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No Confirmation on 2010 BC Host Site

Will Churchill Downs host the 2010 Breeders' Cup? Officials won't confirm it.

Officials with Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs aren’t ready to confirm the 2010 World Championships will be held at the Kentucky racetrack.

Daily Racing Form reported Sept. 1 that Charlie Hayward, president and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, said he was told by Breeders’ Cup in July Belmont Park would not host the 2010 event after being told it would. Hayward suggested Churchill submitted a proposal, and Breeders’ Cup changed course without giving NYRA a chance to respond.

On Sept. 2, officials indicated no racetrack officially has the 2010 World Championships. This year and next, the event will be held at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park in California.

“We’re considering multiple options for the 2010 Breeders’ Cup,” Breeders’ Cup spokesman Jim Gluckson said. “When we’re ready to make an announcement, we’ll do so at that time.”

Churchill, the 2006 host, couldn’t come to an agreement with Breeders’ Cup for subsequent years. But John Asher, vice president of communications for Churchill, indicated the track is interested—at the very least.

“Churchill Downs is eager for the opportunity to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in the near future, and our company has been talking with the Breeders’ Cup about a possible return of the event to our track,” Asher said. “The Breeders’ Cup is a great event for residents and businesses in our region, and a terrific event for our industry and Churchill Downs.

“But there has been no official announcement from the Breeders’ Cup regarding a site for the event in 2010, and Churchill Downs would be in no position to comment until there is formal word from the Breeders’ Cup on its decision.”

A Breeders’ Cup tax break adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly expired this year. There is a chance the state legislature could revisit it in 2009.

On Aug. 8, Breeders' Cup president Greg Avioli said there were "preliminary talks on the board level" as to a 2010 host site.

"Our goal is always to have at least a year of preparation," Avioli said at the time. "We hope to have a final agreement on 2010 prior to the end of this year."