The Breeders’ Cup Weekend

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: October 22, 2007
NOTE: For the next four days, BASN will enter the world of the ‘Sport of Kings’ and its marquee event, The Breeders’ Cup.

Today, an overview of the Cup, its revamped format, and how the naming of thoroughbreds creates its own cult of personality.

PHILADELPHIA – In 1984, the thoroughbred racing industry took stock of its place in the sporting life; and did not like what it saw. With waning fan support and no youthful base as a foundation, an event was created as a year-end championship for North American thoroughbred racing.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships were designed to attract the best horses from all over the world. Founded in 1982 by John R. Gaines, a leading thoroughbred owner and breeder, the Cup has the potential to be the richest day in sports, worth $23 million in prize money for the duration of this year’s event.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships (BC) is an annual series of Grade I races operated by Breeders’ Cup Limited, a company formed by a consortium of North American racing organizations, led by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) in 1982.
Since its inaugural edition in 1984, it has been a single-day event, but expanded to two days this year amidst some opposition. Satish Sanan, owner of Padua Stables, thinks the extra day can only help.
“Each year, because of the racing calendars of the various tracks, it’s difficult to pin down one time of the year as the time horse racing has its moment,” said Sanan. “By having a weekend, it should spur more interest and entice people to look forward to that weekend in future Cup events.”
Locations for the BC change annually, and this year, Monmouth Race Track will host the event this weekend, October 26-27. Dennis Dowd, Senior Vice President of Racing for //<![CDATA[ u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> n u003cdiv>u003cspan>Every BC has been held at a North American track, with Canada’s u003ci>Woodbine Racetracku003c/i> hosting the event in 1996.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Through 2006, there were eight races on the Breeders' Cup card, all classified as Grade I races. These races will continue to be held on Saturday, with three races to be introduced on Day One in the late afternoon.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>The 2007 u003cspan> u003c/span>u003cb>u003ci>BC Dirt Mileu003c/i>u003c/b> will be run over 1 mile and 70 yards, while the u003cb>u003ci>Filly &u003c/i>u003c/b> u003cb>u003ci>Mare Sprintu003c/i>u003c/b> will be run over six furlongs. These distances are required because of the configuration ofn Monmouth’s dirt track.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Long known in the industry as a surface favoring speed horses, Dowd says the track may provide more balance than expected. “When we start the racing season, the track is hard and the figures prove out a possible speed bias.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>”But when NJSEA moved some of the meet’s dates to the u003cb>u003ci>Meadowlands, u003c/i>u003c/b>it gave us a full two months to prepare the track, seal it during inclement periods, and it is now a consistency that would produce times not nearly as fast as in the beginning of the meet.”u003cb>u003ci> u003c/i>u003c/b>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cb>u003cspan>Next on “Oprah” – The Breeders Cup u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>An integral part of racing has been the naming of thoroughbred horses. Whether male or female, those in the business have had an affinity for celebrity. Names like u003cb>u003ci>Jaklin Klugmanu003c/i>u003c/b>, u003cb>u003ci>Darn That Ericau003c/i>u003c/b> and u003cb>u003ci>Chris Evertu003c/i>u003c/b> have graced the paddocks of the great American racetracks. u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>”,1] ); //–> //]]> Monmouth Park and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition authority (NJSEA) expects the two-day format will be a breakthrough.
“We fully expect to attract 100,000 spectators over the course of the weekend,” said Dowd. “There won’t be any walk-up traffic on Saturday — and we have good indication there will be a full house on Friday.”
Every BC has been held at a North American track, with Canada’s Woodbine Racetrack hosting the event in 1996.
Through 2006, there were eight races on the Breeders’ Cup card, all classified as Grade I races. These races will continue to be held on Saturday, with three races to be introduced on Day One in the late afternoon.
The 2007 BC Dirt Mile will be run over 1 mile and 70 yards, while the Filly & Mare Sprint will be run over six furlongs. These distances are required because of the configuration of Monmouth’s dirt track.
Long known in the industry as a surface favoring speed horses, Dowd says the track may provide more balance than expected. “When we start the racing season, the track is hard and the figures prove out a possible speed bias.
“But when NJSEA moved some of the meet’s dates to the Meadowlands, it gave us a full two months to prepare the track, seal it during inclement periods, and it is now a consistency that would produce times not nearly as fast as in the beginning of the meet.”
Next on “Oprah” — The Breeders Cup
An integral part of racing has been the naming of thoroughbred horses.

Whether male or female, those in the business have had an affinity for celebrity. Names like Jaklin Klugman, Darn That Erica and Chris Evert have graced the paddocks of the great American racetracks.

//<![CDATA[  u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>But earlier, this year, a new contender to the fame game entered in grand style as u003cb>u003ci>Oprah Winneyu003c/i>u003c/b>, a New York-bred filly, won the Grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap.

Because of “Oprah’s” prime-time performance, she will be an “guest” on today’s show, no doubt giving girl talk on her BC aspirations.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cb>u003cspan>You Betcha!u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cb>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/b>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>One thing’s for sure – the extra day will like break the handle mark established last year. A total of $140,332,198 exchanged hands as the bets went down hard and heavy.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>(Next time, a look back at the Blackn jockey; past, present and Breeders’ Cup)u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:mingram@suavvmagazine.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>mingram@suavvmagazine.comu003c/a>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:michaelingram@blackathlete.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>michaelingram@blackathlete.comu003c/a>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> “,0] ); //–> //]]>

But earlier, this year, a new contender to the fame game entered in grand style as Oprah Winney, a New York-bred filly, won the Grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap.

Because of “Oprah’s” prime-time performance, she will be a “guest” on today’s show, no doubt giving girl talk on her BC aspirations.

You Betcha!
One thing’s for sure — the extra day will like break the handle mark established last year. A total of $140,332,198 exchanged hands as the bets went down hard and heavy.
Next: A look back at the Black jockey; past, present and Breeders’ Cup.