Breeder’s Cup – Everything You Need to Know

October 26, 2021

Originating in 1982, the Breeder’s Cup has quickly established itself one of horse racing’s major worldwide events. Over the last 39 years, it has steadily increased in popularity and this glamorous two-day events regularly attracts star-studded international fields.


The inaugural Breeder’s Cup took place at the now-defunct Hollywood Park in California. A total prize fund of $19.4million was made available across the meet with Wild Again winning the first Breeder’s Cup Classic. By 1989, the total prize purse had risen to $57.5million. Several US racetracks including Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs and Aqueduct hosted this prestigious event throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Although the Breeder’s Cup had proven to be a relatively successful venture, its popularity increased exponentially during the early 1990s. Betting on horse racing had always been popular in North America, however, sports fans from across Europe and South America also began to wager on the event with a worldwide total of over $70.5million bet on the 1991 Breeder’s Cup.

Following the introduction of an 8-race card in 1999, the betting handle jumped to over $100million for the first time. The accessibility of online bookmakers and increased legalization across several states has led to a significant increase in Breeder’s Cup wagering with several horse racing betting sites now pricing up the key races months in advance.

The popularity of the event led to an expansion and in 2007, it was announced that the Breeder’s Cup would take place across two days. The overall purse increased to $25million with several new races, including the first race devoted to female horses, were unveiled.

More recently, the Breeder’s Cup announced the “win and you’re in” qualifying system which enabled winners of major races across Europe, Australia and Asia to be automatically entered into the competition.

Key Races

Breeder’s Cup Classic

The Breeder’s Cup Classic is one of the richest races in the world with a purse of $6million currently available. Most winners of this race are subsequently awarded the U.S Horse of the Year honor. It is held over a mile and a quarter and it is generally regarded as the unofficial fourth leg of horse racing’s Grand Slam. Notable winners of this event include American Pharoah, Volponi, Raven’s Pass and Bob Baffert’s Authentic.

Breeder’s Cup Turf

The Breeder’s Cup Turf is held over a mile and a half and is the second richest race to be held across the two days. This race tends to attract many European thoroughbreds with trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Frankie Detorri having enjoyed notable success in this contest. Notable winners of this race include Conduit, High Chaparral, Enable and English Channel.

Breeder’s Cup Mile

The Breeder’s Cup mile is one of several races currently carrying a purse of $2million and qualifying races for this event include The Sussex Stakes, the Queen Anne Stakes and the Shoemaker Mile. Notable winners including Goldikova (3 times), Tepin and Wise Dan.

Breeder’s Cup Distaff

The Breeder’s Cup Distaff was previous known as the Ladies’ Classic and is held over nine furlongs. It was moved from the Friday to the Saturday in 2018 and commands a purse of $2million.

When/Where is the 2021 Breeder’s Cup?

The 2021 Breeder’s Cup will be held at Del Mar thoroughbred club in California on November 5th and 6th.

The opening day card will feature ten races with a local start time of 11:55am. The opening day will include a number of fascinating races including the Juvenile Turf Sprint and the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

There’s a whopping 12-race card on day 2 and it gets underway at 10:55am local time. Standout races include the Filly and Mare Sprint, Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile, Breeder’s Cup Sprint, Breeder’s Cup Distaff and the big one: The Breeder’s Cup Classic. All eyes will be on Pegasus World Cup champion Knicks Go in the Breeder’s Cup Classic as he aims to fend off the challenge of Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality.

Watching and Betting on the Breeder’s Cup 2021

Numerous television networks around the world will be showing live coverage of this two day racing extravaganza including NBC Sports and TVG in the US. The Breeder’s Cup mobile app will also be live streaming every single race and this is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. The TSN Network also possesses the rights to the 2021 Breeder’s Cup whereas ITV will provide UK viewers with full coverage of this remarkable racing spectacle.

All major online bookmakers will have odds available on the Breeder’s Cup 2021 and many of them, including William Hill and Bet365 also have live streaming capabilities. TVG is the official wagering partner of the Breeder’s Cup World Championships and they will provide superb live coverage and build up to every single race.

It is one of the most watching racing events on the sporting calendar and as a result there is expected to be plenty of interest from around the world. As well as plenty of ante-post markets, there are expected to be a number of prop bets available for across the two days as well as significant Pick 6 payouts.

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