BREEDERS’ CUP EXPANDS GLOBAL NOMINATIONS PROGRAM
CREATES INCENTIVES, STRONGER LINK FROM BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE SERIES TO BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 13, 2010) -- To broaden international participation in its racing programs and increase the number of the world’s best horses eligible to participate in its year-end championships, Breeders’ Cup Limited will make major changes to its longstanding nominations programs, Breeders’ Cup officials announced today.
Beginning January of 2011, all foals sired by Breeders’ Cup nominated international stallions will be automatically eligible to participate in Breeders’ Cup races. To qualify for the new program, owners of stallions standing outside North America in the Northern Hemisphere will pay an annual nomination fee equal to 50% of their stallion’s published stud fee and owners of stallions standing in the Southern Hemisphere will pay a nomination fee equal to 25% of their stallion’s published stud fee. Breeders’ Cup’s current North American nominations programs will remain unchanged.
In connection with the changes in the nominations program, Breeders’ Cup also will enhance the benefits for winning one of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying “Win and You’re In” races by paying the entry fees and subsidizing travel costs to the Championships for all Challenge winners who are Breeders’ Cup eligible. Breeders’ Cup also will pay a new $10,000 award to the nominator of any North American foal that wins a Challenge race.
“The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is our flagship and the programs we are unveiling today will make it an even stronger global competition moving forward,” said Breeders’ Cup Chairman Bill Farish. “While some of these initiatives are targeted at the overseas market, we believe that building our global Championships and strengthening the Breeders’ Cup’s international brand will directly support a stronger U.S. commercial Thoroughbred breeding and racing market.”
“Over the past few years, less than 2% of all international Thoroughbreds have been eligible to run in our Championships,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO, Greg Avioli. “We believe the new changes to expand international eligibility along with the additional incentives for Challenge winners and North American breeders should ensure we continue to draw the best fields in the world to racing’s premier event.”
“For years Breeders’ Cup has looked for ways to attract more interest and participation from the top stables outside the U.S. and this new program is a big step toward doing just that,” said Clem Murphy, Senior Bloodstock Advisor, Coolmore Stud, and Chairman of the Breeders’ Cup Racing and Nominations Committee that helped develop the new program. “Coolmore plans to take advantage of this new program and we would encourage the leading breeding operations in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America to do the same.”
To jumpstart the international nominations program and increase the numbers of eligible runners in the Championships from North America, Breeders’ Cup will offer a special one-time, fee-based “open enrollment” program in 2011 for previously ineligible horses. This open enrollment program will be available from February 1 through June 30, 2011 to any horse sired by stallions nominated to the Breeders’ Cup in 2011 according to the following fee schedule: yearlings for $3,000, two-year-olds for $6,000 and three-year-olds and up for $25,000.
“This is a one-time incentive that we thought long and hard about,” said Avioli. “Initially, it was targeted to international participants but we considered the overall fairness issues and the benefits this could provide owners in the U.S. and Canada and decided it was in everyone’s interest to offer it on a worldwide basis.”
In 2010, Breeders’ Cup scheduled 66 Challenge races, 50 in the U.S. and Canada, 16 in Europe, Asia and Australia. Breeders’ Cup officials said the 2011 Challenge schedule would be announced later in the year.
International wagering on the Breeders’ Cup World Championships has been a significant growth area, increasing by 110% from $11 million to $23 million over the last five years. Since its Championships expanded to two days in 2007, Breeders’ Cup has grown the number of international starters from 12 to 34.
“We are fortunate that Thoroughbred racing is a global sport with strong interest around the world,” said Avioli. “We have concentrated on opening up new markets for wagering over the last few years and the results have been promising.”
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, and the Breeders’ Cup Stakes Program, which will provide racetracks and horsemen nearly $4 million in purse enhancements this year. Total purses for this year’s two-day event at Churchill Downs, Nov. 5-6, will be $26 million. The 2009 Breeders’ Cup delivered nearly $125 million in winning wagers to fans at betting locations around the globe. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com
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