(Edited press release)
Thoroughbred breeders worldwide saved nearly $1 million and nominated a record 9,630 foals to the Breeders’ Cup program before Aug. 1 as part of an incentive program that exceeded expectations, Breeders’ Cup officials announced Aug. 4.
The early nomination incentive, which provided breeders with a 20% discount (from $500 to $400) for nominating before Aug. 1 via the Breeders’ Cup official web site, www.breederscup.com, resulted in an almost 200% increase in foals nominated to the program. The previous high was 3,500 in 2008 before the first-time early nomination incentive was offered.
Horses nominated to the Breeders’ Cup as foals are eligible to complete in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and other Breeders’ Cup programs when they reach racing age. The incentive was part of an economic stimulus plan that Breeders’ Cup unveiled in April of this year.
“We are very pleased with the result of nearly 10,000 foals nominated and savings of close to $1 million for our foal nominators,” said Greg Avioli, Breeders’ Cup president and CEO. “These nominators are the backbone of this organization and the level of their support for the Breeders Cup in these difficult economic times is gratifying.”
Earlier this year, in the face of declining revenues due to the worldwide economic downturn, the Breeders’ Cup board voted unanimously to maintain full funding of more than $30 million in purses for Breeders’ Cup nominated horses in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the Breeders’ Cup Stakes program.
To date, the Breeders’ Cup’s foal nomination program has generated $3.852 million. Registration of foals for the standard $500 fee will continue until the customary nomination deadline of October 15. Following that deadline, foals may be nominated for $1,500 by December 15.
The number of foals nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program for 2008 was 14,602, down about 9% from 16,089 in 2007, according to figures released in February by Breeders’ Cup.
Revenue from 2008 foal nominations was about $7.3 million based on the $500-per-foal nomination fee. That’s also down about 9% from $8 million in 2007.