Everything you need to know about the Breeders' Cup

Since the Breeders' Cup Series was introduced in 1984 as an opportunity for North American thoroughbred breeders and trainers to celebrate the end of the season and show off their finest talent, it has ballooned into arguably the most epic weekend of thoroughbred racing in the world. From 1984 to 2006 the Breeders' Cup was held as a single day event, but by 2007 there were simply too many entries to maintain this small scale. As only fourteen runners are allowed in each race, the event was expanded to accommodate the flood of contenders. Since then the Breeders' Cup is held over two days with a total of fourteen individual races - and the North American runners have gotten company from all over the world.

The Breeders' Cup is held on the first Friday and Saturday of November and is made up of the following events:

Friday

  • Breeders' Cup Marathon
  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies
  • Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf
  • Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
  • Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic

Saturday

  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
  • Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint
  • Breeders' Cup Sprint
  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile
  • Breeders' Cup Mile
  • Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile
  • Breeders' Cup Turf
  • Breeders' Cup Classic

The prize money of the individual races varies between $500,000 and $5 million, making the Breeders' Cup the most valuable race meeting in the world at $25.5 million dollars worth of prize money for both days combined. The location of the Breeders' Cup varies from year to year, the races are held at selected racecourses in the United States and Canada. Popular racecourses to host the Breeders' Cup include Churchill Downs, Santa Anita Park, Belmont Park and Woodbine.

But no matter where it is held, the Breeders' Cup usually draws some of the largest crowds of the thoroughbred racing season; it is second only to races of the U.S. Triple Crown Series (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes).