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November 29, 2023

What to know about Breeders’ Cup 2023: Start time, favorites, post positions and more

What to know about Breeders’ Cup 2023: Start time, favorites, post positions and more

A two-day festival of Thoroughbred racing featuring some of the best horses, trainers, and jockeys in the world, the 2023 Breeders’ Cup is a highlight of the racing calendar, the horse racing version of an end-of-year championship, except that it doesn’t confer any championships– those have to wait until voting for Eclipse Awards begins later this month.

The Breeders’ Cup is one of the best betting and most anticipated horse racing weekends held annually. Each race is highly competitive, with plenty of horses that can contend, making great betting and handicapping.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic doesn’t feature a clear favorite similar to Flightline last year, who won going away.

One of the happiest stories in racing over the last year, Cody’s Wish, will return to try to repeat his win in the Dirt Mile.

Horse racing is indeed about the stories, but it’s also and mostly about the betting, which is why we’ll be back on Friday and Saturday with a look at all 14 races.

When is the 2023 Breeders Cup? It is held this year on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA,

What horses are in the 2023 Breeders Cup? Across the two days, horses bred and racing in the United States, Ireland, Great Britain, France, Canada, Japan, Argentina, and Chile will compete in 14 races for a total of $28 million. The Breeders’ Cup is one of only a few occasions on which horses from other countries ship to the U.S. to race. The European horses figure particularly prominently in the grass races, as racing on dirt is a rarity in Ireland, Great Britain, and France.

The size of the fields in each race, the puzzle of deciphering how international horses handle the travel and U.S. racing conditions, and the sheer quality of the runners make for an enticing two days of betting. In last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, Caravel paid $87.78 to win, topping a $4,084.15 trifecta on a .50 wager, admittedly an anomaly in an otherwise unusually formful two days of racing.

Unfortunately, even the most die-hard enthusiasts recognize that this weekend’s event, like so many others this racing year, will take place with something of a pall hanging over it. The headlines in the run-up to these races have been filled less with predictions and pageantry and more with an increased level of concern about equine safety.

In the weeks before and after the Kentucky Derby, six horses died at Churchill Downs. At Saratoga Race Course this summer, two high-profile horses broke down at the finish line in Grade 1 races and were euthanized in front of a packed grandstand and clubhouse. Both the public and industry professionals are looking at the sport with heightened awareness–and anxiety–about horses getting injured, and a cascade of recent bad news about horses training at Santa Anita has only exacerbated those concerns.

On Oct. 29, Geaux Rocket Ride, expected to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, was seriously injured during morning training; he was euthanized as a result of his injuries on Nov. 1. On Oct. 31, Practical Move, entered in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, collapsed and died of an apparent cardiac event following morning training. Later that morning, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes winner Arcangelo was scratched from the Classic with a foot issue and immediately retired.

As the races begin Friday, the event’s organizers and participants are hoping for two days of spectacular–and safe–racing, as are those who will be in attendance and watching the Breeders’ Cup broadcasts.

How to watch and stream the 2023 Breeders Cup The races will be shown on the NBC family of networks–which doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be easy to find.

Five Breeders’ Cup races are scheduled for Friday, all for two-year-old horses and all shown on USA Network from 4 to 8 p.m. Those watching online can turn to NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

On Saturday, coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app and feature the first two Breeders’ Cup races. From 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock will broadcast five Breeders’ Cup races, culminating with the Classic. The final two Breeders’ Cup races, the Turf Sprint and the Sprint, will not be part of any NBC telecast.

Racing schedule for Friday, Nov. 3 Juvenile Turf Sprint (Post time: 5:00 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse

Juvenile Fillies (Post time: 5:40 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse

Juvenile Fillies Turf (Post time: 6:20 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse

Juvenile (Post time: 7:00 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse

Juvenile Turf (Post time: 7:40 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse

Racing schedule for Saturday, Nov. 4 Dirt Mile (Post time: 2:30 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse

Filly and Mare Turf (Post time: 3:10 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse

Filly and Mare Sprint (Post time: 3:50 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse

Mile (Post time: 4:30 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse

Distaff (Post time: 5:10 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse

Turf (Post time: 5:50 p.m. ET) – $4 million purse

Classic (Post time: 6:40 p.m. ET) – $6 million purse

Turf Sprint (Post time: 7:25 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse

Sprint (Post time: 8:00 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse

Who won the 2022 Breeders Cup Classic? The winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic as the heavy favorite, Flightline, was retired immediately after the race–and by immediately, I mean the next morning–to begin a breeding career. The same was true of last year’s Distaff winner Malathaat. A frustrating irony of the event is that success is often a prelude to horses disappearing from the public eye.

What are the morning line odds for the 2023 Breeders Cup Classic? Post Horse Odds 1







White Abarrio



Missed the Cut



Derma Sotogake



Saudi Crown






Ushba Tesoro



Senor Buscador






Bright Future



Arabian Knight





(Photo credit: Horsephotos / Getty Images)

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