Championships Scheduled Through 2005

Breeders' Cup has mapped out a provisional schedule of host sites for the World Thoroughbred Championships through 2005, though racetrack selection is contingent upon many factors. Two tracks -- Arlington Park and Lone Star Park -- would be first-time host sites.

The Breeders' Cup board of directors approved the conditional rotation during a meeting in Lexington Sept. 7, and the information was officially released Monday. Previously, the board decided to entertain interest by tracks that haven't hosted the championship day.

Arlington is scheduled for 2002, followed by Santa Anita Park in 2003, Churchill Downs in 2004, and Lone Star in 2005. For a selection to be finalized, there must be availability of appropriate racing days, adequate state and community support for the event, and "satisfactory resolution of issues relative to the operation and staging of the World Thoroughbred Championships."

Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. said a "significant number of issues must be resolved before the selection of any of these sites can be considered final."

Breeders' Cup officials visited Lone Star in Texas earlier this year for a site inspection, and in late August traveled to Monmouth Park in New Jersey for a similar inspection. Racetracks must be members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to host the event.

Van Clief said the extension of the "selection horizon" has many advantages, one of which is the time element. Tracks and communities have more time to plan for the event.

This year's championship day will be held Oct. 27 at Belmont Park.