Bolt d'Oro will be a popular anchor in Pick 4 betting. Pic: Benoit Photo.

Bolt d’Oro will be a popular anchor in Pick 4 betting. Pic: Benoit Photo.

There’s no shortage of ways to play the Breeders’ Cup meet at Del Mar, but one of the most popular is the Pick 4.

Trying to select the winner of one Breeders’ Cup race may seem hard enough, let alone four. But there are some ways to go about it.

There are three Pick 4 bets offered on Breeders’ Cup races, one on Friday and two on Saturday.


FRIDAY: Races 6-9 (Juvenile Fillies Turf, Dirt Mile, Juvenile Turf, Distaff)

As always, much depends on how much money you want to spend. But here are some thoughts:

Leg 1 (Juvenile Fillies Turf): 2-11: If form holds here, the winner should be either (2) Happily or (11) Rushing Fall. If you want insurance, look at (10) September.

Leg 2 (Dirt Mile): 6-8: (6) Mor Spirit is a worthy favorite, though there are some doubts about how he will handle Del Mar. (8) Accelerate likes the course, and if you want another horse try (10) Practical Joke.

Leg 3 (Juvenile Turf): 1-4-6-7-11: This is a very open race and possibly set up for a surprise. It’s tempting to put the field in for this leg, but the Europeans traditionally do well and it’s worth including (1) Mendelssohn, (6) Masar, and (7) James Garfield. From the locals I’ve added (4) Catholic Boy and (11) Snapper Sinclair.

Leg 4 (Distaff): 2-5-6: Older stars (2) Stellar Wind and (6) Forever Unbridled need to be included, and I’m taking a risk by including only (5) Elate among the 3-year-olds, leaving out Abel Tasman and Paradise Woods.

For a 50c unit, that’s a cost of $30.


SATURDAY: Races 5-8 (Turf Sprint, Filly & Mare Sprint, Filly & Mare Turf, Sprint):

Leg 1 (Turf Sprint): 3: It’s hard to go against (3) Lady Aurelia here. She has speed to burn and her experience around turns will help against her familiar English foe, (6) Marsha. (11) Bucchero may be another option for outside odds.

Leg 2 (Filly & Mare Sprint): 2-9-11-12: (11) Unique Bella is a short-priced favorite, but she’s never faced older horses before. It wouldn’t be wise to leave her out, but I’d also include (2) Paulassilverlining, (9) Finley’sluckycharm, and (12) Skye Diamonds.

Leg 3 (Filly & Mare Turf): 2-9-10-14: (9) Lady Eli is a deserving favorite and should be there in the finish. But don’t forget the Europeans, especially (10) Queen’s Trust and (14) Rhododendron. (2) Senga could be worth a thought on firm footing.

Leg 4 (Sprint): 2-8-10: (2) Drefong is the clear favorite and most likely winner. If he’s off his game, (8) Roy H. and (10) Imperial Hint could be your best bets.

For a 50c unit, that’s $24. It may not pay much if all four favorites win, however.


SATURDAY: Races 9-12 (Mile, Juvenile, Turf, Classic):

Leg 1 (Mile): 5-10-12: (5) World Approval is clearly the best of the American team, while (10) Ribchester has been the best miler in Europe. The unknown quantity is (12) Roly Poly, taking on the males for the first time.

Leg 2 (Juvenile): 11: Everybody’s anchor of the day is (11) Bolt d’Oro after his very impressive FrontRunner Stakes victory. If you need another horse, try (5) Free Drop Billy, or Irish visitor (1) U S Navy Flag for odds.

Leg 3 (Turf): 3-5: The two outstanding European turf performers that have travelled to the Breeders’ Cup are (3) Highland Reel, the defending champion, and the improved (5) Ulysses. There are good horses among the rest but it’s likely the winner will be one of these two.

Leg 4 (Classic): 1-5-8-11: If (1) Arrogate is in the form he was for this race last year, he’s likely to win again. But a couple of defeats make him look vulnerable. (5) Gun Runner is clearly his biggest rival, with (8) West Coast the best of the 3-year-olds. Don’t forget (11) Collected, who beat Arrogate in the Pacific Classic.

For a 50c unit, that’s $12 – not bad for the biggest day in racing.

Good luck with your betting!