Breeders’ Cup Is Special

The 38th Breeders’ Cup Championships are set for November 5-6 at Del Mar Race Course.

Ever since the late John Gaines’ vision became a reality back in 1984 with the inaugural Breeders’ Cup at Hollywood Park, the event has brought together the best of the best in the horse world to compete in a group of races that offer both money (huge purses) and prestige (influencing the year-end Eclipse Awards in various divisions and also helping boost horses’ value in the breeding shed).

Here then, are some interesting, fun facts about the Breeders’ Cup.

1. The Breeders’ Cup will make its second stop at Del Mar after first being held there in 2017.  When Breeders’ Cup organizers announced that the event would make its debut appearance at Del Mar, racing fans around the world rejoiced as the seaside track is one of the most beautiful in operation and is known for drawing large and enthusiastic crowds. That held true four years ago as 70,420 fans attended the track and on-site bettors wagered a record $25,181,317 on a competitive series of races that ended with GUN RUNNER Winning the Classic.

2. You might spot a future Triple Crown horse on Future Stars Friday.  The best 2-year-old racehorses in training compete on the first day of the World Championships, which has been rebranded as Future Stars Friday in recent years. These precocious youngsters can develop into 3-year-olds in the next year worthy of competing in the Triple Crown, the most prestigious series of races in North America.

3. The Breeders’ Cup is truly a world-class event.  Every year, some of the top horses, owners, trainers, and jockeys travel to the host Breeders’ Cup track from destinations around the globe to compete, especially in the turf races (turf is the preferred racing surface for many racing industries outside of the U.S.). Last year, horses shipping in from Europe Won four Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland, including the $2 million Mile and the $4 million Turf.

4. Full fields are the norm at the Breeders’ Cup, which equals much $$$ for Winning payouts.  Any person who wagers on horse racing will tell you that the more horses that are entered in a particular race, the better for the bettor. Bringing together 10 or more horses to compete in a race usually means that several of them will go off as overlays- meaning they will carry higher odds than they should when the gates open. Betting on an overlay that Wins can be quite lucrative and is always enjoyable, and what makes the Breeders’ Cup even more appealing is that practically every horse that’s entered in a race is a high-caliber athlete – most of them, even the longshots, have already Won Stakes races.

5. Who gets voted Horse of the Year? Look at the Breeders’ Cup results to find out.  Most of the time, the annual Winner of Horse of the Year, announced at the Eclipse Awards, Won a race at the World Championships a couple of months earlier to seal the deal. Over the past 20 years, 11 horses who Won a race in the Breeders’ Cup during the fall went on to be voted Horse of the Year.

6. Want thrilling results? You came to the right place.  Twenty-two times, a Breeders’ Cup races has been decided by the slimmest margin recorded on a race chart: a nose. For example, five times that’s happened in the Classic, the final and richest race of the World Championships. Four times it’s happened in the top race for females, the Distaff .

7. Twenty-two Breeders’ Cup Winners have come back for more, and got it.  A true mark of championship caliber is sustaining peak achievement over a period of time, and some of the best horses over the past 30-plus years have done just that to pick up more than one Breeders’ Cup Victory. They include WISE DAN, the two-time Horse of the Year who Won the Breeders’ Cup Mile back-to-back in 2012 and 2013, TIZNOW the only horse to Win the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice in 2000 and 2001, and the Queen herself, ZENYATTA, who Won the Distaff in 2008 and then the Classic in 2009.

8. There’s much more to the Breeders’ Cup than just racing.  The World Championships, like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, bring together fans of horse racing to celebrate everything about the sport and its lifestyle, and a great thing about the Breeders’ Cup is that it rotates to different venues every year, which lets fans enjoy the unique culture of the surrounding area.

The Daily Racing Blog will continue its Breeders’ Cup coverage (including some picks), right up to BC weekend, so be sure to check back.

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