The Breeders Cup World Championships is now one of the biggest horse racing events in the US, if not the world. The event was originally created as an end of year championship for North American horses but now attracts top thoroughbreds from around the world and Europe in particular.
The Championships began in 1984 after being founded by John Gaines, a leading US thoroughbred owner and breeder and was originally a single day event hosted at different courses around the US to enable race goers from across the US to attend.
As a single day event The Breeders Cup was to become the richest pay-day in sports and attendance at the event surpassed all other stake races.
Starting in 2007, the event expanded to two days with over $25 million in prize money on offer to the winning horses and their owners. The biggest single pay-day is now the Dubai World Cup with a total purse of $21 million for six races.
The event this year returns to the site of 2009, the Churchill Downs Racecourse in Louisville Kentucky, a venue synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. All Breeders Cup meetings have been held in the US with the exception of 1996 when it was held at the Woodbine Racetrack in Canada.
A maximum of 14 starters are allowed in each of the Championship races and the horses are ranked in accordance with their performance in the Challenge races and by judgment from a panel of racing experts.
As the highlight of the US Horse Racing season this is a must see event for all dedicated horse race fans.