Make Your Plans for 2010

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 8, 2008 in Breeders Cup, News | 5 Comments >>

The Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs, Inc. (“CDI”) joined state and local officials today to announce that the 2010 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held at historic Churchill Downs, for a record seventh time.

The 27th Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious global event – currently consisting of 14 races held over two days with purses totaling $25.5 million – will be run on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, 2010, and will be televised live on ESPN, ABC and to a worldwide audience of more than 120 countries.

Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby, has previously hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 1988, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2006 and has been the site of six of the seven largest crowds in Breeders’ Cup history. In 1998, 80,452 fans attended the Breeders’ Cup. That record eclipsed the mark set in 1994 at Churchill, when 71,671 were on hand. The 2006 event, which was attended by 76,132 fans, also produced all-time Breeders’ Cup records for single day on-track handle, $18,259,971, and total worldwide single day wagering of $140,332,198.

Breeders’ Cup Chairman William S. Farish Jr. and President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Avioli joined Churchill Downs Incorporated President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Evans and Steve Sexton, CDI executive vice president and president of Churchill Downs racetrack, to announce Churchill Downs’ selection as host track for the 2010 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. State and local officials on hand for the announcement included Larry Hayes, Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet and interim Secretary of Economic Development for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, and Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson.

“We are delighted to be returning the Breeders’ Cup to Churchill Downs and to our great supporters in Kentucky and throughout the region,” said Breeders’ Cup Chairman William S. Farish, Jr. “Churchill Downs has proven to be an outstanding Breeders’ Cup venue and is extremely popular with our horsemen and fans from around the world. Churchill will also provide an extraordinary site for our expanded two-day program of the Championships. We appreciate the efforts and enthusiasm displayed by Bob Evans and his management team in our agreement to bring the Breeders’ Cup back to Churchill Downs and continue an ongoing partnership that has been of great benefit to the Breeders’ Cup, Churchill Downs and the racing and breeding industry.”

“The return of the Breeders’ Cup to Churchill Downs in 2010 is wonderful news for our track and Kentucky’s signature horse industry, as well as the business owners and the state and local governments that will benefit from the economic boost this major international event will provide to our city and region,” said Evans. “Our state, industry and our Churchill Downs team take great pride in the unparalleled record of success of the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. The bold idea that became the Breeders’ Cup was unveiled in our city by visionary breeder and Breeders’ Cup founder John Gaines, and we are excited to officially start the countdown to the first visit by this great event in its new two-day format to Churchill Downs in 2010.”

“The horse industry is a vital engine in Kentucky’s economy and the return of the Breeders’ Cup to Churchill Downs will complete an unforgettable year of international focus on our industry and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Hayes. “After an international audience views the Kentucky Derby in the spring, we will welcome the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to the Kentucky Horse Park, and then focus our attention on Churchill Downs for the return of the international celebration of racing that is the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. It will truly be a ‘Year of the Horse’ in the state that is the horse capital of the world, and the return of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will benefit businesses and citizens throughout Kentucky.”

“We had a successful first Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs on ESPN, and we look forward to working with Greg Avioli and Bob Evans to make this weekend even bigger,” said Len Deluca, ESPN senior vice president of programming and acquisitions. “Churchill Downs is horse racing’s greatest stage, so it’s fitting that the Breeders Cup returns there in 2010.”

Some of the greatest moments in Breeders Cup history have taken place under the famed Twin Spires during the Championships’ six previous visits to Louisville. The 1988 Breeders’ Cup was arguably one of racings all time greatest days, highlighted by Personal Ensign’s unforgettable stretch drive to win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Alysheba clinching Horse of the Year by winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  In 1991, the 2-year-old Arazi stunned the racing world with a dominating performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In 2000, the 3-year-old Tiznow won a grueling stretch duel over Irish invader Giant’s Causeway in the Classic, and was later named Horse of the Year. In 2006, the remarkable English mare Ouija Board (GB) won her second Filly & Mare Turf title, and the Argentine bred Invasor won the Classic and clinched the Horse of the Year title.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25. Championship Friday will feature five Breeders’ Cup races on the first-ever all female racing card. The Championships continue on Saturday with nine open Breeders’ Cup races. The 2009 Breeders’ Cup will also be held at Santa Anita.