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Breeders' Cup Classic

Location North America
Inaugurated 1984
Race type Thoroughbred
Distance 1-1/4 miles (10 furlongs)
Track Dirt, left-handed
Qualification 3-year-olds and up
Weight 4-year-olds and up: 126 lbs (57.2 kg); Northern Hemisphere 3-year-olds: 122 lbs (55 kg); Southern Hemisphere 3-year-olds: 117 lbs (53 kg); Fillies and mares allowed 3 pounds
Purse $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 1-1/4 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 I'Arc de Triomphe surpassed its $5 million purse. Often, the winner goes on to win U.S. Horse of the Year honors, as have 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.

Automatic berths[]

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 fourteen divisions has between three and ten of these "Win and You're In" qualifiers.

In the Breeders' Cup Classic Division the number of runners are limited to 14 and there are five automatic berths. The "Win and You're In" races for the Breeders' Cup Classic are:

  • 1. The Stephen Foster Handicap, a Grade I race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky;
  • 2. The Whitney Handicap, a Grade I race at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga, New York;
  • 3. The Pacific Classic, a Grade I race at Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego, California;
  • 4. The Awesome Again Stakes, a Grade I race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California; and
  • 5. The Jockey Club Gold Cup, a Grade I race at Belmont Park, in Elmont, New York.

Records[]

Stakes record:

  • 1:59.02 - Ghostzapper (2004)

Most wins:

  • 2 - Tiznow (2000, 2001)

Most wins by a jockey:

  • 5 - Chris McCarron (1988, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2001)
  • 5 - Jerry Bailey (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2005)

Most wins by a trainer:

  • 2 - Charlie Whittingham (1987, 1989)
  • 2 - Jay M. Robbins (2000, 2001)

Most wins by an owner:

  • 2 - Stronach Stables (1998, 2004)

Winners[]

  • An * indicates a race record
  • A ** indicates a filly/mare
Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Owner Time Purse Grade
2013 Mucho Macho Man 5 Gary L. Stevens Katherine Ritvo Reeves Thoroughbred Racing 2.00.72 $5,000,000 I
2012 Fort Larned 4 Brian Hernandez Ian Wilkes Janis R. Whitham 2.00.11 $5,000,000 I
2011 Drosselmeyer 4 Mike E. Smith William I. Mott WinStar Farm LLC 2:04.27 $5,000,000 I
2010 Blame 4 Garrett Gomez Albert M. Stall, Jr. Claiborne Farm/Adele Dilschneider 2:02.28 $5,000,000 I
2009 Zenyatta** 5 Mike E. Smith John Shirreffs Jerry & Ann Moss 2:00.32 $5,000,000 I
2008 Raven's Pass 3 Frankie Dettori John Gosden Princess Haya/Darley Racing 1:59.27 $5,000,000 I
2007 Curlin 3 Robby Alvarado Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables et al. 2:00.59 $5,000,000 I
2006 Invasor 4 Fernando Jara Kiaran McLaughlin Shadwell Racing 2:02.18 $5,000,000 I
2005 Saint Liam 5 Jerry Bailey Richard Dutrow M/M William K. Warren, Jr. 2:01.49 $5,000,000 I
2004 Ghostzapper 4 Javier Castellano Robert J. Frankel Stronach Stables 1:59.02 $4,000,000 I
2003 Pleasantly Perfect 5 Alex Solis Richard Mandella Diamond A. Racing Corp. 1:59.88 $4,000,000 I
2002 Volpini 4 Jose Santos Phillip G. Johnson Amherst & Spruce Pond St. 2:01.39 $4,000,000 I
2001 Tiznow 4 Chris McCarron Jay M. Robbins Cee's Stables 2:00.62 $4,000,000 I
2000 Tiznow 3 Chris McCarron Jay M. Robbins Cooper & Straub-Rubens 2:00.75 $4,000,000 I
1999 Cat Thief 3 Pat Day D. Wayne Luckas Overbrook Farm 1:59.52 $4,000,000 I
1998 Awesome Again 4 Pat Day Patrick B. Byrne Stronach Stables 2:02.16 $4,000,000 I
1997 Skip Away 4 Mike E. Smith Sonny Hine Carolyn Hine 1:59.16 $4,400,000 I
1996 Alphabet Soup 5 Chris McCarron David Hofmans Ridder Thoroughbred Stable 2:01.00 $4,000,000 I
1995 Cigar 5 Jerry Bailey William I. Mott Allen E. Paulson 1:59.58 $3,000,000 I
1994 Concern 5 Jerry Bailey Richard W. Small Robert E. Meyerhoff 2:02.41 $3,000,000 I
1993 Arcangues 5 Jerry Bailey Andre Fabre Daniel Wildenstein 2:00.83 $3,000,000 I
1992 A.P. Indy 3 Ed Delahoussaye Neil Drysdale Tsurumaki/Farish/Kilroy 2:00.20 $3,000,000 I
1991 Black Tie Affair 5 Jerry Bailey Ernie T. Poulos Jeffrey Sullivan 2:02.95 $3,000,000 I
1990 Unbridled 3 Pat Day Carl Nafzger Frances A Genter 2:02.20 $3,000,000 I
1989 Sunday Silence 3 Chris McCarron Charlie Whittingham

H-G-W Partners

2:00.20 $3,000,000 I
1988 Alysheba 4 Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg Dorothy & Pam Scharbauer 2:04.80 $3,000,000 I
1987 Ferdinand 4 Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck 2:01.40 $3,000,000 I
1986 Skywalker 4

Laffit Pincay, Jr.

Michael Whittingham Oak Cliff Stables 2:00.40 $3,000,000 I
1985 Proud Truth 3 Jorge Velasquez John M. Veitch Darby Dan Farm 2:00.80 $3,000,000 I
1984 Wild Again 4 Pat Day Vincent Timphony Black Chip Stable 2:03.40 $3,000,000 I
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