We are less than a month away from the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Santa Anita will be the home once again and the finest in the world will be on site to prove their worth. Over the past 30 years, there have been over 270 champions crowned at the Breeders Cup. The two-day event is the culmination of the racing season. While many casual fans think of the Kentucky Derby-Preakness Stakes-Belmont Stakes as the pinnacle of the racing season, the real followers of the sport know that there is a summer grind, full of amazing racing, which peaks at the Breeders’ Cup. There will be over $25 million in purses money handed out over the two-day period.
An owner cannot just enter a Breeders’ Cup race; there are qualification criteria that must be met in order to step into the starting gate. There are a few ways that a horse can qualify to run. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is the first way a horse can gain entry. Winning one of the selected races automatically qualifies a horse for entry. Secondly, horses can earn qualification through a yearlong points race. Each Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3 race has a level of weighted points for first thru third place. Garner enough points and you are in. Finally, there is the panel of experts. This group can decide if a horse merits the chance to run in a Breeders’ Cup race. Fair? Yes, if there is a horse that was injured or has another weighting factor that limited starts for a talented animal. Regardless, each race is capped at 14 horses.
The level of excitement around the horse racing world cannot be understated. Everyone is counting down to an incredible event. Each bettor is looking for an angle, each trainer is looking for the edge and each owner is giddy with the opportunity to be crowned a Breeders’ Cup Champion. Money will be flowing over the two day event. Last year, the total two-day handle for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships was $150,574,656. Could the Breeders’ Cup hit $200 million in the not so distant future? Anything is possible so you should never rule it out. Maybe this year could be the year. Locally, almost 100,000 people (95,102) attended live to watch incredible racing at Keeneland. With the return to Santa Anita, that number should exceed 100,000 in 2016.
The position draw for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup will be held on Monday, the 31st of October at 3:30 PM Pacific Time at Chandelier Room at Santa Anita Park hosted by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Good luck!
November 4, 2016 – Friday
Parking Opens at 8:30 AM PST
Gate Open at 0900 AM PST
Betting Windows Open at 10:00 AM PST
November 5, 2016 – Saturday
Parking Opens at 7:30 AM PST
Gate Opens at 8:00 AM PST
Betting Windows Open at 9:00 AM PST