Horse racing fans around the world love watching the biggest stars going head to head with the biggest prize money on offer. For those fans, there isn’t a more popular meeting of the season than the Breeders’ Cup.
What is the Breeders Cup and why should you watch it?
This race is regarded as the fourth leg of the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing.
Held annually, the Breeders’ Cup sees horses from around the world travel to the United States to win lucrative prizes in one of 14 races that are held. You can learn more about the races and why you should tune in below.
Races & Prize Money
Nowadays, 14 Grade 1 races make up the Breeders’ Cup, with a mixture of races taking place on dirt and turf. The most lucrative of the races that takes place is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which usually helps to determine the U.S Horse of the Year.
This race is typically regarded as the fourth leg of the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Racing, with the other three making up the Triple Crown races. However, only one horse has won all four in the same calendar year; American Pharoah in 2015. It is also the most lucrative of the Breeders’ Cup, with a $6 million purse available to connections.
The Breeders’ Cup Turf is the big race for European raiders, and is the second most lucrative race that is staged, offering a purse of $4 million. Meanwhile, the Juvenile, Filly & Mare Turf, Juvenile Fillies, Distaff, Mile, and Sprint all offer a purse of $2 million. The remaining six races, which includes the Dirt Mile, Turf Sprint, and Juvenile Turf, all have a purse of $1 million.
How Do Horses Enter?
Horses aren’t necessarily handed spots for the races that take place during the Breeders’ Cup, although remaining places are made up following a decision that is made by a panel of racing experts.
The main way to achieve entry to the Breeders’ Cup is by winning one of the Challenge races that take place around the world throughout the season.
The first of the Challenge races takes place in December in Argentina, as the Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini winner earns a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Other huge races that see horses enter respective races at the featured event, include the Haskell Stakes, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. However, winning entry to the race doesn’t necessarily mean that horses head to the Breeders’ Cup later in the season.
Why Should You Watch?
The Breeders’ Cup is the pinnacle of the flat racing season, with the biggest stars from around the world invited to play their part. Unlike other huge events such as the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup is all about the high-quality racing on show.
Typically, the people that attend the event have been watching throughout the season and have already earmarked potential winners, which is different from the Kentucky Derby, which attracts a lot of fans that have no real desire for the sport.
For those looking for the best quality sporting action on the track, the Breeders’ Cup is number one.
Every Grade 1 race is followed by another, which leads to the climax of the meeting, the lucrative Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Betting on the event is now popular around the world, with all leading sportsbooks offering ante-post odds for the biggest races, as well as a range of markets on the day of the Breeders’ Cup. You can check the official Breeders' Cup odds by TwinSpires.com here.
Moments at this event stay with fans for the rest of their lives, and there are sure to be a number of massive stories coming out of the Breeders’ Cup from Del Mar later this year.
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