Edited from a release
Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that the 2003 Breeders' Cup Stakes program will feature 104 races and distribute $6.4 million in Breeders' Cup Funds to existing stakes races across the United States and Canada.
Now in its seventh year, the Breeders' Cup Stakes program is cooperatively funded by Breeders' Cup Ltd. and 42 participating racetracks. Combined with racetrack and racing association allocations, total purses for the 2003 series will be in excess of $18.5 million.
"The Breeders' Cup Stakes program continues to provide multiple opportunities for horsemen across the U.S. and Canada to earn Breeders' Cup Funds throughout the year," said Pam Blatz-Murff, senior vice president of Breeders' Cup Operations. "In addition, the series has proven to be an important incentive for all breeders in sustaining foal and stallion nominations each season."
There are 62 American graded stakes and six Canadian graded events in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Stakes program. Among the top program races to be held during the first half of year are: the $250,000 ($100,000 BC Funds) Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. II) at Keeneland on April 13; the $300,000 ($100,000 BC Funds) Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on May 2, Oaks Day at Churchill Downs; the $350,000 ($100,000 BC Funds) Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park on May 26; the $250,000 ($100,000 BC Funds) True North Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on June 7 at Belmont Park and the $300,000 ($100,000 BC Funds) Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on June 28 at Monmouth Park.
Due to the discontinuation of the Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks, the $100,000 Breeders' Cup allocation from that race has been shifted to the August 28 Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap, which will now carry at total purse of $200,000.
This fall at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, a total of $275,000 in Breeders' Cup Funds will enhance four prep races leading to the 20th Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on October 25. Oak Tree races receiving Breeders' Cup funds are: the $150,000 ($50,000 BC Funds) Lady Secret Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up; the $500,000 ($100,000 BC Funds) Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and up; the $200,000 ($75,000 BC Funds) Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at 6 furlongs for three-year-olds and up and the $200,000 ($50,000 BC Funds) Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) at one mile on the turf for three-year-olds and up.
In Breeders' Cup Stakes program races, Breeders' Cup nominated horses run for the total purse. Non-nominated horses compete only for the purse money provided by the host racing association. Breeders of nominated runners that finish first, second or third in a Breeders' Cup Stakes program race also receive nominator awards.
Since 1984, Breeders' Cup Ltd. has paid out more than $300 million in purses and awards through the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and its year-round racing programs.