Officials of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited announced that the purses for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile, two of the eight races comprising the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, have been increased by $500,000, making the total purse value of each race $1.5 million. Purses and awards for the Breeders' Cup -- the richest day in North American Thoroughbred racing -- now total $14 million.Purse increases on both Breeders' Cup races were approved by the Breeders' Cup and NTRA boards of directors at their spring meetings. The Breeders' Cup Board also approved a measure to raise entry fees on all Breeders' Cup races from 2% to 3%, effective this year, which will fund the purse increases. The purse increases on the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, run at 1 1/16 miles for two-year-old colts and geldings, and the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile, run at one mile on the turf for 3-year-olds and up, take effect with this year's Breeders' Cup, which will be held during the Oak Tree Meeting at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Saturday, October 25.
"Boosting purses for the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile and the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile enables us to keep these races pre-eminent among other national and international events held during the fall season," said Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief, Jr. "They are among our most attractive races, both to horsemen and racing fans, and historically produce large fields each year that combine the best horses from around the world." This is the third purse increase to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships since its inception in 1984 and the first time that purses have been raised on two Breeders' Cup races in the same year. In 1996, the purse for the Breeders' Cup Classic was increased from $3 million to $4 million. In 1998, the purse for the Breeders' Cup Distaff was increased from $1 million to $2 million.In 1999, the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf was incorporated into the Breeders' Cup program with a purse of $1 million.