From a Breeders’ Cup release
The Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international events, has today announced the sites of the next three Breeders’ Cup World Championships – which represents a key element of the company’s long-term strategy to elevate the Breeders’ Cup stature as a preeminent luxury sports and entertainment event.
The announcement marks the second time in the event’s history and the first time since 1993 that it has revealed on the same day more than one future host site for the World Championships. The multi-year strategy represents the debut of the Breeders’ Cup at two of the most iconic tracks in the industry: Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, Ky., which will host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and Del Mar, near San Diego, Calif., which will host in 2017. In 2016, the Breeders’ Cup will return to Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif., which is also hosting the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
The multi-year host site decision is part of a forward-thinking growth strategy to showcase the best of what Thoroughbred racing has to offer and is an extension of the brand’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” campaign which promises a curated Thoroughbred racing experience that will attract the best horses, the best owners and the best marketing partners.
“In solidifying the Breeders’ Cup World Championships as a leading global event in Thoroughbred racing, we are very pleased to align ourselves with three of the world’s premier racetracks in Keeneland, Santa Anita and Del Mar,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “The outstanding reputations and historic achievements of each of these venues, coupled with our enhanced platform of marketing and experiential initiatives, provide us with an excellent opportunity to grow our audience by combining the best that horse racing and entertainment have to offer.”
Both Keeneland, which will be the site of next year’s event on October 30 and 31, and Del Mar, which will have the 2017 Breeders’ Cup on November 3 and 4, will be hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time in the event’s 30-year history. In between these years, Breeders’ Cup will return to Santa Anita, which will host the 2016 event on November 4 and 5 and represents the ninth time the track hosts the Breeders’ Cup. All event dates are pending approval by the tracks’ respective states.
Located in the heart of Kentucky Blue Grass country, Keeneland conducts world-class race meetings each April and October.
“The Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland is a homecoming for many of these great champions who were foaled and raised at Central Kentucky farms, and often sold at Keeneland,” said Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason. “The Keeneland team feels that sense of connection and history with the Breeders’ Cup, and we look forward to offering fans an extraordinary racing and entertainment experience.”
Santa Anita Park will be hosting the Breeders’ Cup for a record ninth time in 2016. Located in Arcadia, California, Santa Anita became the first track to host the Breeders’ Cup in three consecutive years, having been the showcase in 2012, 2013 and this year.
“We are excited and grateful to host the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships,” said Tom Ludt, president of Santa Anita Park. “Santa Anita Park offers horsemen, local fans and our many out-of-town guests the opportunity to experience the best that the sport has to offer, from racing to dining and hospitality. We look forward to working with the Breeders’ Cup to put on a very successful event both this year and again in 2016.”
Del Mar, situated just off the Pacific Ocean, annually hosts one of America’s most popular race meetings from mid-July through early September, and is one of the nation’s leaders in daily attendance and wagering.
“We’ve had many wonderful racing events and thousands of special racing people be part of our rich history at Del Mar,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president and CEO Joe Harper. “But bringing the Breeders’ Cup horses, horsemen and their worldwide fans to our seaside showplace in 2017 just might be our show of shows.”
As a part of its overall strategy to promote the path to the World Championships, Breeders’ Cup has recently announced new marketing initiatives, including a multi-media partnership with NBC, which is comprised of eleven national broadcasts showcasing 18 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win & You’re In qualifying races. This platform expands the brand’s presence throughout the racing season and also includes increased engagement with the network’s lifestyle personalities. The Breeders’ Cup has also initiated media partnerships with Time, Inc. properties Sports Illustrated and People; and reinforced its Celebrity Ambassador program, which is the first time a horse racing brand has partnered with top celebrities to bring attention to the sport across various multi-media channels.