USA: Breeders’ Cup worth $35m after $4m boost in purses for 2020

Horse Racing Breeders' Cup
The Breeders’ Cup has received a $4m prize boost for the 2020 meeting at Keeneland.
Photo: Bill Denver/Eclipse Sportswire

By Nicholas Godfrey

USA: The Breeders’ Cup has announced a $4 million prize-money boost ahead of this year’s two-day meeting at Keeneland on November 6-7, where a total of $35m will be on offer across the 14 championship races.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic, once again North America’s richest race after the recent Pegasus World Cup purse reduction, will be worth $7m after a $1m increase, while the Breeders’ Cup Turf receives a $2m boost to take it up to $6m.

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In addition, the prize fund for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, sponsored by Big Ass Fans, is doubled to $2m.

The $6m for the Turf is worth the same as both the Dubai Sheema Classic and the Dubai Turf. Only the Everest in Australia is worth more among turf contests; at $20m, the recent Saudi Cup is the world’s richest race.

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The Breeders’ Cup Board also approved a modification to purse structure to pay down to tenth position rather than eighth.

“These purse increases reflect the Breeders’ Cup’s mission to conduct the World Championships at the highest levels of quality and to keep our races competitive on the international stage,” said Drew Fleming, Breeders’ Cup president and CEO. 

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“Our decision to increase purse payouts to 10th place in all our races is a tribute to the loyal participation of our owners and trainers who support the World Championships each year.”

The Breeders’ Board also announced a further beefing up of safety protocols via the adoption of six recommendations made by Dr. Larry Bramlage in his extensive report following the death of Mongolian Groom in last year’s Classic. These chiefly concern refinements to pre-race veterinary evaluation processes.

World’s richest races in 2020

1. Saudi Cup $20m King Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia
2. Dubai World Cup $12m Meydan, UAE
3. The Everest $9.6m (A$14m) Randwick, Australia
4. Breeders’ Cup Classic $7m Keeneland, USA
5. Breeders’ Cup Turf $6m Keeneland, USA
Dubai Sheema Classic $6m Meydan, UAE
Dubai Turf $6m Meydan, UAE
8. Arima Kinen $5.6m (¥648m) Nakayama, Japan
Japan Cup $5.6m (¥648m) Tokyo, Japan
10. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe $5.54m (€5m) ParisLongchamp, France
11. Melbourne Cup $5.5m (A$8m) Flemington, Australia
12. Golden Eagle $5.15m (A$7.5m) Rosehill, Australia
Compiled by Nicholas Godfrey

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