Breeders’ Cup Announces New Safety Measures, $4 Million In Purse Increases

by | 03.03.2020 | 3:35pm

The Breeders' Cup Board of Directors met during a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss future business plans for the Company including next steps in advancing safety measures and purse levels for the two-day World Championships.

The Breeders' Cup Board continued its commitment to using the organization's leadership position within the industry to encourage the adoption of increased safety requirements within and beyond the World Championships. Beginning at the 2020 World Championships, the Breeders' Cup will adopt all six recommendations from Dr. Larry Bramlage's report, (Pages 18-21). These process improvements are aimed at refining safety and veterinary evaluation protocols for future events. The report was the first of its kind as the Breeders' Cup leads by example in promoting transparency and accountability in Thoroughbred racing.

In addition to its continued efforts to ensure that the World Championships are conducted under the highest standards of both safety and integrity, the Breeders' Cup remains heavily involved in the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition's advocacy for the implementation of the 19 safety and integrity reforms, to include those announced in November and December, at the state and/or track level. To this end, in order to host a Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” Challenge race, U.S.-based tracks that are not members of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition will be required to agree to adopt all 19 safety and integrity reforms that make up the Coalition platform and must demonstrate a good faith effort in implementing those reforms.

“The implementation of the increased safety measures outlined in the Bramlage report for our World Championships, along with the required adoption of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition safety and integrity reforms by racetrack partners hosting Breeders' Cup Challenge races, are the latest steps the Breeders' Cup has taken to strengthen its longstanding commitment to instituting the highest standards in the overall conduct of our racing programs,” said Drew Fleming, Breeders' Cup President and CEO.

The Breeders' Cup Board also approved a $4 million increase in purses, bringing total purses and awards for the two-day World Championships to $35 million. Purse payouts will also be modified to pay down to the 10th position from the current 8th position.

The purse increases begin with this year's event at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. on November 6 – 7 and will be allocated as follows:

$1 million to the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic for a total purse of $7 million
$2 million to the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf for a total purse of $6 million
$1 million to the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile for a total purse of $2 million

These increases put the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf tied for the richest Group 1 turf race in the world and solidify the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile as the richest dirt mile race worldwide. The Longines Breeders' Cup Classic remains the richest race in North America and the third richest Group 1 in the world.

“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 Fleming. “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.”

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