Louisville Magazine

Breeders Cup 2018

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28 BREEDERS' CUP #BC18 Next up for the Breeders' Cup: Proven venues Santa Anita, Keeneland and Del Mar. By Bob Ehalt BACK TO THE FUTURE ◊ While there will be a laser focus on Churchill Downs for the 35th edition of the Breeders' Cup on Nov. 2-3, fans looking toward the future will find a pleasing mix of the old and new awaiting them in upcoming renewals of the World Championships. Santa Anita Park was announced on Aug. 17 as the host site for the 2019 Breeders' Cup, bringing the famed international event to the foothills of California's San Gabriel Mountains for a record-breaking 10th time on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2. In addition, the Breeders' Cup will be returning to Keeneland Race Course and Del Mar racetrack after both tracks staged highly successful initial hosting stints in the last few years. Keeneland, in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass country, will be the site of the 2020 Breeders' Cup on Nov. 6-7; and Del Mar in California, where the Turf so famously meets the Surf, will be the host for the 2021 edition on Nov. 5-6. "We are extremely proud and excited to bring the Breeders' Cup back to three of the country's most beloved racetracks in California and Kentucky," says Craig Fravel, president and CEO of Breeders' Cup Ltd. "Breeders' Cup events at Santa Anita, Keeneland and Del Mar have resulted in record success and overwhelming support from our fans around the world. For Santa Anita, which first played host to the Breeders Cup in 1986, the 2019 event will mark the fifth time in eight years that racing's two-day spectacle — with 14 races and more than $30 million in purse money and awards — will be staged at the Arcadia, Calif., track. "We look forward to another out- standing Breeders' Cup World Cham- pionships at Santa Anita Park next year at one of the world's greatest racing venues," Fravel says. "Our decision to return to Santa Anita again reflects the deep-rooted relationships we have developed with both the racetrack and the greater Los Angeles community." Santa Anita posted a two-day record attendance of 118,484 when it played host to the 2016 Breeders' Cup and e Stronach Group-owned and -operated racetrack will be spending $5 million to add new premium seating for the 2019 event. Plans also call for a redesign of restaurants on the fourth and fifth floors of the renowned facility as well as the construction of outdoor suites and box seats and dining areas near the finish line to enhance patrons' enjoyment of the 36th Breeders' Cup. "We are thrilled to have the Breed- ers' Cup back here at Santa Anita for a record 10th time in 2019," says Tim Ritvo, COO for e Stronach Group. "In addition to our existing amenities, we have several other high-end attractions that will be operational in 2019 and they will complement what has already been a terrific Breeders' Cup customer experience through the years." Keeneland's first Breeders' Cup in 2015 will long be remembered for serving as the stage for Triple Crown champion Amer- ican Pharoah's final race. e first horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 37 years, the Zayat Stables superstar became the only horse to complete racing's Grand Slam by adding a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic to his accomplishments in the spring classics. A Friday-record crowd of 44,947 turned out for the opening day of the 2015 Breeders' Cup, followed by atten- dance of 50,155 for the Saturday pro- gram. All-sources wagering for both days exceeded $150 million with an on-track handle of more than $20 million. "e most-asked question I've had since 2015 is 'when is the Breeders' Cup coming back to Keeneland'" says Bill omason, president and CEO of Keeneland. "Guess what. It's coming back in 2020 and we're excited about it. I can't wait to see what the local community has planned for all of those guests from around the world who will be coming in 2020." e 2017 Breeders' Cup drew a two-day crowd of 70,420 to Del Mar, accounting for a record-breaking two-day on-track handle of $25.1 million and an all-sources handle of $166 million. ere was an estimated $96.8 million economic impact during the event's first stay in San Diego County. "Del Mar is delighted to again be host- ing our sport's championship days," says Del Mar oroughbred Club CEO Joe Harper. "We know we put on a good show here in 2017 and we look forward to presenting an even better one in 2021." Breeders' Cup Photo © Santa Anita Park, site of the 2019 Breeders' Cup World Championships.

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