Homeracing

Balloon Payouts the Last Time BC Held at Churchill Downs

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D.S. Williamson

September 15th, 2018

This year, the Breeders' Cup takes place under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. The last time the BC took place at Churchill Downs, price horse after price horse dominated Saturday's card. I've chosen 4 prices to illustrate how crazy it actually was back in 2011.

I've also decided to add the horses that, so far, I believe could produce a win mutuel similar to what these 4 following longshots produced the last time the Breeders' Cup took place at Churchill Downs.

4 2011 Churchill Downs Breeders' Cup Win Mutuels

Breeders' Cup Sprint:  Amazombie $17.80

If he doesn't go in the BC Dirt Mile, I think Whitmore will have a big shot. Closers like Whitmore don't always run well in the sprint. Also, Whitmore might prefer 7 furlongs, the distance of the Grade 1 Forego, which he won in his last. Still, Whitmore should have a shot to make a run if the speed shows up, and it will.

Again, there's a chance Whitmore runs in the BC Dirt Mile instead of the sprint. If he goes in the sprint, he should get lost in the betting facing champion Roy H. and speedsters Imperial Hint, and X Y Jet.

Breeders' Cup Turf:  St. Nicholas Abbey $15.60

Sounds crazy, but Aidan O'Brien trained St. Nicholas Abbey paid $15.60 to win the 2011 Breeders'  Cup Turf. Could 2018 produce a BC Turf winner that blows up the win mutuel and exotic tickets? Yep.

Glorious Empire has won 3 in a row. In his last, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer, he set fast fractions at 1 1/2 miles running the half in :48 and getting 3/4 in 1:13.4. No horse in the BC Turf should challenge Glorious Empire on the lead because they won't want to run themselves out of contention before the top of the stretch.

Not many horseplayers will believe Glorious Empire can wire a field that includes some off the best European grass runners.

Breeders' Cup Mile: Court Vision $131.60

In 2011, very few horseplayers had Court Vision to win the Breeders' Cup Mile. I don't expect a horse to win the BC Mile and pay what Court Vision did in 2011. I do feel that there should be at least one or two lost in the betting European horses who could pull off the upset. This year's BC Mile should include at last a few of the following European runners:

Alpha Centauri

Expert Eye

Anna Nerium

Plumatic

Lightning Spear

Recoletos

Suedois

Which one do I prefer? No idea...yet...

Breeders' Cup Classic: Drosselmeyer $31.60

Drosselmeyer paid $31.60 because he faced a favorite in Game On Dude. Although Accelerate deserves to be a Game On Dude type favorite, he probably won't. That means this year's BC Classic winner produces a $15 to $20 win mutuel.

Right now, I'm leaning towards Thunder Snow. If he runs well in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, he could go off second choice to win the BC, possibly making him a play against. It depends on whether he beats Diversify in the JC Gold Cup, which most likely won't happen because Diversify is a beast at those 1 1/4 mile one-turn dirt races.

No matter who you like right now, don't settle on chalk at this year's Breeders' Cup. The last time the BC took place at Churchill Downs, horseplayers cashed with big balloon win mutuels. 2018 could be a repeat of 2011 under the Twin Spires.
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