Breeders' Cup President Greg Avioli displays new colored Breeders' Cup saddle towel.

Breeders' Cup President Greg Avioli displays new colored Breeders' Cup saddle towel.

Skip Dickstein

Colored Saddle Cloths for Breeders' Cup

Breeders' Cup will begin using standard colored saddle towels this year.

Edited release

The Breeders’ Cup will use the standard colored saddle towel system for horses competing in the 2009 World Championships races at Santa Anita Park.

The colored saddle towel system, commonly used at North American Thoroughbred racetracks, differentiates each saddle cloth with its own color. The system replaces purple saddle towels, which had been worn by all horses for the first 25 years at the Breeders’ Cup.

The Breeders’ Cup made its decision to switch to the standard colored system following discussions with its Fan Advisory Council and with horseplayers across the United States and Canada, and as part of the long-range planning being undertaken by the organization.

“The colored saddle towel system will allow fans at Santa Anita Park and at simulcast locations around the globe to more easily follow the horses in the Breeders’ Cup races,” Breeders’ Cup President and chief executive officer Greg Avioli said. “We appreciate the input from so many passionate horseplayers on this topic, and believe the new saddle towels will provide a more fan friendly experience for our customers betting on the Championships.”

There will be 16 colored saddle towels used at this year’s event. Breeders’ Cup races are restricted to 14 horses, with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, which are limited to 12.

A maximum of two also-eligible horses will be allowed at the time of entry. As in previous years, sponsors that have title designation of specific races also will be recognized on the saddle towels.

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races and $25.5 million in purses, will be held during the Oak Tree Racing Association meet at Santa Anita Nov. 6-7.