse is. 

Notable Results

There have been four horses that have won the Breeders' Cup Mile twice, and Goldikova is the only horse that has won the race three times. Four of the five multiple winners of the race won in consecutive years, with Da Hoss the only one that did not do that, winning in 1996 and then in 1998. 

One of the biggest upsets in the history of the Breeders' Cup World Championship came in the 2011 running of the Breeders' Cup Mile. Goldikova was the big-time favorite at 13/10 and was gunning for her fourth straight Breeders' Cup Mile win. 

Court Vision was also a runner, but not expected to win, being offered at odds of 64.8/1. However, after Goldikova had the lead, Court Vision and Turallure pulled ahead down the stretch, and in one of the closest races ever for the Breeders' Cup Mile, Court Vision pulled off the shocking upset beating Turallure by a nose. 

Breeders' Cup Mile Records 

Here are some of the records for the turf Mile Breeders' Cup: 

Fastest Time1:34.55 (World Approval in 2017)
Most WinsGoldikova (2008, 2009, 2010)
Most Jockey Wins3 (Olivier Peslierin 2008, 2009 and 2010; and John R. Velazquez in 1998, 2012 and 2017)
Most Trainer Wins3 (Freddy Head in 2008, 2009 and 2010)
Most Owner Wins6 (Flaxman Holdings/Niarchos family in 1987, 1988, 1997, 2002, 2003 and 2014)
Breeders' Cup Mile Records

2020 Breeders' Cup Mile 

The 2020 Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland in Kentucky by the Irish horse Order of Australia with a time of 1:33.73, and the jockey was Pierre-Charles Boudot. Circus Maximus came in second place, and Lope Y Fernandez came in third place. The complete finishing order of the runners in the 2020 Breeders' Cup Mile was as follows:

1Order of Australia
2Circus Maximus
3Lope Y Fernandez
4Ivar
5Uni
6Halladay
7Kameko
8Factor This
9Siskin
10Raging Bull
11Digital Age
12Casa Creed
13March to the Arch
14Safe Voyage
2020 Breeders' Cup Finishing Positions

Order of Australia won the race at odds of 40/1, which gave horse racing fans another big-priced surprise to remember. The 12/1 shot Circus Maximus was beaten by a neck to finish in second, and Lope Y Fernandez, also priced at 12/1, was 3/4 of a length behind the winner.

What is harder to find are bonuses and promotions specific to this race. The FanDuel Mile is a big race, but so are the other races in the World Championships. You are therefore more likely to find offers for the Championships as a whole than for an individual event.

Bet Types

The most popular bets to make on the Breeders' Cup Mile are as follows: 

Win

Here you simply select one horse that you think will win the race. If your pick wins, so does your bet.

Place

Pick a horse to place and your bet will win if it finished in first or second place. Two chances for your bet to win means that you'll get lower odds than for a straightforward win bet.

Show

This is much like a Place bet, but here your bet will win if your selection finishes in first, second, or third place.

Across the Board

Also known as a Win/Place/Show bet, because it combines all three in one. Select a horse and if it wins, you will receive the win, place, and show bets. If it finishes in second place, you get the place and show payouts. If your selection finishes in third place, you just get the show payout.

Quinella

Here you have to pick two horses, and both of them have to finish in the top two places for your bet to win. Their finishing order does not matter.

Exacta

As with the Quinella, the Exacta requires you to picking two horses in the race, and they have to come in first and second. However, their finishing order is essential and must be exactly as you predict for your bet to succeed.

Trifecta

Like the Exacta, but here you pick three horses to finish in first, second, and third place, in that exact order.

Superfecta

The Superfecta extends things even further. You need to pick four horses, and they have to finish in first, second, third and fourth place, in that exact order.

Live Betting

There are many online sportsbooks that will offer live betting on the Breeders' Cup Mile. Live betting involves making wagers while the race is in progress. Since the race is only a mile in length, you won't have much time to make a bet, so you'll need quick reflexes. 

The odds will change during the race to reflect how the event is unfolding. Live betting is fast and furious because the race will be over in less than two minutes. The most popular live bets for the Breeders' Cup Mile are the win, place, and show bets. 

Multiple Race Bets

The FanDuel Mile is one of the series that makes up the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Because there are several races to be run, you will have the opportunity to make multiple race bets. The most common ones are: 

Double DownPredict the winner of two consecutive races.
Pick 3Predict the winner of three consecutive races.
Pick 4Predict the winner of four consecutive races.
Pick 5Predict the winner of five consecutive races.
Pick 6Predict the winner of six consecutive races.

Breeders' Cup Mile FAQ

How many horses can run in the Breeders' Cup Mile?
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Up to 14 horses can run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. There were 14 contenders in the 2020 race and 13 in the 2019 event.

What TV channel is the Breeders' Cup on?
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NBC will broadcast the Breeders’ Cup Mile. There are many streaming sites where you can also watch the race online. Online sportsbooks that offer live betting will also stream the race. 

Who is the oldest horse to win the Breeders' Cup Mile?
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Miesque’s Approval is the oldest horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He was seven years old winning the race in 2006. Four horses that were six years old have won the Breeders’ Cup Mile. 

Are there qualifying races for the Breeders' Cup?
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Yes. There are 10 qualifying races where the winner receives an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Those qualifying races and their tracks are: 

  • L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate – Kenilworth Race Course, South Africa
  • Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella – Club Hipico, Chile
  • Shoemaker Mile – Santa Anita Park, California
  • Yasuda Kinen – Tokyo Racecourse, Japan
  • Queen Anne Stakes – Royal Ascot, England
  • Sussex Stakes – Goodwood Racecourse in England
  • Fourstardave Handicap – Saratoga, New York
  • Prix Jacques Le Marois – Deauville Racecourse, France
  • Woodbine Mile – Woodbine Racetrack in Canada
  • Shadwell Turf Mile – Keeneland, Kentucky
When is the Breeders Cup?
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The 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championship will take place from 5-6 November 2021.

Where is the Breeders' Cup?
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The 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will take place at Del Mar in San Diego, California.

Photo Credits: Bobby Ellis / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP