The Breeders Cup World Championship is a series of eight thoroughbred horse races which are held in the USA on an annual basis. It is a one-day event held at a different location each year. The Breeders Cup horse race was instituted in 1984 and is designed to act as a year-end championship for North American thoroughbred racing. It is sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and is so popular that it often attracts top horses from Europe and sometimes other parts of the world who come to compete this spectacular best-of-the-best event.
The Breeders Cup is traditionally held in the US. It has only been held out of the country on one occasion when it was held at the Woodbine Racetrack in Canada in 1996. There are currently eight races on the Breeders Cup card and all eight are classified as Grade 1 races. This means the competition is fierce and the overall winner will be the horse who wins the most of his races. The races are normally open to any horse older than 3 years and they are held on a dirt track.
Both fillies and colts or geldings can compete in the Breeders cup. There is a sizable purse for the winner of each race. The race order for the first six races may be swapped around each year, but the "Turf" and "Classic" are placed last according to tradition. The various races are listed below in no particular order:
The Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies
- A 1 1/16 mile race for 2 year old fillies
The Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf
- A race for fillies or mares from three years of age up run on a grass track of 1 1/4 miles.
The Breeders Cup Distaff
- Strictly for fillies and mares 3year olds and up. The race takes place on a 1 1/8 mile track.
The Breeders Cup Juvenile - For 2 year old colds and geldings. The track is also 1 1/16 miles.
The Breeders Cup Sprint - A 6 Furlong Race.
The Breeders Cup Mile
- The race takes place on a 1 mile grass track
The Breeders Cup Turf
- The race takes place on a 1 1/2 mile grass track and has the second largest winnings.
The Breeders Cup Classic - This race around a 1 1/4 mile race track has the biggest purse.
This race is an exciting gathering of breeding, training and racing from all corners of the country. It has been held at the Churchill Downs race track five times making this the top race-track for the event. It has also been held at 17 other race tracks during its 22 year history. No matter where it is held, the Breeders Cup World Championships prove to be an exhilarating mixture of big money and great horses.