The Breeders' Cup Turf

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Breeders' Cup Turf

Breeders’ Cup Turf

The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf will be held at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 3rd.

The Breeders’ Cup Turf allows for 14 entrants, which includes 11 automatic berths through the prep races that take place across the world. Some of the most notable Challenge Series races for the Breeders’ Cup Turf are the King George IV & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Arlington Million at Arlington Park, Juddmonte International at York Racecourse, Del Mar Handicap at Del Mar Racetrack and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park.

The History of the Breeders’ Cup Turf

Inaugurated in 1984 as part of the initial Breeders’ Cup launch, the Breeders’ Cup Turf is a left-handed race on turf over 1 ¼ miles eligible for three-year-olds and up. Since this is a turf contest, the Breeders’ Cup Turf attracts talent from all over the world and is a primary destination for many European runners.

The Washington D.C. International Stakes laid the groundwork for an international turf race at the World Championships. Run from 1952 up until 1994, the Washington D.C. International was hosted by Laurel Park and won by 22 American runners and 21 foreign representatives. The most prestigious winner is Kelso, who scored victory in the 1964 renewal.

Aidan O’Brien owns the most wins by trainer in the Breeders’ Cup Turf with six total. He claimed wins with High Chaparral (2002, 2003), St. Nicholas Abbey (2011), Magician (2013), Found (2015) and Highland Reel (2016). The ownership group of Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith have shared in all six of O’Brien’s victories giving them the most wins by owner.

Found is also one of two fillies to have won the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The other is Miss Allged, who did so as a four-year-old filly in 1991.

Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori share the title of most wins by jockey with four each. They are both still active riders.

The current purse for the Breeders’ Cup Turf is $3,000,000.


Breeders’ Cup Turf Winners

The Breeders’ Cup Turf is the longest race of the World Championships at 1 ½ miles. The marathon turf test is open to three-year-olds and up. The race attracts the top grass talent from Europe and North American, and in 2016 it awarded a $4 million purse for the first time. 

Four of the last six winners including the most recent in 2015 and 2016 have been Irish-bred horses. Aiden O’Brien is a noted Irish trainer who has won the Breeders’ Cup Turf a record six times including in both 2015 with Found and 2016 with Highland Reel, who set the Breeders’ Cup Turf record with a time of 2:23.00.

The inaugural winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 1984 was also the longest shot to win the race, as Lashkari chased down the world champion filly All Along in the deep stretch to pull off the upset at near 25-1 odds at Hollywood Park. Lashkari paid $53.40 to win. 

Back-to-back winners of the Breeders’ Cup Turf include Conduit in 2008 and 2009, and High Chaparral in 2002 and 2003. The 2003 edition ended in a thrilling three-horse photo finish and a rare dead heat with Johar and High Chaparral trained by Aiden O’Brien crossing the line together as turf champions.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series started in 2007, and there are 11 ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge races that award the winner a fees-paid entry to the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Just four of those races are in the United States with the last being the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park a month before the Breeders’ Cup.

The 2016 BC Turf winner Highland Reel also qualified by winning a challenge series race in July, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a Group 1 race run at Ascot Racecourse in England. Highland Reel went on to run a record-time race in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, opening a 7 length lead at the mile marker and holding off the favorite Flintshire in the stretch to win by nearly 2 lengths.

