Biggest Upsets in Breeders’ Cup History

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is coming up on November 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park in California. The annual event is always one of the top online horse betting days on the racing calendar. Since the Breeders’ Cup debuted in 1984, there have been some tremendous horses and some tremendous upsets. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest longshots to win a Breeders’ Cup race.

Of course there is really no debate as to the biggest shocker in Breeders’ Cup history, and that honor goes to Arcangues in the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Despite having Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey aboard, the European horse went off at odds of 133-1 and ended up shocking the world and defeating a top quality field that included the likes of Bertrando and Best Pal. Little was known about Arcangues before the race, and the horse had never run on dirt before, but trainer Andre Fabre thought he might like it, and indeed he did.

Another huge upset came in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2002 at Arlington Park when Volponi scored at odds of 43-1. He was another horse who previously did some of his best running on the turf and who won the Classic under a quality jockey, this time it was Jose Santos.

Yet another Breeders’ Cup Classic produced a bit upset, and this one was the inaugural running back in 1984 when Wild Again won at odds of more than 30-1. He also had to survive a stewards inquiry after an amazing stretch run that included a good amount of bumping between Wild Again, Gate Dancer and Slew o’ Gold. As with our two previously listed major upsets, once again a big name jockey prevailed, and this time it was Pat Day.

For our final upset on this list, we take a look back at another European invader, this time with Sheikh Albadou in the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. This was back at a time when horses from Europe, especially those racing on the dirt, didn’t get a lot of respect from bettors in the Breeders’ Cup. And the presence of champion sprinter Housebuster in this race made just about all the horses longshots. But when Housebuster broke slowly, the race opened up and Sheikh Albadou took advantage and rewarded his backers with a surprising victory at odds of more than 25-1.

Whether any huge upsets occur this year remains to be seen, but it’s a good bet that it will be fun to watch and wager on.