Santa Anita Park will host the 2008 Breeders’ Cup
The year 1986 marked the first time the Breeders’ Cup was held at the Santa Anita Park in Southern California, and once again the 2008 Breeders Cup will be held here during the silver anniversary edition at the Oak Tree Meet. The Breeders’ Cup horse race has been held at Santa Anita on two other occasions – in 1993 and 2003. 2008 is therefore the fourth year that the Breeders’ Cup will take place at this famous race track.
Since the previous Breeders' Cup meets at Santa Anita, there have been a couple of dramatic changes, beginning with Gregory Avioli’s appointment as the new interim President and CEO. Along with the appointment of Mr. Avioli, three new races have been introduced to expand the World Thoroughbred Championships from just a one-day event to a two-day event. This change has resulted in the number of races held during the World Thoroughbred Championships to increase from eight to the all new eleven race format. Calls for a new track surface have seen the creation of a new initiative that will result in the installation of a synthetic racing surface in place of the all soil surface. With track surface changes, event organizers hope that the racing will be more exciting for 2008.
Santa Anita is considered by most observers to be amongst the most beautiful horse race tracks in the world with its magnificent Southern Californian weather and beautiful backdrops. Add the Breeders' Cup to the Santa Anita mix and you can expect the event to boast record setting attendance, which seems to be the case each time Oak Tree Racing Association hosts the Breeders' Cup day. Santa Anita Park opened in 1934 and has gained the reputation as one of the oldest and most prestigious horse racing tracks in the United States. Santa Anita's roots lie with the Los Angeles Turf Club, the group that founded this world-class racecourse, now host to the 2008 Breeders' Cup.
The previous record wager for the Breeders' Cup totaled $120 631 437. Jerry Bailey who rode Arcangues managed to make a record winning with the greatest payoff on a $2 bet, taking home $133.60. With all the records mentioned, the most outstanding record set at Santa Anita was the extraordinary day when Richard Mandella become the first ever trainer to win four Breeders' Cup races in a single day.
One of the most unforgettable sport's stories to take place at the Santa Anita Park race course occurred in 1940 when Seabiscuit, the already famed race horse, would run his last race here, putting him in the history books by winning the 1940 Santa Anita handicap.