The Breeders’ Cup Limited Company, founded in 1982, created the Breeders’ Cup in 1984. Known to many as the world championships of horse racing, the Breeders’ Cup holds multiple horse racing events every year during autumn. Their races are for thoroughbred horses that are, most of the time, Grade one. For the first 22 years, the Breeders’ Cup was held for one day. Due to the many events, however, the Breeders’ Cup is now held for a period of two days.
The Breeders’ Cup was traditionally never held in the same place twice in consecutive years. That all change in 2008 and 2009, though. That was the first time the Breeders’ Cup World Championship races were held in two consecutive years, and it was held in Santa Anita. The races are usually held in three selected areas: Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, and Santa Anita. The very first Breeders’ Cup in 1984 has actually been held in Hollywood Park in California. Other places that this world championship horse race has been held include, but are not limited to, Woodbine, Lone Star Park, Arlington Park, Gulfstream Park and Aqueduct Racetrack.
The total prize money every year at the Breeders’ Cup reaches in the millions. D. Waynes Lukas is so far the most successful trainer with 19 winners under his belt. Mike Smith is also known as the most successful jockey with 17 winners under his belt as well. The countries that have produced the most winners in order are the United States with 200 winners, Ireland with 23 winners, Britain with 13 winners, France with seven winners, Argentina with five winners, Canada with four winners, and Germany with one winner.
Although there are currently 15 racing events in the Breeders’ Cup, there were originally seven. These original seven racing events were the classic, turf, mile, sprint, Juvenile, and classic races were for the adult thoroughbred colts. The Juvenile race is for two-year-old horses, the Juvenile Fillies race is for two-year-old fillies, and the Distaff race is for fillies and mares. These seven races have gone through certain modifications over the years. For example, there are now races like the Filly and Mare Sprint and the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The first and only horse to have won three of the Breeders’ Cup races was Goldikova, a French mare, in 2010. So far, there have been 16 horses that have won two of the Breeders’ Cup races. Of these 16 horses include, but are not limited to, Ouija Board, Midnight Lute, Groupie Doll, Secret Circle, Mizdirection, Zenyatta, and Wise Dan. Miesque was actually the first horse to win two of the Breeders’ Cup races in a row in the years 1987 and 1988.
There are a very limited amount of spots to be able to compete in any of the Breeders’ Cup races. In order to be guaranteed a spot to compete in the world championship horse race, you must first complete in or even win a specially selected race that will grant you that guaranteed spot. This is known as the “Win and You’re In” system. It was first implemented in 2007 so as to replace the tedious, inefficient process of field selection.
John Gaines was said to be one of the most successful horse breeders in his time. John Gaines is also the founder of the Breeders’ Cup. Although he sadly passed away in 2005 from diabetes, he has left behind a legacy by selling his idea of this world championship horse race to his colleagues. John Gaines was also the proud owner of the Gainesway farm, which is located in Kentucky.