Site for 2009 Breeders' Cup Yet to be Determined

Site for 2009 Breeders' Cup Yet to be Determined
Photo: Benoit
Beyond Santa Anita in 2008, site selection for future Breeders' Cups has yet to be finalized.
Next year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships are set for the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita Park, but which venue will host the event beyond that running is still in the works.

Breeders’ Cup chief marketing officer Peter Land said several groups are in the mix to host the 2009 Breeders’ Cup, but declined to name the players.

“We are exploring multiple different ideas,” said Land in an Oct. 30 interview. “I think we are open to all different venues. Beyond 2008, we haven’t made any commitments. We are open to exploring all venues that could best serve the needs of the Breeders’ Cup.”

Land acknowledged that speculation was probably high on the next site, in lieu of the rain-slopped conditions at Monmouth Park for the Oct. 26-27 Breeders’ Cup.

“If it had been a beautiful sunny three days, there would probably be less speculation on where we are going,” said Land, who added Breeders’ Cup hopes to have a 2009 site selected within three to six months.

One venue that is rumored not to be in the running is Churchill Downs, which has hosted the Breeders’ Cup a record six times, including in 2006. An article recently published in the Louisville Courier-Journal speculated the track doesn’t want to host future Breeders’ Cup events because the host venue doesn’t get enough of a revenue cut.

"It's a tremendous amount of work on the behalf of our staff ... for what we think is a small return," track president Steve Sexton was quoted in the article from a 2006 interview.

A Churchill Downs spokesman declined to comment on future plans in regard to the Breeders’ Cup.

“I can confirm that there have been informal talks with the Breeders’ Cup, but there haven’t been any formal talks discussing the Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs,” said spokesman John Asher.

Land also declined to talk about Churchill Downs specifically.

“It doesn’t make sense to speculate one versus the other,” he said. “It is business. We know we have a great event on our hand, and that there are a lot of interested parties. Our job is to determine which the best possible venues are.”

After Churchill Downs, Belmont Park has hosted the most Breeders’ Cup events with four. Next year’s event will be the fourth staged at Santa Anita.

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