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Haskin: Compelling Breeders' Cup

Welcome to the "Back to the Dirt" Breeders’ Cup, or "Downs and Dirty." The Breeders’ Cup, following two consecutive years run over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface, has returned to Churchill Downs for the first time since 2006. Since then, Churchill has installed lights for night racing, and as a result the Ladies’ Classic (gr. I), to be run Friday, Nov. 5, will become the first ever prime time Breeders’ Cup race, with a 7:30 post. The lights also will be on for the following evening’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), scheduled to be run at 6:45.

With the Breeders’ Cup back on dirt, and with the normally friendly grass surface of Churchill Downs generally having good give, a large contingent of horses from the United States and Europe is expected, including classic winners from both continents and several past Breeders’ Cup winners. Adding to the excitement and anticipation will be two strong representatives from Japan.

The main focus, of course, will be on "Mighty Mare"--Zenyatta--who hopes to conclude her amazing career in the Classic with her 20th victory in as many starts, her third straight Breeders’ Cup victory, and back-to-back wins in North America’s richest race. That will come approximately two hours after the French femme fatale, Goldikova, tries for an unprecedented three straight scores in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).

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