Saturday 20 May 2023

Breeders' Cup

The Breeders' Cup, or Breeders' Cup World Championships, to give the event its official title, is a series of 14 Grade 1 horses staged in North America in late October or early November each year. Inaugurated, as a one-day, seven-race event, at Hollywood Park, California in 1984, the Breeders' Cup has been staged at various venues throughout the United States and Canada, although predominantly at Santa Anita Park, California and Churchill Downs, Kentucky. In 2007, the Breeders' Cup was held for the first time at Monmouth Park, New Jersey, three new races – namely the Juvenile Turf, Dirt Mile and Filly & Mare Sprint – were added to the programme and the event was extended to two days.

The most valuable races run at the Breeders' Cup are currently the Breeders' Cup Classic, worth $6 million in prize money, and the Breeders' Cup Turf, worth $4 million. Both races are open to horses aged three years and upwards, but the Breeders' Cup Classic is run over a mile and a quarter on dirt, while the Breeders' Cup Turf is run over a mile and a half on turf, by way of making it more appealing to horses trained outside North America. Arguably the most famous horse in Breeders' Cup history was American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffert. In his three-year-old campaign, in 2015, American Pharoah won the traditional North American Triple Crown – that is, the Kentucky |Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – plus the Breeders' Cup Classic, to complete what has become known as the 'Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing'.

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