Rolling Double pools worth long look for 2023 Breeders' Cup

October 16th, 2023

If memory serves, the 2022 Breeders' Cup at Keeneland was not one of my stellar weekends either from a selections or wagering perspective. Over a largely formful two days, my only top picks to cross the wire first were Cody's Wish ($6.32) in the Dirt Mile (G1) and Flightline ($2.88) in the Classic (G1).

No pats on the back deserved for finding those.

Because my selections generally suffered, so did my wagering. But that really didn't need to be the case. As we look ahead to this year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita now less than three weeks away, it's time to take a brief look back and learn from the oversights of last year.

The main takeaway from my 2022 Breeders' Cup betting: the win pool is there for you when your opinion is strong (and hopefully right), but the multi-race pools are there for you when your opinion(s) are a little more flexible. In retrospect, there was much more flexibility to be had by me. This is especially true in the case of the Double pools.

There were 15 Double pools linking Breeders' Cup races last season. Four were offered on Friday, eight on Saturday, plus there were a trio of two-day wagers. A collective $6,765,866 was wagered into these pools.

The average $1 Double payoff across these 15 wagers was $54.92. Even if you take out the two $200-plus payoffs generated by Caravel's upset in the Turf Sprint (G1), the average payoff for the other 13 Doubles was $29.18.

Who would scoff at cashing on a 29-1 proposition?

The lowest Double payoffs were $10.80, linking Turf (G1) winner Rebel's Romance and Flightline, and the $10.84 linking Modern Games in the Mile (G1) and Malathaat in the Distaff (G1).

Although I tried to beat two of the above four in the win pool, in no circumstance did I entirely dislike or dismiss their chances. Saver Doubles could have cut my losses or generated a modest profit on said races.

One of my stronger fade opinions of last year was Jackie's Warrior, the odds-on choice in the Sprint (G1). Although Elite Power wasn't my top alternative, he was certainly logical and worth linking with Modern Games in the Mile. That produced an $18.07 Double payoff.

Several winners last year I gave short shrift to, but believers in Wonder Wheel in the Juvenile Fillies (G1), to take one example, couldn't complain when Doubles including her returned $61.36, $32.75, and $27.07. Even the Doubles involving the eminently logical Forte in the Juvenile (G1) paid $33.04, $56.12, and $12.42 (the latter with Flightline).

Suffice it to say the Double pools will be something I'll be looking at more closely and incorporating more into my Breeders' Cup wagering plans in a few weeks. Bettors should also be aware that the takeout on Double wagers will be slightly more favorable this year, with a 20% rate at Santa Anita compared to the 22% cut taken by Keeneland.