The Breeders’ Cup
When: Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3
Time: 5:44 p.m. ET
Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
Distance: 1 ¼ miles
Purse: $6 million
~ All Access Sporting News
What is the Breeders' Cup?
The Breeders' Cup is 14 Grade I races (the most competitive races in North America) held over two days. It was created as a year-end championship festival of racing that could draw horses from all over, and it was first run at the now-defunct Hollywood Park in 1984.
It was expanded to two days in 2007 and now rotates to a different track every year. This year, it returns to Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, for the first time since 2011.
All the juvenile (2-year-old) races will be held on what has been dubbed "Future Stars Friday." Consider the Saturday card the Super Bowl of the horse racing year. Saturday is when the best older horses compete in races such as the Breeders' Cup Distaff for mares and the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic. The Classic, which is open to males and females 3 years old and up, is the crowning event of the weekend, and the winner of it often goes on to claim Horse of the Year honors.
The Triple Crown gets most of the attention when it comes to casual viewers of the sport, but those events are restricted to 3-year-olds who mostly hail from North America. The Breeders' Cup is the best two days of racing all year, and it features horses as young as 2 and sometimes as old as 9 among its 14 races.
This is an international celebration of racing, and it has become popular with European trainers, who run their horses on grass, while North American racing runs its classic races on dirt.
The Breeders' Cup Classic features Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow; four-time Group 1 winner Roaring Lion, who recently won at Royal Ascot; Mendelssohn, who has won in North America, Dubai and Ireland; and Japanese-bred Yoshida. What's more, the 6-year-old Mind Your Biscuits is a former sprinter who is trying his hand at the longer distance of the Classic, and likely favorite Accelerate has been cleaning up races in California.
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