With the exception of the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Cup races are among the most popular horse racing events in North America. This series was conceived in 1984, consisting of a day of races involving different classes of thoroughbreds, surfaces and lengths. For the 2007 edition, another day of competition was added to accommodate thirteen big money races.
The series features Grade One races that pit the fastest thoroughbreds against one another. Horses may earn the right to run in the Breeders' Cup by winning various qualifying events prior to the big race. The Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is the shortest of the runs at 5.5 furlongs while the Breeders' Cup Longines Turf is the longest at a mile and a half. The Breeders' Cup Classic is the richest of all the races with a purse of $6 million while the minimum purse for a Breeders' Cup event is $1 million. The total purse for 2017 is $26.5 million.
After hosting the Breeders' Cup from 2012 to 2014, Santa Anita Park passed hosting duties to Keeneland for 2015. The races before returned to Santa Anita Park in 2016 and will shift to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in 2017.
Breeders' Cup Betting Sites
The Breeders' Cup races offer horse wagering enthusiasts some of the best opportunities to parley their knowledge of the field into victory. A variety of online racebooks provide bettors with the ability to wager on all the races, adding even more excitement to this highly anticipated event. When shopping around for the best racebook to place a bet with, make sure to compare their promotions. Bonus bets, betting rebates and wagering events differ between services, including vital details such as rollover and rebate rules. The best racebooks help players get the most out of their wagering dollar.
Breeders' Cup Winners
After witnessing history in 2015 when American Pharoah became the first horse in history to sweep the Triple Crown and then win the Breeders' Cup Classic, 2016 set up as one of the best match races of all time, with 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome going up against Arrogate, who burst in the scene in the summer by winning the (G1) Travers Stakes at Saratoga in race and track record time.
The race turned out to be as exciting as advertised, as California Chrome rocketed to the lead right out of the gate. At the halfway point of the final turn, Arrogate began his charge. At the top of the stretch he roared past the second-place runner, moved to the outside of the track and began to reel in California Chrome with every stride, hitting the wire a half-length in front for the win.
It was the fourth lifetime Breeders' Cup Classic win for Arrogate jockey Mike Smith, and boosted his all-time record Breeders' Cup victory total to 25.
Other notable moments of the 2016 Breeders' Cup weekend included Classic Empire winning the BC Juvenile, and stamping himself as a leading contender for the 2017 Kentucky Derby. In the BC Distaff, wily vet Beholder held off the previously unbeaten young superstar Songbird in an epic stretch duel to capture her third Breeders' Cup title in the final race of her career.
The biggest upset of the 2016 Breeders' Cup occurred in the Juvenile Fillies, where 34-1 longshot Champagne Room hit the wire first, and combined with 7-1 Valadroma to produce a $2 exacta payout of $723.60, the largest exacta of the weekend.
As is often expected, the European-bred runners who shipped over for the Breeders' Cup acquitted themselves very well, with Irish-bred Obviously capturing the Turf Sprint, UK-bred Queen's Trust winning the Filly & Mare Turf, and Euros sweeping all four of the top spots in the $4 million BC Turf, with Ireland's Highland Reel taking the win.
The 2017 Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held on Friday November 3 and Saturday, November 4 at Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California.