The Seabiscuit statue in the paddock at Santa Anita during the 2003 Breeders' Cup.
It was announced today that Churchill Downs will be the host track for the 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championships. This will be the seventh time the Louisville, Kentucky, track has hosted Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious event, more than any other track.
The 27th Breeders' Cup will be run on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, 2010, and will be televised live on ESPN and ABC. The championship event currently consists of 14 races held over two days with purses totaling $25.5 million
Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby, has previously hosted the Breeders' Cup in 1988, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2006 and has been the site of six of the seven largest crowds in Breeders' Cup history. In 1998, a record 80,452 fans attended the Breeders' Cup, while the 2006 event, which had an attendance of 76,132, also produced records for single day on-track handle of $18,259,971 and total worldwide single day wagering of $140,332,198.
Breeders' Cup Chairman William S. Farish, Jr. said, "We are delighted to be returning the Breeders' Cup to Churchill Downs and to our great supporters in Kentucky and throughout the region. Churchill Downs has proven to be an outstanding Breeders' Cup venue and is extremely popular with our horsemen and fans from around the world. Churchill will also provide an extraordinary site for our expanded two-day program of the Championships. We appreciate the efforts and enthusiasm displayed by Bob Evans and his management team in our agreement to bring the Breeders' Cup back to Churchill Downs and continue an ongoing partnership that has been of great benefit to the Breeders' Cup, Churchill Downs and the racing and breeding industry." Some of the greatest moments in Breeders' Cup history have taken place at Churchill Downs during the six previous times the track hosted the event. The 1988 Breeders' Cup was arguably one of racing's all time greatest days, highlighted by Personal Ensign's unforgettable stretch drive to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff and Alysheba clinching Horse of the Year by winning the Breeders' Cup Classic. In 1991, the 2-year-old Arazi stunned the racing world with a dominating performance in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. In 2000, the 3-year-old Tiznow won a grueling stretch duel over Irish invader Giant's Causeway in the Classic, and was later named Horse of the Year. In 2006, the remarkable English mare Ouija Board (GB) won her second Filly & Mare Turf title and the Argentine bred Invasor won the Classic and clinched the Horse of the Year title.
Larry Hayes, Secretary of the Governorís Executive Cabinet and interim Secretary of Economic Development for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, said, "The horse industry is a vital engine in Kentucky's economy and the return of the Breeders' Cup to Churchill Downs will complete an unforgettable year of international focus on our industry and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. After an international audience views the Kentucky Derby in the spring, we will welcome the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to the Kentucky Horse Park, and then focus our attention on Churchill Downs for the return of the international celebration of racing that is the Breeders' Cup World Championships. It will truly be a 'Year of the Horse' in the state that is the horse capital of the world, and the return of the Breeders' Cup World Championships will benefit businesses and citizens throughout Kentucky."
This year's Breeders' Cup will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA, on October 24 and 25. Championship Friday will feature five Breeders' Cup races on the first-ever all female racing card. The Championships continue on Saturday with nine open Breeders' Cup races. The 2009 Breeders' Cup will also be held at Santa Anita.
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