The Breeders’ Cup announced June 14 that a six furlong race for 2-year-olds has been added to the to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
The new race--$500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint—will be run on the Friday, Nov. 4, first day of the two-day championships and will be limited to 14 starters on the main track.
The total World Championships purses of $26 million for the now 15 races will remain unchanged with the additional race since the Breeders’ Cup also announced that the purse for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) will be cut 25% to $1.5 million. It was contested at a $2 million purse in 2010.
The Breeders’ Cup said the new race—open to juveniles of both sexes--was developed through the combined efforts of Breeders’ Cup Wagering Committee, chaired by David Willmot, and the Breeders’ Cup Racing and Nominations Committee, chaired by Clem Murphy.
“Our goal in the Wagering Committee focused on creating a Breeders’ Cup race that would generate not only betting interest for the public but also provide an additional opportunity for the two year old crop from which our owners and breeders could benefit,” Willmot said in a statement. “A six furlong sprint race for Juveniles has the potential to provide highly competitive fields in this new division.”
“In discussions with horsemen on selecting a new race, an overwhelming majority requested that we add a Juvenile Sprint to the Championships program,” Murphy said. “There are a number of talented 2-year-old sprinters around the world who are not suited or may not be ready to run the two turns at 1 1/16 miles of the Juvenile or Juvenile Fillies in early November. The Juvenile Sprint provides horsemen with an alternative.”
This is the first expansion of the World Championships program since 2008, when the number of races was increased from 11 to 14 for the 25th running at Santa Anita Park. The Breeders’ Cup began in 1984 with seven races and purses of $10 million. An eighth race, the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, was added in 1999. The Breeders’ Cup was expanded to 11 races for the 2007 running at Monmouth Park.