Breeders’ Cup to return to Del Mar in 2024

The Breeders’ Cup will be held in Southern California next year for the second consecutive year when the two-day event returns to Del Mar on November 1st and 2nd. This was announced by the Breeders’ Cup on Thursday. It will take place this year from November 3rd to 4th in Santa Anita.

The move came as no surprise as the group got caught in a cycle of Santa Anita, Del Mar, Churchill Downs and Keeneland alternating in different orders. Santa Anita has hosted the event 10 times and Del Mar twice. The first time it was held at the Del Mar was in 2017 and its success allowed the event to return in 2021. A mitigating factor about Del Mar is its slightly smaller size compared to the cavernous Santa Anita. However, as the racetracks have shrunk, in many cases due to casino gaming being the main business, the opportunities to hold the Breeders’ Cup have dwindled.

With the upcoming renovation of Belmont Park, it is expected that the Breeders’ Cup will eventually return to the New York circuit for the first time since 2005. But that could take up to five years.

“The Breeders’ Cup has always been a strong supporter of California racing and we look forward to once again presenting the wonderful venue to our riders and fans from around the world,” said Drew Fleming, Group President and CEO.

The Breeders’ Cup consists of 14 Class 1 races, each worth at least $1 million. The purses are built from horse and stallion nominations from the day a horse is born. The business model of horse racing is such that breeding has become more important and lucrative than racehorses.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Santa Anita-based Flightline, was retired after just six races in two years for his value as a stallion. Of the eight horses that competed in the $6 million Classic, the richest race in the United States, six were retired to stallion service. Only Taiba, who competes in Saturday’s Saudi Cup, and Rich Strike, winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby, are still racing. Breeders’ Cup to return to Del Mar in 2024

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