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2023 Breeders’ Cup Coming To Santa Anita Park

James Murphy
by in Horses on
  • The 2023 Breeders’ Cup will be held on November 3 and 4 at Santa Anita Park.
  • This will be the record 11th time that Santa Anita has hosted the event.
  • The 2022 Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for November 4 and 5 at Kentucky’s Keeneland Racecourse.

The 40th edition of the Breeders’ Cup will be held at California’s Santa Anita Park on November 3 and 4, 2023. It will be the 11th time that the track has been the host site of the Breeders’ Cup. Santa Anita last hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2019. In 2016, the track set the all time attendance record for the two day event at 118,484. That year also had the largest all sources betting handle in Breeders’ Cup history.

Like many sporting events, the Breeders’ Cup has been scaled back in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Breeders’ Cup was held at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky but attendance was significantly restricted due to virus mitigation guidelines. The 2021 Breeders’ Cup had a larger crowd at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club but not on the scale of a typical running of the event. The 2022 Breeders’ Cup will be back at Keeneland on November 4 and 5 and while there are minimal restrictions on attendance the track by design is a good deal more intimate than the sprawling Santa Anita complex.

In a website article by the Daily Racing Form, writer Matt Hegarty explained the appeal of Santa Anita to event organizers:

Santa Anita, owned by 1/ST, has long been a coveted location by the Breeders’ Cup board due to warm fall weather, a strong television backdrop, its West Coast time zone, and the ability to host large crowds. The event was last held at the track in 2019, when an all-sources wagering record was established.

Hegarty outlined more advantages that Santa Anita offers over most other tracks:

Santa Anita has been selected as a host site more than any other track because of several advantages beyond its large grandstand, which has been remodeled several times over the past two decades. The San Gabriel Mountains beyond its backstretch form a picturesque backdrop to the television broadcast, and temperatures for the event are usually in the high 60s, with mild winds and ample sunshine, according to historical weather data. 

Breeders’ Cup events held at West Coast sites also typically handle more than events at East Coast sites because the races are held later in the day across the U.S. Several of the final races on each card at a West Coast site are run in prime-time television hours on the East Coast.

Drew Fleming, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO, is excited to be returning to Santa Anita:

“Santa Anita Park is an integral part of Breeders’ Cup history and is the perfect venue for our landmark 40th running. Since our founders conceived this season-ending championship four decades ago, the Breeders’ Cup has consistently been one of the leading global events in Thoroughbred racing. Santa Anita’s outstanding reputation and scenic venue provide us with the ideal setting to continue to grow our audience by combining the best that racing, hospitality, and entertainment have to offer.”

Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING had these comments:

“1/ST RACING is delighted to welcome back the Breeders’ Cup to Santa Anita Park for the special 40th running of these extraordinary World Championships. 1/ST RACING looks forward to showcasing Santa Anita Park for a record 11th time as California’s premier racing venue committed to delivering the best backdrop for world-class racing, entertainment and hospitality, and to being part of the unique excitement that comes with the Breeders’ Cup.”

Ticket and other information for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup is forthcoming. Currently, you can sign up for an email list at BreedersCup.com/2023.

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