A Triple Crown winner and a two-time Breeders Cup champion mare are among the 200 horses pre-entered for next weekend’s event at Keeneland. Details for horses, riders, trainers, and fans are being finalized this week.
Breeders Cup President Craig Fravel says there are ‘very full fields’ in 10 of the 13 races of the Cup. Much attention on Saturday will understandably will be on Triple Crown champ American Pharoah and two-time Breeders Cup winner Beholder. But Keeneland President Bill Thomason says excitement starts before the first horse reaches the gate. “Those morning workouts are a big thing at Keeneland anyway, the Saturday mornings," he explained. "So, it’s just gonna be an expanded opportunity for our community to get out and see this race course in a different way.”
Thomason says facility enhancements should be completed by Sunday. He says, then, the focus will be on the finishing touches Keeneland is known for. It’s the first time the historic Lexington track has hosted the marquee event. That fact is not lost on the track president. “Our original mission was to have racing at the highest level and it doesn’t get any higher than this,” said Thomason. “So the ability for Keeneland to host a world championship is something that we think would make our founders very proud.”
There will be four Breeders Cup races on Friday, October 30 and nine races on Saturday. The $5 million Breeders Cup Classic at one and a quarter miles will be run on the main track.