The Breeders’ Cup World Championship is the World Cup of thoroughbred racing, with the best horses competing worldwide. The two-day, 14-race event, which has been run by Breeder’s Cup Limited since 1984, brings together the world’s best horses, riders, trainers, and owners for one reason: to acquire the title of Breeder’s Cup World Champions.
In compliance with state and municipal public health requirements, this year’s prominent international event, which comes to Del Mar for the only second time in its history in this coming fall of 2021, will use 100 percent of its seating capacity.
Whether you’ve ever been to a horse race or not, the Breeders’ Cup is an entirely new experience. This fall, the best of the best will be on show at Del Mar Racetrack, from the spectators to the horses competing.
But first, let us take a little tour of the history of the world cup of thoroughbred racing.
How and When Did It All Start?
A group of prominent thoroughbred breeders from central Kentucky, led by clairvoyant John Gaines, formulated a proposal at the Kentucky Derby Festival awards luncheon in 1982. The plan was to establish a thoroughbred racing championship at the end of the year. As a result, the concept of the Breeders’ Cup was born.
They meant the race to be a year-end championship for Thoroughbred racing in North America, attracting top horses from across the world, especially Europe. The Breeders’ Cup was a one-day event until 2006. And it has always been held in the United States, except in 1996, when they held it in Canada. But how do horses qualify?
How to Get Qualified
There are several ways for a horse to qualify in the race. First, the horse must win a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. The second is a point system in which horses are rated based on their results in major races throughout the year.
The third option is to be picked by an expert panel. A maximum of 14 horses can be nominated for each Breeders’ Cup Championship race; seven are picked by experts, while seven are chosen through the Challenge races and point system. As a result, the competition will be of the highest caliber.
The 14 Divisional Races
As mentioned earlier, the Breeders’ Cup is a two-day, 14-race event. There are various races in various categories. For example, there are races for sprinters, for horses 3-years old and up, for 2-years old, for females only, for males, for both genders, and races run on different grounds.
Friday, November 5
On the first day of the Breeders’ Cup, there will be five race events, namely the:
- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
- TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
All 2-year-old thoroughbreds are eligible to run in the Juvenile Turf Sprint and run over 5 furlongs. It has a purse of $1 million and is limited to 12 starters. The $1 million Juvenile Turf will be run on the grass at a distance of one mile and will be limited to 2-year-old males. This event is frequently used to predict the top turf horses of the future.
The Juvenile Fillies race is held over 1 1/16 miles and features a $2 million payout for 2-year-old females. The champion of all 2-year-old females is traditionally named after the winner of this event. The Juvenile Fillies Turf, a 1-mile grass race, brings together the top 2-year-old female turf horses worldwide. The prize pool for this race is $1 million.
Finally, the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the wealthiest 2-year-old event in North America, will take place on the first day of the Breeder’s Cup. It has a $2 million purse, is open only to 2-year-old males, and takes over 1 1/16 miles.
Saturday, November 6
On the second day, nine-race events are left, including the biggest race of the Breeders’ Cup weekend.
- Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
- Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
- Significant As Fans Dirt Mile
- Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf
- Breeders’ Cup Sprint
- Breeders’ Cup Fanduel Mile
- Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff
- Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf
- Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic
The first race is the Filly and Mare Sprint, which has a $1 million purse and is limited to the fastest females 3-year-old and up. The Turf Sprint, which has a $1 million purse, is run over five furlongs and is limited to 12 starters. The Turf Sprint is one of the fastest and most exciting races on this two-day event.
The Dirt Mile is a one-mile event for 3-year-olds and up with a $1 million purse. Although it is not a sprint race, it does provide a midway ground for sprinters and distance runners. The Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf is a one 3/8-mile grass event with a $2 million payout for females 3-years-old and up.
The Sprint is a 6-furlong race in which the quickest horse competes for a $2 million purse. It is open to both genders and is accessible to horses aged 3-years-old and up. The Mile, a $2 million race for elite grass milers, is raced at 1 mile for horses 3-years-old and above. The Distaff is a $2 million race for outstanding female dirt horses aged three and higher, run at 1 1/8 miles.
The Turf, which attracts the greatest 3-year-old and up turf horses, is run over 12 miles for a $4 million payoff. Finally, the Classic is the most important race of the Breeders’ Cup weekend. It is the highlight of the world’s thoroughbred racing season, with a $6 million purse and a distance of 14 miles. It is limited to 14 starters and is open to thoroughbreds aged three and up.
Wrapping it up
This year’s Breeders’ Cup is as exciting as its previous runs. So whether you’re a casual fan or a seasoned bettor, you can start checking on the thoroughbreds competing in the various races held this coming fall. By knowing this year’s events, you’ll be able to maximize your horse racing experience fully.