Ten Things You Should Know: BC Classic
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor

Originally published on November 4, 2010

Zenyatta in the 2010 Breeders Cup Classic
Zenyatta winning the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita (Eclipse Sportswire)

1) The Breeders’ Cup Classic is run at the American classic distance of 1 1/4 miles over the dirt. In 2008 and 2009, the Classic was run over a synthetic surface at Santa Anita.

2) The multi-million dollar purse was for many years the largest for any horse race in the world. Even with the bump to its current $6 million purse in 2016 it currently ranks as the second richest race in the U.S. behind the new Pegasus World Cup to be run at Gulfstream Park.

3) Twelve horses who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic were also voted the Eclipse winner for Horse of the Year. The last came in 2015 with American Pharoah.

4) The first Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1984 remains one of the most exciting finishes in the race’s history. Wild Again at odds of 31 – 1 held off both Gate Dancer and Slew O’ Gold in a dramatic stretch duel.

5) The longest priced winner of any Breeders’ Cup race came in the 1993 Classic when Arcangues, a Kentucky-bred who had spent his entire career racing in France before the BC, won at odds of 133-1.

6) The 1989 Classic was labeled the “Race of the Decade.” It matched that year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence against the Belmont Stakes winner Easy Goer. Sunday Silence beat his rival by a neck and would be voted that year’s Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.

7) The only two-time winner of the Classic is Tiznow who won it in 2000 at Churchill Downs and 2001 at Belmont Park.

8) Medaglio d’Oro finished second two years in a row (2002 and 2003). Gate Dancer crossed the wire second in both 1984 and 1985. However, he was disqualified from second to third in the 1984 Classic for interfering with Slew o’ Gold in the stretch.

9) The gelding Perfect Drift started in five straight Breeders’ Cup Classics. He had his best finish in 2005 when he finished third.

10) Three jockeys share fourteen wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Jerry Bailey won five aboard Arcangues, Black Tie Affair, Cigar, Concern, and Saint Liam. Chris McCarron also won five with Alphabet Soup, Alysheba, Sunday Silence, and Tiznow (twice). And Pat Day has four wins, riding Awesome Again, Cat Thief, Unbridled, and Wild Again.

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