Since it was first run in 1984, the Breeders’ Cup has served as the headlining event of all the Grade 1 horse races, or so is the common belief. Every November, the Breeders’ Cup grows in size, originally from a single day race 35 years ago to the two-event that we’re familiar with now.
Today, the Breeders’ Cup pulls in racing fans from all across the globe with its huge purse size for the total of all the races. In 2018 alone, winners could expect to take home part of a $30 million pot. The Breeders’ Cup Classic, the main race of the Cup, is worth $6 million of that alone.
For some, the Breeders’ Cup is the championship to end all other championships. Needles to say, it attracts plenty of incredible sprinters, racers, and milers, including some of the best in their divisions. Here, they compete for incredible prize money as well as the glory of the Cup. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon to find Triple Crown-worthy horses racing against old champions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. As the main race, the classic is the peak of the Cup’s festivities, and the major draw of the entire event.
In 2018, the Cup was held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, which racing fans will know as the same track to host the Kentucky Derby every year. As a result, there are many fans and gamblers who attended who thought it arguably the best race in the history of the Cup.
But it can definitely be said that the hype for the race builds every single year, higher and higher as excitement mounts.
It was definitely a tense event in 2018, as history was made in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf by a four-year-old European super filly from Great Britain, Enable. Later, however, Accelerate was on everyone’s mind as he took the $6 million Classic victory, marking a close to the two incredible days of racing at historic Churchill Downs.
This year marked the 35th anniversary of the Breeders’ Cup, highlighted by the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships. In 2018, we saw Churchill Downs hosting the Cup for the ninth time – a record.
Since adopting the two-day event format back in 2007, the Breeders’ Cup has enjoyed higher handles, with 2018 marking the fifth highest since 2007 at $163,011,577. Attendance for both days totaled at 112,672, putting it at the third highest attendance in the 35-year history of the Cup.
Accelerate, a five-year-old owned by Hronis Racing, trained by John Sadler, and ridden to victory by Joel Rosario, took a one-length lead over the four-year-old Gunnevara, dominating the Classic for the entire race. Accelerate ended the season with an impressive six wins out of seven starts, losing to City Of Light back in April of 2018 at the Oaklawn Handicap, and then again on Saturday at the Breeders’ Cup in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Enable, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, claimed her victory in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf against three-year-old filly Magical, from Ireland, a hard-won battle fought over a stretch. Enable, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori and trained by John Gosden, won the Prix de L’arc de Triomphe earlier in the year. As a result, she became the first horse to win the race and the Breeders’ Cup in the same year.
In addition, Peter Miller turned in an astounding training feat, as he is the first trainer to have two Breeders’ Cup champion runners repeat. Stormy Liberal represented Miller and Rockingham Ranch as he defended his title in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, while Roy H competed three races later into his second Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint win. Roy H, a six-year-old gelding, claimed his second straight win with a 3 ¼ length lead.
In 2018, the Breeders’ Cup saw its’ first revamp of the two-day format of the event. This meant that all of the Juvenile races took place on the first day, under the theme of Future Stars Friday. The inaugural run of the new $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint was won by Bulletin, trained by Todd Pletcher. Meanwhile, the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies was won by D.J. Stable’s and Cash in King Stable’s Jaywalk in a landslide 5 ½-length victory.
|Finish Position||Horse||Jockey||Morning Line Odds||Final Odds||Winnings|
|1||Vino Rosso||Irad Ortiz Jr.||4-1||4.60||$3,300,000|
|3||Higher Power||Flavien Prat||6-1||9.80||$540,000|
|5||Math Wizard||Ricardo Santana Jr.||30-1||39.10||$180,000|
|6||Seeking the Soul||Brian Hernandez Jr.||20-1||37.90||$60,000|
|7||Code of Honor||John Velazquez||4-1||3.70||$60,000|
|8||Yoshida (JPN)||Mike Smith||8-1||7.40||$60,000|
|9||War of Will||Tyler Gaffalione||20-1||16.00|
|DNF||Mongolian Groom||Abel Cedillo||12-1||15.60|
With a history of 35 years and a long roster of winners, you’ll want to do your research on competitors and returning champions for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup. Knowing your odds is the key to getting great payouts in horse racing bets, so we’ve done the hard work for you. Here, we’ve collected all the best payout information that we could get our hands on, so make sure you take a look at these payouts before placing your horse racing wagers.
As the main race for the Breeders’ Cup, the Breeders’ Cup Classic has seen 35 incredible winners since 1984. All have been located in the US – except for the 1996 race in Toronto. The first winner of the Classic was Wild Again, back in 1984. The only filly to ever win the Classic was Zenyatta in 2009, while American Pharoah in 2015 is noted not for his Classic win, but instead for the Triple Crown he won that same year.
There is no applicable speed record run for the Classic, as it is held at a different track every year. That said, American Pharoah did set a track record at the Classic, which was run at Keeneland in 2015, with a time of 2:00.07, and other track records have been set during the Breeders’ Cup Classic race. Tiznow is the only multiple winner of the Classic race, with wins in both 2000 and 2001. To get more information about past winners of the Breeders’ Cup, take a look at the table below.
|2019||Vino Rosso||Irad Ortiz Jr.||2:02.80|
|2017||Gun Runner||Florent Geroux||2:01.29|
|2016||Arrogate||Mike E. Smith||2:00.11|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||2:00.07|
|2013||Mucho Macho Man||Gary Stevens||2:00.72|
|2012||Fort Larned||Brian Hernandez||2:00.11|
|2011||Drosselmeyer||Mike E. Smith||2:04.27|
|2009||Zenyatta†||Mike E. Smith||2:00.32|
|2008||Raven's Pass||Frankie Dettori||1:59.27|
|2006||Invasor (ARG)||Fernando Jara||2:02.18|
|2005||Saint Liam||Jerry Bailey||2:01.49|
|2003||Pleasantly Perfect||Alex Solis||1:59.88|
|1999||Cat Thief||Pat Day||1:59.52|
|1998||Awesome Again (CAN)||Pat Day||2:02.16|
|1997||Skip Away||Mike E. Smith||1:59.16|
|1996||Alphabet Soup||Chris McCarron||2:01.00|
|1992||A.P. Indy||Ed Delahoussaye||2:00.20|
|1991||Black Tie Affair (IRE)||Jerry Bailey||2:02.95|
|1989||Sunday Silence||Chris McCarron||2:00.20|
|1986||Skywalker||Laffit Pincay, Jr.||2:00.40|
|1985||Proud Truth||Jorge Velasquez||2:00.80|
|1984||Wild Again||Pat Day||2:03.40|
U.S. horse racing is known for huge races that gain attention from world fans, but none are quite as big or incredible as the Breeders’ Cup. With a huge purse size and a field full of winners and champions, it could be said that the Breeders’ Cup is Christmas in November for a lot of punters. Now, the Breeders’ Cup is only a few weeks away – so make sure you get your eye on possible winners and their riders.