Breeders' Cup said April 25 it has scrapped the Breeders' Cup Marathon and has made changes to its foal nomination program, including a 20% reduction in the annual fee charged between Aug. 1 and Oct. 15 to register North American foals.
The grade II Marathon, a $500,000 event at 1 3/4 miles, was added to the Breeders' Cup World Championships in 2008. Last year's winner at Santa Anita Park was Waratah Thoroughbreds' London Bridge, a New York-bred by Arch.
"The Breeders' Cup World Championships stand for the very best in international racing," Breeders' Cup president and chief executive officer Craig Fravel said. "It is our mission to conduct a racing program with competition at its highest level.
"While we truly appreciate the participation of owners and trainers in the Marathon, the conditions of the race have not developed into a competition that we believe reaches the standard set by the remaining races comprising the Championships. Accordingly, the Marathon will not be a part of the 2014 event."
With Marathon discontinued, there are now 13 World Championships races.
The foal nomination fee since 2008 has been $400 through Aug. 1 and $500 from that point through Oct. 15. Beginning this year the fee will be a standard $400 through Oct. 15. From 1982 through 2007, the regular nomination fee was $500 per foal.
Owners of foals nominated after the regular period through Dec. 15 will continue to pay a $1,500 late fee.
"We believe that the reduced $400 fee for all foals nominated prior to Oct. 15 is the best reward to our breeders for their continuing support of the Breeders' Cup," Fravel said. "We gratefully acknowledge our nominators for their sustained contributions in funding our racing and awards programs."
In regard to this year's World Championships, the Breeders' Cup board of directors established the payouts of foal and stallion nominator awards at a standard that will be equal to 10% of the total foal and stallion nomination revenue paid the previous year.
In addition, foal and stallion nominator awards will be paid through fourth-place during the two-day Breeders' Cup. Since 1984 nominator awards have only been distributed to the nominators of the horses that finished first through third.
"Due to market conditions, foal and stallion nominator revenue has varied greatly over the history of the Breeders Cup," Fravel said. "We believe it is most sensible this year and in the future to tie the bonus structure of the nominator awards program to a set percentage of revenues received during the previous year."