The Breeders' Cup announced Feb. 27 that West Point Thoroughbreds has been named official partner of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and presenting sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge, and partners with major horseplayer tournaments across the U.S. in 2015.
The 2015 Breeders' Cup, the most prestigious international two-day event in Thoroughbred racing, will be held Oct. 30-31 at Keeneland in Lexington.
Now in its seventh year, the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge is the largest live money handicapping tournament in the U.S. It featured 287 players and $730,000 in prize money for last year's event. This year the tournament will expand to four satellite locations at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York, Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Del Mar near San Diego, and Gulfstream Park in South Florida. The estimated prize money for the 2015 BCBC is $800,000.
As part of the multi-year agreement, West Point Thoroughbreds, one of America's leading racing stables and creators of equine partnerships, will receive a full range of marketing, media, and branding executions and displays as the presenting sponsor of the Betting Challenge, its satellite locations, and the opportunity to partner with five Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge qualifying tournaments at Gulfstream Park (Feb. 28); Santa Anita (March 14); Del Mar (July 25-26); Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Aug. 12-13) and Keeneland (Oct. 11).
As a special bonus, the top two finishers at the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge will receive interests in a West Point horse, with the winner receiving a $25,000 interest and the second-place finisher receiving a $10,000 interest.
"We have enjoyed West Point's participation as owners in the World Championships over the past 10 years, and we are now delighted that they have joined us as an official partner and presenting sponsor of the Betting Challenge," said Breeders' Cup president Craig Fravel. "We thank Terry Finley and the West Point management team for their year-round commitment to the tournament, which has been one of our greatest success stories over the past six years."
"Prestigious tournament play such as the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge has exploded in popularity over the last decade, and this is a natural fit for us, along with the championship racing the Breeders' Cup produces," said Terry Finley, founder and president of West Point Thoroughbreds. "Many West Point partners first became interested in Thoroughbred ownership via the handicapping experience."
Last year's Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge set records for participation and prize money. In addition to the players at Santa Anita, for the first time, Breeders' Cup established premium tournament satellite locations for participants at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York and at Keeneland. Of the 287 players, 252 played at Santa Anita, 19 at Keeneland and 16 at Aqueduct. The total wagering by the 287 players was an all-time record of $3,929,000 million in contest wagers. A total of $3.425 million was from 252 tournament players at Santa Anita, which comprised 17% of the on-track handle at the racetrack over the two days of the Championships. The Santa Anita participants wagered an average of nearly $13,600 per player.
The Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge is a $10,000 buy-in handicapping contest in a live money wagering format ($2,500 to prize pool and $7,500 betting bankroll). Contest wagers were limited to win, place, show, exacta and trifecta betting.