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Led by multiple Grade 1 winner ACCELERATE, two-time Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner ENABLE (GB), Coral-Eclipse (G1) and Irish Champion Stakes (G1) winner ROARING LION, Kentucky Oaks winner MONOMOY GIRL and Juvenile standout GAME WINNER, a record 221 horses, including 51 from overseas, have been pre-entered for the 2018 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The 35th Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious two-day global event, consisting of 14 races and 13 Grade 1s with purses and awards totaling a record $30 million, will be held for a record-tying ninth time at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3. There will be five Breeders' Cup races on Championship Friday and nine Breeders' Cup races on Championship Saturday.
The Breeders' Cup will be televised live by NBCSN and NBC. The $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic will be broadcast live on Sat., Nov. 3 at 5:44 p.m.ET on NBC.
New to this year's Breeders' Cup is "Future Stars Friday" in which all five races exclusively for 2-year-olds will be run on the opening day of the Championships.
A 14th race has been added to the program - the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, at five and a half furlongs, which will open the Friday program.
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and the $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff will be run on Championship Saturday this year.
Among the statistical highlights in this year's pre-entries are that a total of 12 races are oversubscribed with more than 14 in 11 races, and more than the maximum 12 in the in the Juvenile Turf Sprint. There are 48 individual horses, who were pre-entered after qualifying for automatic starting positions through the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series.
Irish-based trainer Aidan O'Brien has pre-entered 18 horses, the most among trainers.
The Coolmore partnerships lead all owners with 20 horse pre-entered.
There are five former or defending champions pre-entered: Mendelssohn, 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf; Oscar Performance, 2016 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf; Roy H, 2017 TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint; Stormy Liberal, 2017 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint; and Talismanic (GB), 2017 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf.
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint will make its debut at this year's World Championships, November 2-3 at Churchill Downs and will carry a $1 million purse. The race will be run at 5.5 furlongs on the turf and will be open to all 2-year-olds.
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint||TBD||$1,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 3|
Every sport has a definitive year-ending event to crown its champions. In Thoroughbred racing, the Breeders' Cup World Championships is the culmination of the horse racing season worldwide and the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic is the defining event of the international racing season.
The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships held the first series of its seven races before a crowd of 64,254 horse racing, horse betting, horse wagering, and handicapping fans at Hollywood Park in 1984. Today, purses for the fifteen races of the Breeders’ Cup amount to $26 million. The most important race in the series, the Breeders' Cup Classic, has a total purse of $5 million, with a winner's share of more than $2.5 million.
The Breeders’ Cup traces its roots back to 1982, with a group of Horse racing leaders frontlined by John R. Gaines, founding father of the Breeders’ Cup and former owner of Gainesway Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. The group had envisioned a vehicle to promote the sport, which would not only be a showcase of the sport’s finest elements but also a grand finale to the racing season, with a multimillion dollar total purse. Every one of those visions came true.
The Breeders’ Cup inaugural event was held on November 10, 1984 at glitzy Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. It was an instant hit. The championship races have since become the cornerstone of a year-round program that has allocated over $380 million to owners and breeders alike. Most divisional champions crowned since 1984 have participated in a Breeders' Cup racing event.
In 1986, a separate $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, run two weeks earlier than the series at a different track, was added to the program. That race was discontinued after 1993. A turf race for fillies and mares was added in 1999.
Breeders' Cup Betting - In Thoroughbred racing, the Breeders' Cup is the culmination of the horse racing season worldwide.
After Hollywood Park, the Breeders’ Cup would change venues yearly. Each fall, a different North American track plays host to the prestigious thoroughbred racing event, which have included the richly historical Churchill Downs, the stately Belmont Park, and the panoramic Santa Anita Park in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, holds the records for both Breeders' Cup attendance and total horse betting. The renowned racecourse attracted 80,452 spectators in 1998, and when the races came back to Louisville in 2000, over $108 million was wagered.
Since 1984, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships has continued to grow in popularity owing to its prestige and keen level of competition. Contending horses have not only come from the US but all the way from England, Ireland, France, Japan, and Germany. The races are televised on both NBC and ESPN (pre-championships), and simulcast in 25 countries, with horserace wagering at more than $108 million.
But beyond the foreign players and media sponsors, thoroughbred owners and breeders have served as the Breeders’ Cup’s backbone since the very beginning. They not only supply the race horses competing in the Breeders' Cup events but also pay the nominations from which the organization, Breeder’s Cup Limited, derives its major source of funding.
As an international program, the Breeders’ Cup has instituted a nomination process to breeders around the world. Stallion owners annually pay a nomination fee that is the equivalent of a stallion's advertised stud fee, or a minimum of $1,000. Breeders pay a nomination fee of $500 for each foal. Nominated horses are eligible to compete for millions in both the Breeders’ Cup Stakes program and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships events. Annual nominations from all over the world have made the Breeders’ Cup a truly global institution.
The Breeders’ Cup has no doubt accomplished what its founders set out to do, and more. Today, after 32 years and running, the Breeders’ Cup remains the definitive test of Horse racing champions, and has become thoroughbred racing’s most recognizable and successful showpiece worldwide.
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