Columbus Day Forces Change in Breeders' Cup Pre-Entry Date

For the third time, the Breeders' Cup has had to alter its pre-entry and field selection announcement dates because of the Columbus Day holiday.

In most years, the pre-entry deadline is two Mondays prior to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races. This year, as it has twice in the past, Columbus Day falls on that particular Monday, Oct. 14.

"Many banks are closed and there is no mail service," said Pam Blatz-Murff, senior vice president of Breeders' Cup operations.

Horsemen must pay 1% of the purse gross at pre-entry, thus with banks closed wire transfers would not be able to be made.

"It happens when we have these October dates," Blatz-Murff added, noting that some years the Breeders' Cup is held in November. This year, the races will be run at Arlington Park in Chicago on Oct. 26. "It will happen again in 2003," she said, when the races are run at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

The pre-entry deadline this year will be noon local time (central time in Chicago) on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Field selection of pre-entered horses will be announced on Oct. 17. The entry deadline will be Oct. 23.

There are no also-eligible lists for the eight Breeders' Cup races. Once post positions are drawn on Oct. 23, the fields are set.