Pre-entered fields for all eight 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races will be announced on Oct. 20 at host track Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The 21st Breeders' Cup, with purses and awards totaling a minimum of $14 million, will be run on Oct. 30.Breeders' Cup pre-entry is the first stage of a two-stage entry process for all owners intending to run a horse in a Breeders' Cup race. At the pre-entry stage, the first payment to compete in the Breeders' Cup is due by noon on Oct. 18 (Central time). The second payment is due on Oct. 27, when entries are taken for all eight Breeders' Cup races. Owners have the option of pre-entering a horse in a maximum of two Breeders' Cup races.Pam Blatz-Murff, senior vice president of Breeders' Cup operations, said, "There has been a great deal of interest from owners to run in this year's event, and we expect at least three of the races to be oversubscribed. The period after pre-entry gives the owners a realistic view of their horse's chances of making the main body of the field by entry time."Breeders' Cup fields are limited to 14 horses. Should a race have more than 14 horses pre-entered, the race is considered "oversubscribed." The Breeders' Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel – consisting of seven North American and European racing experts – convenes on Oct. 19 to set fields for the oversubscribed races. In such cases, the seven horses that have earned the highest number of Breeders' Cup points receive an automatic berth in that Breeders' Cup race. Breeders' Cup Points are earned by finishing first, second or third in American graded stakes races held since Jan. 1. The remaining seven horses are selected by the panel to fill out the rest of the 14-horse field, with consideration given to horses' positions in the World Thoroughbred Rankings. A preference list is then established beginning with the No. 15 rated horse. Prior to the Oct. 27 entry deadline, horses will fill vacancies, in order of preference, should there be a defection from the main body of the field. Latest Breeders' Cup Point standings are available at www.ntra.com.
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