BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS EXPANDS TO 11 RACES
Three New $1 Million Races Highlight New Two-Day Format
In the most significant expansion of its racing program since its inception 24 years ago and continuing a year of innovation, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will expand to 11 races and a two-day format in 2007, Breeders’ Cup, Ltd. announced today. The addition of three new Breeders’ Cup World Championships races carrying purses of $1 million each was approved by the Board of Directors of Breeders’ Cup Limited at its January 5 Board meeting and is subject to definitive agreements and necessary approvals from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) and New Jersey regulators.
The expanded format will take effect with this year’s event to be conducted on Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27, at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. Total purses for the 11 Breeders’ Cup World Championship races will increase to $23 million. The Breeders’ Cup World Championship races on Friday and Saturday will be televised by ESPN.
The new Breeders’ Cup World Championships races, which will be run on Friday, October 26, are as follows:
Race Distance Age/Sex
$1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile 1 Mile, 70 yds* 3-year-olds and up
$1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint 6 furlongs* 3-year-olds & up, fillies and mares
$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf 1 mile (turf) 2-year-olds, colts, geldings and fillies
*In future years, the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile will be run at 1 mile and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint will be run at seven furlongs. Monmouth Park track configuration mandates that the races be run at the above distances in 2007.
In addition to the three new Breeders’ Cup World Championships races, there will be three other stakes races on the card funded by the Breeders' Cup and each of the three races will carry a purse of $250,000. They are: a 1 1/16-miles race for 3-year-old fillies; a 1-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies and a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds. Total purses for the 10-race card on Breeders’ Cup Friday will be $4 million, making it the second-richest racing day in North America.
“Today’s announcement, along with other previously announced changes over the course of the last year, provides the framework for unprecedented growth of the Breeders’ Cup,” said Bill Farish, Breeders’ Cup Board Chairman. “There will be more races, more purse money and more nominator participation than at any time in the event’s history, all designed to attract the best horses from around the world to compete in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.”
This expansion follows a series of dramatic and innovative changes for the Breeders’ Cup during the past 12 months, beginning with the increase of purses from $14 to $20 million for the 2006 event; new nomination rules for horses or racing age; the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, which this year will allow winners of 24 officially-sanctioned races at six tracks to gain automatic berths in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships under a 'Win and You're In' format; and unprecedented promotion from its new broadcast partner in ESPN.
"All of this innovation -- increased purse levels, new races, the Breeders' Cup Challenge -- is designed to enhance the Breeders' Cup as the pre-eminent global racing brand," said Breeders' Cup President Greg Avioli. "Today's marketplace demands change, innovation and the willingness to take chances. The Breeders' Cup board has embraced this and is giving us the freedom and responsibility to take the event to the next level."
“We are extremely excited to be the inaugural host of the two day Breeders’ Cup format,” said Dennis Dowd, senior vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA). “We have been undergoing more than $30 million in structural improvements to Monmouth Park, which we believe will make for a spectacular showcase for this year’s event. We expect to gain the necessary approvals in the near future.”
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships will continue on Saturday, October 27, with the following eight races in the program:
Race Distance Age/Sex
$5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic – 1 ¼ miles 3-year-olds and up
Powered by Dodge
$3 million John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf 1 ½ miles (turf) 3-year-olds and up
$2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies 1 1/16 miles 2-year-old fillies
$2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 1 1/16 miles 2-year-old colts & geldings
$2 million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf 1 3/8 miles (turf) 3-and-up, fillies & mares
$2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile 1 mile (turf) 3-year-olds and up
$2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint 6 furlongs 3-year-olds and up
$2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff 1 1/8 miles 3-year-olds and up
Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships consisting of 11 races and $23 million in purses. The organization also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, and the Breeders’ Cup Stakes Program. Breeders’ Cup Ltd. is located in Lexington, Ky. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, breederscup.com.