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In 1982, famous horse breeder and racing legend John R. Gaines started the first Breeders Cup Race. Gaines wanted to bring the horse racing business together at the end of the season to show off the best stallions and their offspring. The first Breeders Cup Race was contested at Hollywood Park over 25 years ago.
The Breeders Cup Races are immensely popular among top horse breeders and racing teams because of their purses, which can range from $500,000 to $5,000,000 per race. Horses from all over the world are eligible to race. During the Breeders Cup long history, many competitors from Europe and beyond have laid claim to enormous prize money.
This event also showcases favorites for The Eclipse Awards. These pretigious awards honor the best horse and other champions of the year. In many ways, a good performance at the Breeders Cup Race can seal the deal for some of the world’s top horses and their racing teams.
Qualifying for the Breeders’ Cup Races
Which horses qualify for this event? There are essentially 3 methods by which horses are ranked and entered:
1. Peformance in Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races
2. Ranking by Point System
3. The ranking of each horse subjectively by a panel of major horse racing experts.
In general, a maximum of 14 entries are allowed per race, with some races only allowing 12 participants. All Breeders’ Cup Races are considered Grade I thoroughbred racing, which means the competition for end of the year honors is fierce.
2009 Marks the first time in Breeder’s Cup History that the race will be held at the same location, Santa Anita Park, for two consecutive years. Churchill Downs has hosted the most Breeders’ Cup races in history.
The all-time leaders in Breeders’ Cup wins are:
- Jockey: Jerry D. Bailey – 15 wins
- Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas – 18 wins; Claude R. McGaughey III – 9 wins
- Leading money winning owner: Allen E. Paulson – $8,730,000 USD
Breeders Cup Locations: Past, Present and Future
- 2017 – Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
- 2016 – Santa Anita Park
- 2015 – Keeneland
- 2014 – Santa Anita Park
- 2013 – Santa Anita Park
- 2012 – Santa Anita Park
- 2011 – Churchill Downs
- 2010 – Churchill Downs
- 2009 – Santa Anita Park
- 2008 – Santa Anita Park
- 2007 – Monmouth Park
- 2006 – Churchill Downs
- 2005 – Belmont Park
- 2004 – Lone Star Park
- 2003 – Santa Anita Park
- 2002 – Arlington Park
- 2001 – Belmont Park
- 2000 – Churchill Downs
- 1999 – Gulfstream Park
- 1998 – Churchill Downs
- 1997 – Hollywood Park Racetrack
- 1996 – Woodbine Racetrack
- 1995 – Belmont Park
- 1994 – Churchill Downs
- 1993 – Santa Anita Park
- 1992 – Gulfstream Park
- Nov. 2, 1991 – Churchill Downs
- Oct. 27, 1990 – Belmont Park
- Nov. 4, 1989 – Gulfstream Park
- Nov. 5, 1988 – Churchill Downs
- Nov. 21, 1987 – Hollywood Park Racetrack
- Nov. 1, 1986 – Santa Anita Park
- Nov. 2, 1985 – Aqueduct Racetrack
- Nov. 10, 1984 – Hollywood Park Racetrack