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Breeders' Cup 2015 Goes to Keeneland

Keeneland stretch 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
The secret is out regarding the location of the next three Breeders’ Cup World Championships. During the past month, I had heard from reliable sources that the 2015 World Championships would be held at Keeneland Race Course and it now seems to be official. Also, in 2016 the BC will return to Santa Anita, and in 2017, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will get its first chance to host, according to multiple sources

Holding the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland marks the first time that the Breeders' Cup will have a new host since Monmouth Park in 2007. It also means the return to a somewhat smaller venue.

For Keeneland, this will present challenges as to how they will handle the typical crowds of a Breeders’ Cup two-day event. The usual Friday attendance should not present a problem, but a typical Saturday far exceeds the 40,617 record crowd of Keeneland. The other one-time hosts (Arlington Park, Monmouth, Lone Star, and Woodbine) were able to handle the crowds, and I’m sure that Keeneland will also find a way to do so.

The chart on the left shows attendance and total handle figures for all of the Breeders’ Cup tracks since its inception in 1984. One-time hosts are highlighted in yellow and the data for the two-day events is in light purple.

Even though the largest crowds and handle in both the two-day and single day Breeders’ Cup events have come at Churchill Downs, that Kentucky track is not in the future plans, at least not in the next three years. In recent years Breeders’ Cup officials, and those from Churchill Downs have not been able to come to an agreement about the sharing of revenue.  Instead, the return to the Bluegrass State will happen in Lexington at Keeneland.

After this year’s World Championships, both Santa Anita and Churchill Downs will have served as host eight times and the Great Race Place will break that tie in 2016. Belmont Park has been the BC site four times, but not since 2005. Gulfstream Park has hosted three times, but not since the track was renovated and the grandstand was significantly reduced in size. Hollywood Park was also the home for the Cup three times.

It is probably not a coincidence that it took a change in racing surfaces for both Keeneland and Del Mar to ultimately become Breeders’ Cup hosts. Keeneland is currently in the process of replacing its polytrack with a state of the art dirt track that will be ready for its fall meeting. Del Mar completely rebuilt its turf course in the past year and will tear out its synthetic surface, which was installed in 2007, after this summer’s racing is over.

Santa Anita will be also be replacing its dirt surface with a new dirt track. Work will be begin as soon as California racing switches to Del Mar. The new dirt course will be ready for the Santa Anita fall meeting and obviously this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

I am happy that Keeneland and Del Mar will get a chance to host the Breeders’ Cup, as I believe that that was the original plan. Not all racing fans can travel across the country to get to the Cup and they deserve the chance to attend the great two days of racing. Hopefully, I will get there, too, because those are two tracks that I have yet to visit.

In the meantime, I am happy to travel to Santa Anita again this year The weather and the setting at that track has been nothing but spectacular. Add in the new track surface, and hopefully the racing will reach that same level of excellence. 


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Older Comments about Breeders' Cup 2015 Goes to Keeneland...

I picked out Vyjack because on one thread you were praising him, and on the next he was just another horse in a "weak field".
Be careful what you ask for Silence. The Stooges play rough (LMAO) they will pick out a horse that you like,and bombard him with ruthless barbs(LMAO) .As evidenced by a stooge in training,they have already picked out my horse.(LMAO)
I like a walk down memory lane every now and then.
Silence because of that comment.Sam"iced-tea Boo Boo" Spade will now delve into your profile. I ope your house is in order. Curly wannabee stooge may then bring back all your past posts.
tom lol like. uh oh. Not an alter ego. Promise.
Meant HannahWTC. Also i'd hate for his fellow stooges to put you on their attack list.
Silence lets see. Today is June 2014. Gives us 16.5 months. I think we can rustle up a couple of ducats. Goblin i appreciate the defense. But the less attention that is directed to Iced Tea Boo Boo is as Jon Lovitz used to coin on SNL "Thats the ticket" . He already went after poor WTC because she actually got along with me. I'd hate for this ace detective to start delving into your account profile. But i do thank you and i am sure my alter ego Amino does also that you are truly looking out for us.
Amino there are three things in life you shouldn't do. Don't spit into the wind. Don't piss into the wind. And down't mess with the Lazman.
amino, It would indeed be a not so clever ploy...
I'd show you too. I always have the camera ;)
Like … he is standing still, LAZ, irrational exuberance, allegedly youthful :) >> goblin… a not so clever ploy???
I'll send it down to New Orleans... You'll have to tell us how Mylute and Vyjack looked taking down Palace Malice and Wise Dan in the BCC and BCM
Hey tom- if Sullivan declines your ticket, I'll take it ;) Me and the Mr. really want to go to this one.
icy, I'm just asking...but if amino and tmallios are the same person (that is what you have said, isn't it?) then why would amino be generating "likes" at a greater rate than tmallios if he/they are "liking" their own comments?
I didn't know that California Chrome was planning on standing still in a race.
"likes" amino998= 9/ total HRN on this thread= 5/
Don't think I don't see through the rouse, Tom! I don't want to be anywhere close to Coburn when Mylute runs past California Chrome like he is standing still. See you there for the Shadwell Turf Mile perhaps? We will need to relay encouragement to OurLute.
Cool papa >> they use buses for the Del Mar Fair and there won’t be all the summer Arizonans so would expect no catastrophe.
Sullivan ,when i get offered one. You can have mine .
It was discussed that only a select number of tickets might be sold

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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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