Breeders' Cup Classic

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Breeders' Cup Classic
Grade I race
The first turn in the 2007 Classic
Location North America
Inaugurated 1984
Race type Thoroughbred
Race information
Distance 1 14 miles
Record 1:59.02, Ghostzapper (2004)
Surface Dirt
Track Left-handed
Qualification 3-year-olds and up

4-year-olds and up: 126 lb (57.2 kg); Northern Hemisphere 3-year-olds: 122 lb (55 kg)

Southern Hemisphere 3-year-olds: 117 lb (53 kg)

Fillies and mares allowed 3 pounds.
Purse US$5 million

The Breeders' Cup Classic is a Grade I Weight for Age thoroughbred horse race for 3-year-olds and older run at a distance of 1 14 miles (2,000 m) on dirt. It is held annually at a different racetrack as part of the Breeders' Cup World Championships. All of the races to date have been held in the United States except for the 1996 edition held at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada.

The Classic is considered by many to be the premier thoroughbred horse race of the year in the U.S., and for 2008 only the Dubai World Cup, Japan Cup, Melbourne Cup and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe surpassed its $5 million purse. Often, the winner goes on to win U.S. Horse of the Year honors, including the four winners of the race between 2004 and 2007—respectively Ghostzapper, Saint Liam, Invasor, and Curlin. Due to the extremely high quality of horses in the event, the race is notoriously hard to predict. One notable example of an underdog winning the Classic is the victory of Arcangues in 1993. This was the biggest upset in Breeders' Cup history and his $269.20 payoff for a $2 wager remains a Breeders' Cup record.

The Classic is regarded as the fourth leg of horse racing's Grand Slam — the traditional Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes) plus the Breeder's Cup Classic. After American Pharoah's Triple Crown win earlier in 2015, the term became popular; the colt became the first horse to ever accomplish this feat. Sunday Silence in 1989 was the first to claim a "Small Slam" by winning three of the four legs (but not the Triple Crown).[1][2]

Automatic berths[edit]

Beginning in 2007, the Breeders' Cup developed The Breeders' Cup Challenge, a series of races in each division that allotted automatic qualifying bids to winners of defined races. Each of the thirteen divisions has between two and twelve of these "Win and You're In" qualifiers.

In the Breeders' Cup Classic division, the number of runners is limited to 14, with up to eight automatic berths. Note though that one horse may win multiple challenge races, while other challenge winners will not be entered in the Breeders' Cup for a variety of reasons such as injury or travel considerations.

The "Win and You're In" races for the Breeders' Cup Classic are:[3][4]

  1. The February Stakes, a Grade 1 race run in February at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan
  2. The Stephen Foster Handicap, a Grade 1 race run in June at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
  3. The Gold Cup at Santa Anita (formerly the Hollywood Gold Cup), a Grade 1 race run in June in California
  4. The Haskell Invitational, a Grade 1 race run in July at Monmouth Park in New Jersey
  5. The Whitney Handicap, a Grade 1 race run in August at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York
  6. The Pacific Classic, a Grade 1 race run in August at Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego, California;
  7. The Awesome Again Stakes, a Grade 1 race run in October at Santa Anita Park in California
  8. The Jockey Club Gold Cup, a Grade 1 race run in October at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York


Most wins:

Stakes record:

Largest winning margins:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

Winners of the Breeders' Cup Classic[edit]

Time Purse
2015 American Pharoah 3 Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Zayat Stables 2:00.07 $5,000,000
2014 Bayern 3 Martin Garcia Bob Baffert Kaleem Shah 1:59.88 $5,000,000
2013 Mucho Macho Man 5 Gary L. Stevens Katherine Ritvo Reeves Thoroughbred Racing 2:00.72 $5,000,000
2012 Fort Larned 4 Brian Hernandez Ian Wilkes Janis R. Whitham 2:00.11 $5,000,000
2011 Drosselmeyer 4 Mike E. Smith William I. Mott WinStar Farm LLC 2:04.27 $5,000,000
2010 Blame 4 Garrett Gomez Albert M. Stall, Jr. Claiborne Farm/Adele Dilschneider 2:02.28 $5,000,000
2009 Zenyatta 5 Mike E. Smith John Shirreffs Jerry & Ann Moss 2:00.32 $5,000,000
2008 Raven's Pass 3 Frankie Dettori John Gosden Princess Haya/Darley Racing 1:59.27 $5,000,000
2007 Curlin 3 Robby Albarado Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables et al. 2:00.59 $5,000,000
2006 Invasor (ARG) 4 Fernando Jara Kiaran McLaughlin Shadwell Racing 2:02.18 $5,000,000
2005 Saint Liam 5 Jerry Bailey Richard Dutrow M/M William K. Warren, Jr. 2:01.49 $5,000,000
2004 Ghostzapper 4 Javier Castellano Robert J. Frankel Stronach Stables 1:59.02 $4,000,000
2003 Pleasantly Perfect 5 Alex Solis Richard Mandella Diamond A Racing Corp. 1:59.88 $4,000,000
2002 Volponi 4 Jose Santos Phillip G. Johnson Amherst & Spruce Pond St. 2:01.39 $4,000,000
2001 Tiznow 4 Chris McCarron Jay M. Robbins Cee's Stables 2:00.62 $4,000,000
2000 Tiznow 3 Chris McCarron Jay M. Robbins Cooper & Straub-Rubens 2:00.75 $4,000,000
1999 Cat Thief 3 Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm 1:59.52 $4,000,000
1998 Awesome Again 4 Pat Day Patrick B. Byrne Stronach Stables 2:02.16 $4,000,000
1997 Skip Away 4 Mike E. Smith Sonny Hine Carolyn Hine 1:59.16 $4,400,000
1996 Alphabet Soup 5 Chris McCarron David Hofmans Ridder Thoroughbred Stable 2:01.00 $4,000,000
1995 Cigar 5 Jerry Bailey William I. Mott Allen E. Paulson 1:59.58 $3,000,000
1994 Concern 3 Jerry Bailey Richard W. Small Robert E. Meyerhoff 2:02.41 $3,000,000
1993 Arcangues (FR) 5 Jerry Bailey Andre Fabre Daniel Wildenstein 2:00.83 $3,000,000
1992 A.P. Indy 3 Ed Delahoussaye Neil Drysdale Tsurumaki/Farish/Kilroy 2:00.20 $3,000,000
1991 Black Tie Affair 5 Jerry Bailey Ernie T. Poulos Jeffrey Sullivan 2:02.95 $3,000,000
1990 Unbridled 3 Pat Day Carl Nafzger Frances A. Genter 2:02.20 $3,000,000
1989 Sunday Silence 3 Chris McCarron Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 2:00.20 $3,000,000
1988 Alysheba 4 Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg Dorothy & Pam Scharbauer 2:04.80 $3,000,000
1987 Ferdinand 4 Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck 2:01.40 $3,000,000
1986 Skywalker 4 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Michael Whittingham Oak Cliff Stables 2:00.40 $3,000,000
1985 Proud Truth 3 Jorge Velasquez John M. Veitch Darby Dan Farm 2:00.80 $3,000,000
1984 Wild Again 4 Pat Day Vincent Timphony Black Chip Stable 2:03.40 $3,000,000

† Indicates filly/mare
+ Race record

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grand Slam -
  2. ^ American Pharoah - Breeder's
  3. ^ "Breeders' Cup Challenge". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Japan Races Added to BC Challenge Series". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 

External links[edit]