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Breeders' Cup

The Breeders' Cup is a one-day event held at a location that changes each year. All the sites have been in the United States, except in 1996, when the races were held at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada.

The Breeders' Cup, which has been run annually since 1984, was created as a year-end championship for North American thoroughbred racing, and it also attracts top horses from other parts of the world, especially Europe. The Breeders' Cup was founded in 1982 by John R. Gaines, a leading thoroughbred owner and breeder.

All Breeders' Cup fields are limited to 14 runners. If more than 14 are pre-entered, Breeders' Cup officials use a two-part selection system to decide which horses will be allowed to compete. The first seven runners earn automatic berths based on the points they have earned in American graded stakes races then a panel of racing directors and secretaries choose the next seven entrants.

Currently, there are eight races on the Breeders' Cup card, all classified as Grade 1 races. The races are listed below in their order on the 2006 race card; the order of the first six listed races varies from year to year, but the 'Turf' and 'Classic' are traditionally the last two races. All races, unless otherwise indicated, are for any horse, regardless of sex, two years old and up, and are held on a dirt track.

  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies: A 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies.

  • Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile: A 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old colts and geldings.

  • Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf: A 1 3/8-mile or 1 1/4-mile race on grass for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up.

  • TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint: A 6 Furlong Race.

  • NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile: A 1-mile race on grass.

  • Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff: A 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up.

  • John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf: A 1 1/2-mile race on grass.

  • Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge: A 1 1/4-mile race. Current purse is $5 million.

In 2007, a new qualifying process took effect, where the winners of 24 races at six tracks - Saratoga Race Course, Arlington Park, Del Mar, Belmont Park, Keeneland and Santa Anita during the Oak Tree meeting - were automatically entered for the event in their respective divisions.

Click here for the list of previous Breeders' Cup winners.

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