Playing the Breeders’ Cup from Home
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor

Updated for 2013

The Breeders’ Cup is a national holiday in the horse racing universe. In the three decades since its first running in 1984, the ability for bettors and fans to get involved in the big event has expanded greatly. The widespread availability of simulcasting was the first breakthrough. It allowed bettors to play the BC from racetracks and off-track betting venues in many states. A more recent and even bigger innovation is the Internet. Now you can play and participate in the Breeders’ Cup without leaving your home. While going to the track or an OTB to play the races is an experience in itself, sometimes playing the races from home, especially a big event like the Breeders’ Cup, can have its own joys. You can watch, bet, and socialize all from the comfort of your couch.

Watching
The Breeders’ Cup races can be seen on NBC Sports Network and NBC. All of the Friday races can be seen on NBC Sports Network from 4 – 8 p.m. ET. Saturday will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network from 3:30 – 8 p.m. ET and move to NBC from 8 – 9 p.m. ET for the Classic . Many sports have been improved by high definition TV and racing is definitely one of them, racing in HD is stunning. There is an alternative to watching them on TV: you can also watch all the races directly on your computer. The Breeders’ Cup website streams all of the races via the track feed, which is what simulcast viewers see at tracks and off-track betting outlets. The content of this broadcast is geared towards the horseplayers, and while maybe not as entertaining as the network broadcast, it’s the place to watch if you want detailed racing information and handicapping ideas.

Betting
If you are lucky enough to live in a state that allows residents to bet on racing online, then you can make bets just as if you were at the track from anywhere you can access the internet. There are a number of sites where you can play the races online; these sites are often referred to as ADWs. Some ADWs, such as TwinSpires, even offer sign-up bonuses, and you can also access the track feed to watch the races via some of the ADWs’ websites. These sites aren’t solely for high rollers; you can deposit as little or as much as you’d like. Playing via an ADW is a great way to learn how to wager, as you don’t have the pressure of being on-track where veteran horse players are not always kind to newbies. And there is no better day to play than the Breeders’ Cup, where the racing is top shelf and the payouts on wagers can be huge.

Socializing
And now for the best part about playing from home. Nothing beats the banter of being at the track, but the internet gives you the ability to virtually engage in track banter. A large and active group of racing people use the social networking site Twitter daily and especially on big race days. On the Breeders’ Cup days, Twitter will no doubt be a a flurry of activity, including people who are actually on-site at Santa Anita as well as others who will be sharing handicapping ideas from wherever they might be watching. A number of twitter racing lists have been put together, but a good place to start might be the one created by racing journalist and Hello Race Fans Facebook Community Manager J.J. Hysell. Hysell has created a near comprehensive list of racing “tweeps” and her list would be an easy way to get started trading handicapping ideas with some of Twitter’s best and brightest. You can also follow the #BC13 hash tag to keep with all the action.

So, as you can see, there’s no need to feel left out if you can’t make it to Santa Anita. You can still have a great Breeders’ Cup experience! Between the coverage on the NBC Sports Network, NBC and the internet; the ability to wager from home; and fellow race fans to “hang out with” online, you have everything you need to have a blast during the best two days of racing on the calendar.

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