The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series (now in its 7th year) which began in January in South Africa, came to a close this past weekend. The Series has awarded 67 automatic paid starting berths into the Breeders’ Cup Championship Races.
Qualifying for the Breeders’ Cup Championship Races:
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series (conducted in 10 countries, featured 48 Grade or Group 1 events) was just one of a three ways that horse could qualify to run in a Breeders’ Cup race. Last year, a record 45 winners of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races participated in the World Championships.
The second way to qualify for a spot is based on a points system, where horses are ranked based on their performance in major races during the year. Points were awarded based on the following scale:
The third way to gain entry is to be selected by a panel of experts.
Defining the Horses that Run in the Breeders' Cup
For each race, there are a maximum of 14 horses selected for each Breeders’ Cup Championship race. Seven who come from the Challenge races and points system and seven who have been selected by the experts. This ensures the highest quality of competition and determines a Champion in that particular division. Often a win in the Breeders’ Cup will secure the year-end Horse of the Year title in those respective divisions.
“The list of contenders is growing and the excitement for who is actually going to start is building,” said Jim Gluckson, Media Relations, Breeders’ Cup ltd. “Trainers are finalizing each horse’s training schedule and plans for shipping those horses to California are now being arranged. The fields look very competitive and we anticipate a contentious two days of racing!”
Ken and Sarah Ramsey amassed a record number of Six (6) “Win and You’re In” victories – many of those homebreds by their red-hot sire Kitten’s Joy. Including the six contenders who have their guaranteed entries, Ken Ramsey said they may have as many as four juvenile colts that plan to compete which would represent roughly 20% of field.
Of note too, many divisions will be contested by last year’s winner. Breeders’ Cup Champions preparing to return to defend their titles include:
- Fort Larned, Breeders’ Cup Classic
- Royal Delta, Breeders’ Cup Distaff
- Wise Dan, Mile
- Groupie Doll, Filly and Mare Sprint
- Little Mike, Turf
- Trinniberg, Xpress Bet Sprint
Don’t miss your chance to see these champions battle it out live. It’s the World’s Championships of Thoroughbred racing – don’t miss the 30th Anniversary! Get Official Ticket Packages to the Breeders’ Cup in Los Angeles, California, November 1 & 2, 2013.