What Is the History of the Breeders Cup?


Quick Answer

John R. Gaines came up with the idea of the Breeders' Cup in 1982, and the first event took place in Hollywood Park in 1984, featuring seven races. Chief's Crown won the event's first race, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, while Wild Again won the Breeders' Cup Classic.

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Full Answer

Gaines created the Breeders' Cup to give horse racing a championship event. The other five races at the first event were the Longines Distaff, Longines Turf, Mile, Juvenile Fillies and the Sprint. The Breeders' Cup grew over the years, leading to larger prizes and more races. In 1999, the Filly and Mare Turf was added.

In 2007, the Dirt Mile, Juvenile Turf, and the Filly and Mare Sprint were added. This brought the Breeders' Cup to 11 races, and it became a two-day event. The next year, the event added the Juvenile Fillies Turf, Turf Sprint and Marathon races.

The first Breeders' Cup had $10 million in prizes, $3 million of which went to the winner of the Classic. This made it the world's richest horse race at the time. The prize for the classic increased by $1 million in 1996 and 2006. In 2006, all the $1 million prizes were doubled. The races that were introduced in 2007 and 2008 besides the Marathon had $1 million prizes. The Marathon had a $500,000 prize.

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