Muhannak won the 2008 Breeders' Cup Marathon.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Muhannak won the 2008 Breeders' Cup Marathon.
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Rick Samuels

Distance Added to Breeders' Cup Marathon

Race will be run for second time this year.

Edited press release

The Breeders' Cup announced March 20 that the distance of the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon has been lengthened from 1 1/2 miles to 1 3/4 miles for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships, Nov. 6-7, during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park.

The Breeders' Cup Marathon will be the longest major stakes race contested on a main track in the U.S. this year. The new distance of the Marathon, which had its inaugural running at last year's Breeders' Cup over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita, was proposed by the Breeders' Cup racing and nominations committee and approved by the Breeders' Cup board of directors.

"In furthering our commitment for a high caliber extended distance race in the World Championships, the racing and nominations committee strongly recommended the lengthening of the Marathon to 14 furlongs to bring the race in line with the category standards of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities," said Robert T. Manfuso, chairman of the Breeders' Cup racing and nominations committee.

"The extended distance of the Marathon also allows the race to begin near the six furlong chute at Santa Anita," said Pamela Blatz-Murff, Breeders' Cup senior vice president of racing. "This will give the horses a longer run into the first turn."

The 2008 Marathon at 1 1/2 miles was won by Richard Pegum's 4-year-old gelding Muhannak, who held off the fast closing Church Service by a neck.