The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is a series of thoroughbred horse races that takes place over two days every year in late October and/or early November. The inaugural Breeders’ Cup was held in 1984 at Hollywood Park in California and featured seven races with $10 million in total purses, capped off by the $3 million Classic. The very first Breeders’ Cup champion was Chief’s Crown, winner of the Juvenile, while 31-1 longshot Wild Again won the first Classic after a thrilling three-way stretch drive that included the much higher regarded Slew O’ Gold and Gate Dancer.
Over the years the Breeders’ Cup has travelled around the United States, having been held at various tracks including Belmont, Arlington, Gulfstream, Churchill Downs and others. In 1996 the races were moved out of the US for the first – and so far only – time, when Woodbine Racetrack in Canada played host.
As would be expected, some the best horses in racing history have made their mark at the Breeders’ Cup, while others have come out of nowhere to run the race of their lives and score historic upsets. The Irish-bred filly Goldikova leads all horses in wins, having won the Mile (racing against males) three times, in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Of the 14 horses that have won two Breeders’ Cup races, Tiznow is the only one to capture the Classic twice, wining in 2000 and 2001. Another female, Zenyatta won the Distaff in 2008 and then came back the next year to beat the boys and win the Classic. In 1993, the French-bred Arcangues scored the biggest upset in Breeders’ Cup history, when he won the Classic at odds of 133-1, paying $269.20 for a $2 win ticket.
Since the first event in 1984, the Breeders’ Cup has continued to grow, and now features 13 races in sprints, at longer distances, on the dirt and on the turf, with a total purse of now more than $25 million, including the now $5 million Classic. In 2013, Mucho Macho Man won the Classic, one year after finishing second in the big race. Other notable 2013 performances include Wise Dan winning his second straight Turf Mile title, while Groupie Doll won her second straight Filly and Mare Sprint. With the win aboard Mucho Macho Man, jockey Mike Smith extended his record to 20 Breeders’ Cup wins.
2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships, Nov. 4-5
The 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships are in the books, and forever will be remembered for the historic Classic victory by American Pharoah, as he became the first Triple Crown champion to also claim the Classic. Keeneland Race Track did a fantastic job of hosting the event for the first time on a fair track that offered something for everyone's handicapping strategy, with front-runners, closers and a few long shots all taking wins. . In 2016 the Breeders' Cup will return to be run under the sunny California skies at Santa Anita.
Check the list below for a recap of all of 2015 BC races, and check in closer to race day for exclusive previews and predictions for the 2016 Breeders' Cup!
2015 Breeders' Cup Results
Juvenile Turf - Hit It A Bomb came over from Ireland and overcame the outside post to win at 7-1.
Dirt Mile - As expected, Liam's Map wins easy at 3-2 odds, leaving many wondering what he might have done in the Classic.
Juvenile Fillies Turf - Trainer Mark Casse captures his first BC, as Catch A Glimpse turns in an impressive performance to win at 6-1.
Distaff - The first day of racing is capped off with Stopchargingmaria charging to the winner's circle at 7-1.
Juvenile Fillies - Heavy favorite Songbird goes wire-to-wire for one of the most dominant wins of the weekend.
Turf Sprint - A long-shot at 16-1, Mongolian Saturday pulls the upset to key a $2000 trifecta payout.
Filly & Mare Sprint - Wavell Avenue finds her perfect distance to get to the line first at odds of 10-1.
Filly & Mare Turf - Stephanie's Kitten comes from last and runs one of the best of her career as a 7-1 winner over a heavily favored Legatissimo.
Sprint - The 5-2 favorite Runhappy happily runs to the win in one of the closest finishes of the weekend.
Mile - In a race loaded with foreign talent, American-based Tepin gets home first at 9-2 odds and the superfecta payout tops $21,000.
Juvenile - Another 9-2 winner, as Nyquist takes the race and puts in his bid to be the early 2016 Kentucky Derby favorite.
Turf - In probably the biggest upset of the 2015 BC, European superstar Golden Horn is beaten by another Euro in the form of 6-1 Found.
Classic - In a moment to remember, the great American Pharoah seals his place as one of the all-time greats, winning by more than 6 lengths.