The Breeders' Cup Schedule 2017
This year marks the 34th edition of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which is known as the 'Super Bowl of Horse Racing'. As one of the most anticipated events in the racing calendar, the Cup features 13 Group One races with a combined prize purse of $28 million. The 2017 event will be held at Del Mar race track in California on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November.
Spectators will gather at the 44,000 capacity racetrack to watch the 2017 Cup, including VIPs and celebrities like Elizabeth Banks, while thousands more will tune in to watch the live coverage on NBC. Three of the Cup fixtures are rated among the top Group One races in the world by the International Federation of Horse racing Authorities (IFHA): the $6 million Classic, the $4 million Turf, and the $2 million Mile.
Breeders' Cup Schedule 2017
The Cup has a 'win and you're in' qualifying system whereby the winners of 81 major races held around the world, from South Africa to Australia, gain automatic entry to the Cup stakes. Apart from the Dirt Mile which features 12 horses, each Championship race has 14 starters which are selected based on qualifying races, a points system, and a racing panel.
So far, the only horse to win entry to the headlining Cup Classic, is Gold Dream, who won the February Stakes at Tokyo racecourse. The Longines world number one racehorse Arrogate, who won last year's Classic, is expected to return to defend his title. Official tickets to the 2017 Cup range from $50 for general admission on the first floor of the stretch run to private boxes for $375 and luxury track side chalet packages for $1,799.
The idea for the Breeders' Cup was proposed by pet food heir and thoroughbred breeder John R. Gaines at the Kentucky Derby Festival luncheon in 1982. Gaines introduced the event as a way to enhance the sport's image and under the management of Breeders' Cup Limited, the first edition was launched in 1984. To the surprise of the racing community, the Cup exceeded expectations and gained enormous popularity with fans, trainers, and jockeys around the world.
In 2008, the Cup was expanded from a single day to a weekend event held in a variety of top racecourses across North America, from Keeneland racetrack to Santa Anita Park.