The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is the biggest event in global horse racing. If this is your first time tuning into a Breeders’ Cup, weekend here is a BC primer which should give you a basic understanding of why it’s so special.
WHO: The Best Thoroughbred Racehorses On The Planet The Breeders’ Cup is two days of elite horse racing that attracts the biggest names in the sport from all over the globe.
In past years, horses from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela competed in the event. That’s representation from six continents!
Other than the U.S. the country with the most BC Wins is Ireland.
WHAT: Horse Racing’s World Championships The Breeders’ Cup is the end game for horse owners and trainers: a Win in one of these races can ensure a year-end award, a horse’s increased value when it’s time to breed, and some serious bragging rights.
Because of this, there are multiple races for horses depending on age, sex, the distance they like to run as well as whether a horse prefers to run on grass or dirt.
The World Championships take place over two days, and there are 14 races in total.
Future Stars Friday focuses on 2-year-old Thoroughbreds and showcases five Juvenile races, with 7 million dollars in prize money.
Saturday’s races are designated for Thoroughbreds 3 years old and older. The day features nine races with purse money of 21 million dollars.
WHERE: Del Mar, California The Breeders’ Cup takes its show on the road every year, and in 2021 the event will be held at beautiful Del Mar Thoroughbred Club just outside of San Diego. This is the second time the Breeders’ Cup has been held at Del Mar with the first instance taking place in 2017.
In past years, the Breeders’ Cup has been held at Keeneland Race Course, Churchill Downs, Hollywood Park, Aqueduct, Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Belmont Park, Woodbine, Arlington Park, Lone Star Park, and Monmouth Park.
The track to host the most Breeders’ Cup in history is Santa Anita Park, which has held the event 10 times since its inception in 1984.
WHEN: November 5-6 This year, the Breeders’ Cup will take place over two days on November 5th and 6th.
The World Championships typically take place over the first weekend of November, which gives Thoroughbreds plenty of time to qualify to run over the course of the spring, summer, and fall.
The first running of the Breeders’ Cup took place on November 10th, 1984 at Hollywood Park.
WHY: To see Who’s The Best Of The Best In 1982, a group of prominent Thoroughbred breeders from Kentucky led by John Gaines coordinated to create an event that would draw the very best horses in the world, to find out once and for all who is the best Thoroughbred on the globe.
Two years later, the very first Breeders’ Cup World Championships was held at Hollywood Park featuring seven races: the Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies, Sprint, Mile, Distaff, Turf, and Classic.
Since then, horse racing’s World Championships have evolved into a two-day racing festival with 14 races, and the spirit of the Breeders’ Cup remains strong with the best of the best competing annually on an international stage.