The 2017 Breeder’s Cup Classic, is a grade one race, run over 1 1/4 miles and suitable for horses three years and older. It’s run on a dirt surface and is held on a different course each year as part of the Breeder’s Cup Championship. The changes in venue have not hindered the race, or Championship itself one bit, speaking to its popularity both casual punters and professional gamblers alike.
Last year the Breeders’ Cup Classic was won by Gun Runner at the Del Mar racetrack which was the first time the venue had held the race in the history of the event. TheTriple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) and Breeders’ Cup Classic combined, are known to many as the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing, due to the gravitas of the races involved. The Classic is deemed by some to be the top thoroughbred race of the year, though the aforementioned Triple Crown races also have a claim to that. In monetary terms though it’s close to the top of the pile.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships as a whole, established in 1982, attracts race fans worldwide to tune in on their tv screens, or attend on course, for this racing extravaganza. The course for this race stretches and shifts from one side to the other adding to a unique and often spellbinding occasion. Initially starting as a single day event from 1984, the event has been extended to two days from 2007. One of the two days is dedicated to fillies.
The Breeders’ Cup was the brainchild of John R. Gaines in a moment that took place at the awards lunchon for the Kentucky Derby Festival in 1982. Being a leading thoroughbred owner and breeder, he wanted to change the perception of the sport. Although the event faced mistrust initially from the racing community, it did manage to garner the support of acclaimed trainer John Nerud and others, and looked to have an audience on a domestic and global level.
A total increase of about 25 million dollars in the overall purse was also injected making it the richest turf festival in the world. $6 million of that is for the Breeder’s Cup Classic alone. Thoroughbred Tiznow is the only horse to have won the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice, back to back in 2000 and 2001.