For all practical purposes, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships closes out the thoroughbred season each year.
This year’s event will be held Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Thirteen races will be run over two days.
On Friday, the Juvenile Turf, Las Vegas Dirt Mile, Juvenile Fillies and Longines Distaff will be held.
Saturday’s schedule has the Juvenile Fillies, Filly & Mare Turf, Filly & Mare Sprint, Turf Sprint, Sentient Jet Juvenile, Mile, TwinSpires Sprint, Longines Turf and the Classic.
The Classic, the premier race, covers 1 1/4 miles for 3-year-olds and older. California Chrome is the favorite in the Classic.
In Monday’s post-position draw, California Chrome was awarded the fourth spot.
Here’s the post-position draw order and odds for the Classic: 1. Effinex 15-1, 2. Frosted 5-1, 3. Keen Ice 20-1, 4. California Chrome 1-1, 5. Win the Space 30-1, 6. Melatonin 12-1, 7. War Story 30-1, 8. Shaman Ghost 20-1, 9. Hoppertunity 15-1, 10. Arrogate 5-2.
The Classic is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be shown live on KXAS/5.
Here’s some angles, facts and figures on the Breeders’ Cup World Championship:
The Classic has $6 million in purses and awards. It is North America’s richest thoroughbred race. The winner’s share is $3.3 million.
Gun Runner, who is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen of Arlington, will compete in the Las Vegas Dirt Mile on Friday. Gun Runner carries 9-2 odds and will start from the No. 9 position. Asmussen won the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic with Curlin. Runhappy, at 3-1, is favored in the race.
33 percent chance
Favorites have won 96 of 292 Breeders’ Cup races, a 33 percent rate. The worst finish by a favorite was in the 2003 Juvenile at Santa Anita Park when Cuvee finished 12th by 58 lengths at 3-2.
Looking for a true longshot?
There have been 39 horses to go off at odds of 100-1 or greater. Only Arcangues, winner of the 1993 Classic at 133-1 odds, has finished in the money.
The 2017 Breeders’ Cup is schedule for Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar, 20 miles north of San Diego. The 2018 Cup is set for Nov. 2-3 at Churchill Downs. The Breeders' Cup was first hosted at Churchill Downs in 1988 with the 2018 event marking its ninth appearance at the site.
Lone Star look back
It’s been a while, but Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2004. That year, there were only eight races and they were all run on the same day. Ghostzapper won the Classic in front of a crowd of 53,717. His win was one of the best performances in the history of the event, covering the 1 1/4 -mile race in a race record 1:59.16. Roses in May was second and Pleasantly Perfect was third.
Exaggerator, co-owned by Ronny Ortowski of Fort Worth, was retired and entered stud at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., in October. Exaggerator won the Santa Anita Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Haskell Invitational this year. An early Triple Crown threat, Exaggerator finished second in the Kentucky Derby and 11th at the Belmont Stakes. The horse earned more than $3 million. A stud fee has not been announced.
From the start
Sometimes it is about where you start and where you finish — at least in Breeders’ Cup races. Historically, post-position No. 4 has been the biggest winner with 36. The toughest spot to begin is No. 13, which has produced only three winners. Here’s how the winning posts stack up:
The oldest horse to win a Breeders’ cup race was Calidoscopio at 9 years old in the 2012 Marathon. The oldest jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup Race is was Bill Shoemaker, when he rode Ferdinand to first place in the 1987 Classic at age 56. The youngest jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race was Joseph O’Brien, the 18-year-old took St Nicholas Abbey to the winner’s circle in the 2011 Turf.
The Voice winner Alisan Porter will perform the Breeders’ Cup anthem: The Best is Yet to Come as the horses come out on the track for the Classic. Porter won Season 10 on the show.
Yes. It matters what you wear to a horse race, particularly this horse race. If you’re in the grandstand reserved, suggested attire is business casual to casual. For ladies (including children), summer dresses, capris, or city shorts are preferred. For gentlemen (including children), summer slacks or non-denim shorts, summer button-downs, or polo style shirts are preferred. If you want to take it to another level, consider classic dresses with a fascinator or hat for women and a suit, bowtie, pocket square, and fedora for men. The Christina Lombardi Collection for luxury footwear is one of the event’s official partners.
General admission for Friday’s races is $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. For Saturday’s races, it’s $25 in advance and $40 at the gate. There are some two-day packages available for $35 in advance and $55 at the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.
The Breeders’ Cup Trophy is a bronze reproduction of the original Torrie horse that was created in Florence by Giovanni da Bologna in the late 1580s. The horse is an ecorche, showing the muscles of the animal in detail. The largest version of the trophy is permanently owned by the Breeders’ Cup, and is displayed at the official host track each year. Replicas are presented to the connections of the winners of each of the races.
Here’s a look at the past Classic champions:
2015: American Pharoah
2013: Mucho Macho Man
2012: Fort Larned
2008: Raven's Pass
2006: Invasor (ARG)
2005: Saint Liam
2003: Pleasantly Perfect
1999: Cat Thief
1998: Awesome Again
1997: Skip Away
1996: Alphabet Soup
1992: A.P. Indy
1991: Black Tie Affair (IRE)
1989: Sunday Silence
1985: Proud Truth
1984: Wild Again
Source: Breeders’ Cup