Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that the 2006 Breeders' Cup Stakes program would feature 135 races and allocate $8 million in Breeders' Cup Funds to stakes races across North America. Up $695,000 from last year, there are 27 races receiving Breeders' Cup enhancements for the first time.
Breeders' Cup Ltd. and 43 participating racetracks cooperatively fund the Breeders' Cup Stakes program, which is in its 11th year. Combined with racetrack and racing association allocations, total purses for the 2006 series will be more than $26 million.
"We are pleased to continue substantial allocations in funding for the stakes program to horsemen across the U.S. and Canada and provide them with multiple opportunities to earn Breeders' Cup money throughout the year," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Ltd. and NTRA Commissioner. "Additionally, deployment of this money continues to strengthen our partnerships with the industry's breeders, owners and racetracks."
There are 81 American graded stakes and 6 Canadian graded events in the 2006 Breeders' Cup Stakes program. The nine new series races in the first half of the schedule are as follows: $100,000 California Breeders' Cup Oaks at Golden Gate Fields ($25,000 BC Funds), 1 1/16 miles, which ran Feb. 11; $125,000 Endeavour Breeders' Cup Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs ($25,000 BC Funds), 1 1/16 miles on the turf Feb. 18; $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park ($75,000 BC Funds), seven furlongs March 4; $300,000 General George Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park ($75,0000 BC Funds), seven furlongs March 18; $200,000 Shirley Jones Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park (50,000 BC Funds), seven furlongs March 18; $150,000 Harry Henson Breeders' Cup Handicap at Sunland Park ($50,000 BC Funds), one mile April 1; $150,000 Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs ($50,000 BC Funds), five furlongs May 4; $100,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Oaks at Bay Meadows ($25,000 BC Funds), 1 1/16 miles on the turf May 29; and the $250,000 New York Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park ($100,000 BC Funds), on the turf June 24.
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 $380 million in purses and awards through the Breeders' Cup World Championships and its year-round racing programs.