1) The Breeders’ Cup is a series of races held over two days that takes place every fall in the United States. It is dubbed the “World Championships” of Thoroughbred racing by the event organizers.
2) The first Breeders’ Cup was held in 1984 at Hollywood Park in California.
3) John Gaines, a key figure in North American breeding and owner of Gainesway farm in Kentucky, is credited with conceiving and selling the idea of the Breeders’ Cup to his fellow breeders and to racetrack owners.
4) Historically, the location of the BC changes every year. The primary rotation of sites includes Belmont Park in New York, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, and Santa Anita in California, but it has also been held at Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct Racetrack, Hollywood Park, Woodbine, Monmouth Park, Arlington Park, and Lone Star Park. In 2008 and 2009, the event was held at Santa Anita, the first time it was held in the same location in back to back years. Churchill Downs hosted 2010 and 2011 and Santa Anita will host in 2012 and 2013.
5) All Breeders’ Cup races are limited in the number of runners that can compete, so horses must be selected to start or win a designated “Win and You’re In” race. The “Win and You’re In” system, instituted in 2007, allows runners to bypass the field selection process and earn a guaranteed place in the starting gate..
6) The original Breeders’ Cup races are the Juvenile (2-year-olds), Juvenile Fillies (2-year-old fillies), Sprint (6-furlongs), Mile (turf), Distaff (fillies and mares), Turf (1 1/2 miles), and Classic (1 1/4 miles).
7) The first change to the BC lineup of races came in 1989 with the addition of the Filly and Mare Turf. In 2007 and 2008, the BC added six races and a second day to the event. The added races were the Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Filly Turf, Dirt Mile, Marathon, Turf Sprint, and Filly and Mare Sprint. In 2011 the Juvenile Sprint was added.
8) The Classic is considered the “main event” of the Breeders’ Cup It has the highest purse, it’s open to 3-year-olds and up, and it’s run at the “classic” distance of 1 1/4 miles on dirt (or synthetic).
9) In 2010 Goldikova became the first horse to win three Breeders’ Cup races (Mile, 2008-2010). Eleven horses have won two: Tiznow (Classic, 2000-2001), Ouija Board (Filly and Mare Turf, 2004, 2006), Bayakoa (Distaff, 1989-1990), Miesque (Mile, 1987-1988), Lure (Mile, 1993-1993), Da Hoss (Mile, 1996, 1998), Midnight Lute (Sprint, 2007-2008), High Chaparral (Turf, 2002-2003), Conduit (2008-2009), and Zenyatta (Ladies Classic, 2008 and BC Classic, 2009).
10) Trainer D. Wayne Lukas owns the most Breeders’ Cup wins by a trainer with 18. Jerry Bailey has the most wins by a jockey with 15.