The Breeder’s Cup World Championship

The Breeder’s Cup World Championship is held each year in November, attracting the top horses from all over the globe. Every year, this race is held at a different site; since its inception in 1984, all races have taken place in either the U.S. or Canada. In 2007, the card expanded to a two day event.

As far as purses go, the Breeder’s Cup is the second largest in the world. Only the Dubai World Cup Night has a larger amount of prize money. Purses for individual races at the Breeder’s Cup range from $500,000 to $5 million, depending on the race. There is a 14 horse limit on most of the 14 races, except the Dirt Mile, the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Juvenile Turf, which are each capped at 12 entrants. Horses are chosen for entry based on a point system. Points are awarded based upon accomplishments in selected races, called the Breeder’s Cup Challenge Races. These include a few automatic berths into the Breeder’s Cup. Some of these include the Grade I Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park, and the Goodwood Stakes held at Santa Anita Park. Final decisions are made by a panel of experts in the field. If the entries into a race exceed the 14 horse limit, eliminations are made by the same panel.

The most competitive race held at the Breeder’s Cup is called the Classic. This race is 1 ¼ miles on the dirt track. Because of the quality of the horses and the selectivity of their entry, this race is an extremely difficult one to handicap. The defending champion of the Classic is the undefeated Zenyatta, the only female horse to have ever won the Classic.

For 2010 and 2011, the Breeder’s Cup is to be held at the same location as the Kentucky Derby: Churchill Downs.