BREEDERS’ CUP TURF WINNERS & RECORDS

Year/Track Winner/ Jockey/ Time/
Date/Distance Owner Trainer Odds
2017 - DMR Talismanic (GB)  M. Barzalona 02:26.2
Nov 04 - 1 1/2M Godolphin Racing LLC A. Fabre $14.10
2016 - SA  Highland Reel (IRE)  S. Heffernan 02:23.0
Nov 05 - 1 1/2M Magnier, Mrs. John, Tabor, Michael and Smith, Derrick A. O'Brien $3.80
2015 - KEE Found (IRE)  R. Moore 02:32.1
Oct 31 - 1 1/2M Magnier, Mrs. John, Tabor, Michael and Smith, Derrick A. O'Brien $6.40
2014 - SA  Main Sequence  J. Velazquez 02:24.9
Nov 01 - 1 1/2M Flaxman Holdings, Ltd. H. Motion $6.20
2013 - SA  Magician (IRE)  R. Moore 02:23.2
Nov 02 - 1 1/2M Tabor, Michael B., Smith, Derrick and Magnier, Susan A. O'Brien $12.50
2012 - SA  Little Mike  R. Dominguez 02:22.8
Nov 03 - 1 1/2M Priscilla Vaccarezza D. Romans $17.30
2011 - CD  St Nicholas Abbey (IRE)  J. O'Brien 02:28.9
Nov 05 - 1 1/2M Magnier, Mrs. John, Tabor, Michael and Smith, Derrick A. O'Brien $6.80
2010 - CD  Dangerous Midge  L. Dettori 02:29.4
Nov 06 - 1 1/2M Iraj Parvizi B. Meehan $8.50
2009 - OSA Conduit (IRE)  R. Moore 02:23.8
Nov 07 - 1 1/2M Ballymacoll Farm S. Stoute $0.90*
2008 - OSA Conduit (IRE)  R. Moore 02:23.4
Oct 25 - 1 1/2M Ballymacoll Farm S. Stoute $5.80
2007 - MTH English Channel  J. Velazquez 02:37.0
Oct 27 - 1 1/2M James T. Scatuorchio T. Pletcher $3.00
2006 - CD  Red Rocks (IRE)  L. Dettori 02:27.3
Nov 04 - 1 1/2M J. Paul Reddam B. Meehan $10.80
2005 - BEL Shirocco (GER)  C. Soumillon 02:29.3
Oct 29 - 1 1/2M Baron Georg Von Ullmann A. Fabre $8.80
2004 - LS  Better Talk Now  R. Dominguez 02:29.7
Oct 30 - 1 1/2M Bushwood Stables LLC H. Motion $27.90
2003 - SA  High Chaparral (IRE)  M. Kinane 02:24.2
Oct 25 - 1 1/2M Tabor, Michael B. and Magnier, Mrs. John A. O'Brien $4.90
2003 - SA  Johar  A. Solis 02:24.2
Oct 25 - 1 1/2M The Thoroughbred Corporation R. Mandella $14.20
2002 - AP  High Chaparral (IRE)  M. Kinane 02:30.1
Oct 26 - 1 1/2M Tabor, Michael B. and Magnier, Mrs. John A. O'Brien $0.90*
2001 - BEL Fantastic Light  L. Dettori 02:24.4
Oct 27 - 1 1/2M Godolphin Racing LLC S. bin Suroor $1.40*
2000 - CD  Kalanisi (IRE)  J. Murtagh 02:27.0
Nov 04 - 1 1/2M H. H. Aga Khan S. Stoute $4.60
1999 - GP  Daylami (IRE)  L. Dettori 02:24.7
Nov 06 - 1 1/2M Godolphin Racing LLC S. bin Suroor $1.60*
1998 - CD  Buck's Boy  S. Sellers 02:28.7
Nov 07 - 1 1/2M Quarter B. Farm P. Hickey $3.60
1997 - HOL Chief Bearhart  J. Santos 02:23.9
Nov 08 - 1 1/2M Sam-Son Farms M. Frostad $1.90*
1996 - WO  Pilsudski (IRE)  W. Swinburn 02:30.2
Oct 26 - 1 1/2M Weinstock, Lord Arnold and Executors of Late Simon Weinstock S. Stoute $13.70
1995 - BEL Northern Spur (IRE)  C. McCarron 02:42.1
Oct 28 - 1 1/2M Charles J. Cella R. McAnally $3.95
1994 - CD  Tikkanen  M. Smith 02:26.5
Nov 05 - 1 1/2M Augustin Stable J. Pease $16.60
1993 - SA  Kotashaan (FR)  K. Desormeaux 02:25.2
Nov 06 - 1 1/2M La Presle Farm R. Mandella $1.50*
1992 - GP  Fraise  P. Valenzuela 02:24.1
Oct 31 - 1 1/2M Madeleine A. Paulson W. Mott $14.00
1991 - CD  Miss Alleged  E. Legrix 02:30.9
Nov 02 - 1 1/2M Fares Farm, Inc. P. Bary $42.10
1990 - BEL In the Wings (GB)  G. Stevens 02:29.6
Oct 27 - 1 1/2M Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum A. Fabre $1.90*
1989 - GP  Prized  E. Delahoussaye 02:28.0
Nov 04 - 1 1/2M Clover Racing Stable and Meadowbrook Farms N. Drysdale $8.80
1988 - CD  Great Communicator  R. Sibille 02:35.2
Nov 05 - 1 1/2M Class Act Stable T. Ackel $12.40
1987 - HOL Theatrical (IRE)  P. Day 02:24.4
Nov 21 - 1 1/2M Firestone and Paulson W. Mott $1.80*
1986 - SA  Manila  J. Santos 02:25.4
Nov 01 - 1 1/2M B. M. Shannon L. Jolley $8.80
1985 - AQU Pebbles (GB)  P. Eddery 02:27.0
Nov 02 - 1 1/2M Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum C. Brittain $2.20*
1984 - HOL Lashkari (GB)  Y. Saint-Martin 02:25.2
Nov 10 - 1 1/2M H. H. Aga Khan A. De Royer-Dupre $53.40

 

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