The grandstand at Santa Anita on Saturday of the Breeders' Cup.
The 36th Breeders' Cup World Championships held on Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2, 2019, at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California are now in the record book. The combined total attendance over the two days was 109,054, of which 67,811 were on Saturday. This is the fourth highest attendance since the event went to two days and a 4% decrease from last year's attendance of 112,667 at Churchill Downs. Total handle for the two-day event of was $174,000,574 which was a new record up 10% from last year.
Breeders' Cup Chairman Fred Hertrich III said, "Breeders' Cup would like to thank the staff and management at Santa Anita Park and The Stronach Group for their hard work and support of the 2019 World Championships, along with Arcadia, Pasadena and the surrounding communities, our loyal fans around the world and, especially, the owners, breeders and nominators who make our event possible. Last, but certainly not least, Breeders' Cup would like to recognize our Equine athletes, the horsemen and women, grooms, jockeys, trainers, veterinary teams, security personnel and all volunteers for their tireless efforts and dedication to our event."
This year was the tenth time the Breeders' Cup has been held at Santa Anita. The Breeders' Cup will return to Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky in 2020 and at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, California in 2021.
Irad Ortiz Jr. celebrates after winning the Turf. He had a total of 4 wins and 2 thirds.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who won the award last year as well, won the 17th Bill Shoemaker Award, given to the most outstanding rider at the Championships. The Shoemaker Award is based on a 10-5-3-1 scoring system on first through fourth place finishes in each of the 14 Breeders' Cup World Championship races. Ortiz won aboard Four Wheel Drive in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, Spun to Run in the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile, Bricks and Mortar in the Longines Turf and Vino Rosso in the Longines Classic.
Jockeys Javier Castellano and Joel Rosario both had two wins each. Castellano won the Juvenile Fillies on British Idiom and the Turf Sprint on Belvoir Bay. Rosario's won aboard Covfefe in the Filly & Mare Sprint and Uni in the TVG Mile.
Irad Ortiz Jr. joins Garrett Gomez as the only jockeys to win four Breeders' Cup races in the same year. Gomez also rode three winners in the 2010 Championships at Churchill Downs. Mike Smith has done it twice at Santa Anita in 2013 and 2016, Julien Leparoux had three winners at Santa Anita in 2009, and Joel Rosario had three winners in 2018 at Churchill Downs.
Despite being shut out in the win column, Mike Smith still leads all jockeys with 26 Championship wins, well ahead of the 16 won by John Velazquez, and also continues to lead by earnings, with $35,924,605 wih Velazquez second with $27,100,275.
Trainer Chad Brown was the leading trainer of the event with three winners: Bricks and Mortar in the Turf, Uni in the Mile and Structor in the Juvenile Turf. This gives Brown 15 lifetime wins at the Breeders' Cup, tying him for second with Bob Baffert. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds the all-time record with 20 wins.
Iridessa was the only European-trained horse to win this year. Her trainer, Joseph O'Brien, became the youngest trainer to ever win a Breeders' Cup race at age 26. The son of trainer Aidan O'Brien is also only the second person to have Breeders' Cup wins as both a jockey and trainer, with Freddy Head being the other.
There were several jockeys and trainers who had their first wins in the Breeders' Cup this year:
Joe Bravo finally won a Breeders' Cup race with Blue Prize in the Distaff. Before this he only had two 3rd place finishes in 20 tries.
Ignacio Correas, IV with Blue Prize in the Distaff
Two defending champions were back but neither succeeded in defending their title. Sistercharlie finished third in her attempt to repeat in the Filly and Mare Turf and Stormy Liberal finished 8th in his attempt to repeat in the Turf Sprint.
Belvoir Bay winning the Turf Sprint.
Favorites did not fair well this year with only Four Wheel Drive in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, Covfefe in the Filly and Mare Sprint and Bricks and Mortar in the Turf winning. Bricks and Mortar's $4.00 win mutuel in the Turf was the lowest of the weekend. The highest price winner of the weekend came from the Juvenile with Storm the Court paying a whopping $93.80.
Belvoir Bay set the only track record this year going 54:83 for the five furlong Turf Sprint. Not only was she a 6-year-old mare going against the boys, but she was also a survivor of the fire at San Luis Rey Downs in 2017.
It appeared that every Breeders' Cup entrant was going to safely complete their races, until the stretch of the Classic when Mongolian Groom broke his leg and was vanned off. He was later euthanized after surgeons determined the break was not repairable.
Breeders' Cup Two-Day Attendance and Handle history
Rest in peace Mongolian Groom, shown here on Thursday morning.
2018 Churchill Downs 112,667 $157,445,842
2017 Del Mar 70,420 $166,077,486
2016 Santa Anita Park 118,484 $156,861,811
2015 Keeneland Race Course 94,652 $149,869,035
2014 Santa Anita Park 98,319 $151,158,813
2013 Santa Anita Park 94,628 $160,704,877
2012 Santa Anita Park 89,742 $144,272,332
2011 Churchill Downs 105,820 $161,512,867
2010 Churchill Downs 114,353 $173,857,697
2009 Santa Anita Park 96,496 $153,271,176
2008 Santa Anita Park 86,588 $155,740,328
2007 Monmouth Park 69,584 $129,197,262
Breeders' Cup World Championships Leading Jockeys
(by wins) (by earnings)
Jockey Wins Jockey Earnings
Mike Smith 26 Mike Smith $35,924,605
John Velazquez 16 John Velazquez $27,100,275
Jerry Bailey 15 Frankie Dettori $24,621,862
Frankie Dettori 14 Pat Day $23,033,360
Garrett Gomez 13 Jerry Bailey $22,006,440
Pat Day 12 Garrret Gomez $20,365,600
Breeders' Cup World Championships Leading Trainers
(by wins) (by earnings)
Trainer Wins Trainer Earnings
D. Wayne Lukas 20 Bob Baffert $28,815,000
Bob Baffert 15 Aidan O'Brien $23,285,590
Chad Brown 15 D. Wayne Lukas $22,672,520
Aidan O'Brien 12 Bill Mott $18,716,900
Todd Pletcher 11 Todd Pletcher $17,678,030
Bill Mott 10 Chad Brown $14,980,690
The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.
Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - The old official policy on supplemental entries plus all the supplemental entries and how they fared, mostly it was a losing proposition. There are no more supplements now, only late nominations making it impossible to track since the change.