What Is the Breeders’ Cup?
One of the biggest international events in horse racing, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are a series of Grade I Thoroughbred horse races held annually in North America. The Breeders’ Cup Classic, in particular, attracts lots of attention, ranking alongside the Triple Crown races as the pinnacle of Thoroughbred competition. However, all 14 races that make up the 2-day championship are can’t-miss viewing for any racing enthusiast. Learn more about this year’s championship and find the answers to some of the most common questions below in our Beginner’s Guide to the Breeders’ Cup!
What Is the Distance of the Breeders’ Cup?
The Breeders’ Cup consists of 14 races, each with its own distance and track conditions.
|Classic||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt|
|Turf||1 1/2 Miles||Turf|
|Distaff||1 1/8 Miles||Dirt|
|Filly & Mare Turf||1 3/16 miles||Turf|
|Dirt Mile||1 Mile||Dirt|
|Filly & Mare Sprint||7 Furlongs||Dirt|
|Turf Sprint||5 1/2 Furlongs||Turf|
|Juvenile Turf Sprint||5 1/2 Furlongs||Turf|
|Juvenile Fillies||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt|
|Juvenile||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt|
|Juvenile Turf||1 Miles||Turf|
|Juvenile Fillies Turf||1 Miles||Turf|
Where Is the 2022 Breeders’ Cup?
This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. The site of the championship changes annually, typically taking place at tracks in the U.S. (The one exception being the 1996 Breeders’ Cup, which took place at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada.)
When Is the 2022 Breeders’ Cup?
The 2022 Breeders’ Cup takes place over two days — Friday, November 4, 2022, and Saturday, November 5, 2022.
What Is the Post Time of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup?
Here is the schedule of 2022 Breeders’ Cup races and their post times:
|Friday, November 4|
|3:00 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint|
|3:40 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf|
|4:20 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies|
|5:00 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Juvenile|
|5:40 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf|
|Saturday, November 5|
|11:50 A.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint|
|12:35 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint|
|1:10 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile|
|1:50 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf|
|2:30 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Sprint|
|3:10 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Mile|
|3:50 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Distaff|
|4:30 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Turf|
|5:40 P.M. EST||Breeders’ Cup Classic|
What Qualifies a Horse for the Breeders’ Cup?
Most races in the Breeders’ Cup are capped at 14 horses, with some capped at 12. To qualify for the Breeders’ Cup, a Thoroughbred must be nominated. Any horse that wins a “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series race is automatically selected for the Breeders’ Cup. Selections for the remaining spots are determined based on points earned through Graded Stakes. If there are still open spots, experts may select qualifying horses outside of the Graded Stakes rankings.
Each race is limited to a select age group and sex. See the chart below for details.
|Classic||3 Years and Up||Open|
|Turf||3 Years and Up||Open|
|Distaff||3 Years and Up||Fillies & Mares|
|Mile||3 Years and Up||Open|
|Sprint||3 Years and Up||Open|
|Filly & Mare Turf||3 Years and Up||Fillies & Mares|
|Dirt Mile||3 Years and Up||Open|
|Filly & Mare Sprint||3 Years and Up||Fillies & Mares|
|Turf Sprint||3 Years and Up||Open|
|Juvenile Turf Sprint||2 Years Old||Open|
|Juvenile Fillies||2 Years Old||Fillies|
|Juvenile||2 Years Old||Colts & Geldings|
|Juvenile Turf||2 Years Old||Colts & Geldings|
|Juvenile Fillies Turf||2 Years Old||Fillies|
What Is the Dress Code for the Breeders’ Cup?
As one of the biggest international racing events of the year, the Breeders’ Cup sees its fair share of fascinators and fedoras. Showing off your race-day best is part of the fun, after all!
Inside the Keeneland Clubhouse, men are required to wear a coat and tie, and women should wear a dress or other race day attire. The general guideline is to dress business casual or more formal — no denim, tennis shoes, flip flops or abbreviated attire, such as shorts, muscle tees or crop tops.
Famous Breeders’ Cup Winners
Since its inception in 1984, the Breeders’ Cup has hosted dozens of prestigious Thoroughbred racers.
- In 2015, American Pharoah became the first and only horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic after winning that year’s Triple Crown, a feat known as a Grand Slam.
- Only 15 horses have won the same Breeders’ Cup race twice. In 2000 and 2001, Tiznow became the only horse to win back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Classics, earning him a place in the Racing Hall of Fame.
- From 2008 – 2010, Goldikova made history by winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile three times in a row.
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