BC Stakes Program Gets Board Support

Breeders' Cup will fund its stakes program in 2009 and beyond, it announced Feb. 4.

Breeders’ Cup will fund its stakes program in 2009 and beyond, it announced Feb. 4 following a meeting of its board of members and trustees.

Breeders’ Cup officials also said that, despite an expected reduction in stallion and nomination fees, it will continue to offer the $25.5 million, two-day World Championships in 2009 at Santa Anita Park.

Breeders’ Cup officials said the board agreed to a long-term commitment to funding the Breeders’ Cup stakes program at current levels beyond 2009. It also agreed upon a quarterly meeting schedule for the board of members and trustees to occur the day before regularly scheduled meetings of the 13-member board of directors. The next trustees’ meeting is slated for April 7 in Lexington.

“Today’s meetings were very productive and signaled a strong spirit of cooperation within the full board of members and trustees,” Breeders’ Cup chairman Bill Farish said in a statement. “Importantly, the actions we took were unanimously approved by all trustees in attendance. We understand this is a challenging time for the industry, which makes it especially critical that we work together in a unified fashion.

“We also want to send a strong signal that the board has heard our nominators loudly and clearly; and we will continue to support the stakes program in the foreseeable future. Our multiple constituents look to the Breeders’ Cup to be a strong leader, and we plan to do everything it takes to meet that obligation.”

Breeders’ Cup officials had indicated they may have dip into reserves to maintain programs in the wake of economic difficulties in the breeding industry. A plan to discontinue the $5-million stakes program in 2009 met with resistance from nominators, and Breeders' Cup reversed its decision to cancel the program.