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The Breeders' Cup World Championships is horse racing's marquee event. The two-day celebration of the sport features some of the world's greatest Thoroughbred race horses competing in 15 championship races at a variety of distances and surfaces designed to determine the sport's best equine athletes.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships typically acts as the coronation of horse racing's various divisional champions. The sport annually acknowledges 11 equine champions, which is based on a horse's season-long body of work. However, while all thoroughbred races are taken into consideration when selecting a divisional champion, winning a Breeders' Cup race carries significantly more weight than a typical stakes races because of the high-level of competition.
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At the 2011 Breeders' Cup World Championships, more than 105,000 fans converged on Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. for two days of championship racing. Worldwide wagering on the event totaled more than $155 million. The 2012 Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Ca.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships is a relatively new addition to horse racing when you consider the sport has been around for more than 300 years. The first Breeders' Cup was held in 1984 at Hollywood Park racetrack in Los Angeles, Ca. It was a smashing success. More than 64,000 fans, including a bevy of Hollywood celebrities like Clark Gable and Elizabeth Taylor, poured into Hollywood Park for what at the time was by far the richest day of horse racing in the sport's history.
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Successfully pulling off the first Breeders' Cup Championships event was a monumental task for a sport that's inherently splintered by competing interests. It was the culmination of years of planning and preparation by many of horse racing's most prominent individuals-as well as a cooperative effort among North America's competing Thoroughbred breeding operations that had until then been unprecedented in the sport.
The Breeders' Cup was formed from the vision of John Gaines of Gaines Pet Foods fame, who at the time was one of the world's foremost breeders of Thoroughbred racehorses. Gaines' had the idea that horse racing as a whole would benefit by having a singular year-end championship event, which he believed could eventually be on par with the Super Bowl or World Series.
The Breeders' Cup has undergone several changes since its inception, the most notable of which was adding a second day and more races in 2007. Up until then, the Breeders' Cup had been limited to just eight races-the Breeders' Cup Classic, Breeders' Cup Distaff (now the Ladies' Classic), Breeders' Cup Turf, Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Breeders' Cup Sprint, Breeders' Cup Mile, Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Out of the 25,000 Thoroughbred horses born each year, only a handful are able to earn the title Breeders' Cup contender. Owning Thoroughbred race horses is a very expensive hobby. Now for the first time, everyone can participate in Thoroughbred horse racing by opening a free account and start playing what is considered the best of all horse racing games. Though there are many horse racing games available, none of them emulate the sport from every aspect - breeding, training and owning - as well as our free virtual race horse game.
At the 2007 Breeders' Cup event at Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., three races were added to the schedule-Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. The following year at Santa Anita three more races were added-the Breeders' Cup Marathon, Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Turf. Finally, in 2011, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint was added to bring the event to its current format of 15 races over two days with purse money totaling $26 million.
To reach the starting gate for a Breeders' Cup race requires a racehorse with world-class ability and an undeniable competitive spirit. Race horses can become eligible to compete in a Breeders' Cup race in a couple of different manners. One, is to win a Breeders' Cup Challenge race. In the lead-up to the Breeders' Cup World Championships, dozens of the sport's most prestigious races all around the world are designated as a Breeders' Cup Challenge event. The winning Thoroughbred race horses of these races earn an automatic bid to the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Additionally, race horses can become eligible for the Breeders' Cup World Championships by accruing points throughout the year in graded stakes races, which is the highest level in the sport. The horses with the most points at the time of entries for the Breeders' Cup World Championships get in.
For Thoroughbred racing fans, the Breeders' Cup World Championships provides a slice of racing heaven. It's the stage where the "best of the best," both human and Thoroughbred race horses, slug it out for supremacy over an action-packed weekend. It can also provide the stage for lucrative scores at the betting windows for those trying to cash big tickets through exotic wagers.
Participate in the exciting sport of Thoroughbred racing by breeding, training and managing the careers of your own virtual Thoroughbred horses in our free horse racing game. If you can successfully manage their careers, you might earn a spot in the Breeders' Cup Championships, where you can not only receive lucrative payouts, but also significant recognition through the hundreds of thousands playing the most recognized horse racing games on the Internet. Build up your free stable now and get in on the virtual racing action.
Breeders' Cup races are undoubtedly the most competitive races run all year. Since all of the race horses are so accomplished, a case can be made for any horse in the field to win. That means you're virtually guaranteed to get fair betting odds-all you have to do is find the winner, place your bet and cash a big ticket.
The Breeders' Cup also provides horse bettors with the opportunity for a life-changing score. A winning Trifecta bet, which requires a bettor to select the first three finishers in exact order, can pay tens of thousands of dollars for a $2 bet. Superfectas, which requires a bettor to select the first four finishers in exact order, can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For those even more daring, the Breeders' Cup offers a pick six wager that requires selecting the winners of six consecutive races. It has a guaranteed pool of $2 million and the payouts can be astronomical.
There has been no shortage of standout performances from the jockeys, trainers and race horses alike in the 27-year history of the Breeders' Cup. Ten Thoroughbred horses have managed to win the same Breeders' Cup race in multiple years.
Four of those occurred in the Breeders' Cup Mile, which is contested on the turf and is typically dominated by European-based runners. The most noteworthy has to be the three consecutive Mile wins produced by Goldikova from 2008-2010. The European-based super-mare tried for a fourth-straight Mile win last year at Churchill Downs racetrack but was denied.
Only one horse has won multiple Breeders' Cup Classics, which is the event's signature race. Tiznow, who was based in Southern California, won the 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs Race Course in a thrilling stretch duel over European-based rival Giant's Causeway, and then returned the following year to win at Belmont Park racetrack in another grueling stretch drive, this time against European-based Sakhee. Both Thoroughbred race horses put on a spectacular performance.
There is no shortage of spectacular Thoroughbred champion horses in our free online virtual horse racing game. Millions of individuals play horse racing games very year, but since 1998, Horse Racing Simulation LLC has produced the most recognized and popular horse racing games available. Their horse racing games are not only stunning in a 3D graphic sense, but they are the most realistic racing games on the Internet due to their ever-evolving, state-of-art, artificial intelligence game engine. If you're a racing fan and love horse racing games, join in on the action and play this free racing game now. You never know, you might end up with a Breeders Cup champion.
Only one Thoroughbred race horse has ever managed to win two different Breeders' Cup races. Fittingly, that champion racehorse was Zenyatta, who is considered by many to be among the best female racehorses to ever look through a bridle. Zenyatta won the Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita Park in 2008 and then the following year returned to take on males in the Classic. After toiling dead last for most of the race, Zenyatta unleashed her patented late kick on the turn for home and then ran down her rivals in deep stretch to become the only female horse to ever win the Breeders' Cup Classic. Her bid for a repeat performance in the Classic the following year at Churchill Downs came up short by a head in an amazing stretch duel that will never be forgotten by horse racing fans.
Among the human participants, Jerry Bailey and Mike Smith have each won 15 Breeders' Cup races to lead all jockeys. Two of the wins for Smith came aboard Zenyatta during her historic run. D. Wayne Lukas has also been a dominant force in the Breeders' Cup among trainers. He has won an astonishing 18 Breeders' Cup races, which is exactly double the amount of his next closest competitor, Claude "Shug" McGaughey.
The 2012 Breeders' Cup from Santa Anita will be televised on NBC and NBC Sports Network.
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