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Breeder's Cup 2016 celebrations and charities

  Arcadia, Southern California Friday November 4th, 2016

By Lorraine Chambers  

Horse racing is details. Layers upon layers of details from breeds, breeders, jockeys, owners, courses, horses, colors, history, speculation, pageantry, races, bets, trainers, popularity, results, locations and more. Horse racing is colorful from the details of the horse and rider to the fans in the stands to the location of the race. It is fitting that the multi spectacular events before during and after the Breeders Cup is again back in San Gabriel Valley. 

Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia is a legendary US thoroughbred racetrack which offers some of the prominent racing events in the US in the winter and in the spring with the breathtaking backdrop of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains. Architect Gordon Kaufmann designed the historic site in a combination of Colonial Revival and a type of Art Deco known as Streamline Modern painted primarily in Santa Anita’s signature colors of Persian Green and Chiffon Yellow.  During Breeders Cup the old world charm of men in suits and women in dresses with charming whimsical hats returns to Santa Anita Racetrack.

The Breeders’ Cup races provide a powerful year-end championship and a grand spectacle that presents the sport to a worldwide audience. Through the enthusiastic participation of prominent horsemen from around the world who bring their top horses to compete, the Breeders’ Cup has established a reputation for showcasing Thoroughbred racing at the highest level of international competition.

On Friday November 4th, Spendthrift Farm’s brilliant mare Beholder ($8.60) nipped the previously undefeated by Songbird by a nose to win the 33rd running of the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) for fillies and mares on Friday afternoon at Santa Anita Park. Trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Gary Stevens, Beholder covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:49.20. It was the second Distaff victory for Beholder, who had won the race at Santa Anita in 2013 and had taken the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here in 2012. It was the fourth Breeders’ Cup victory for Spendthrift. 

California Chrome LLC’s California Chrome and Juddmonte Farms’ Arrogate are the top two morning line favorites in a field of 10 3-year-olds and up set for Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the climax of the 33rd Breeders’ Cup World Championship races running Friday and Saturday (Nov. 4-5) at Santa Anita.

The 1 ¼-mile Classic is the richest of 13 Championship races worth $28.5 million in purses and awards to run over the two days at Santa Anita and will be televised live by NBCSN and NBC. The Classic is broadcast live at 8:35 p.m. ET on NBC (8-9 p.m. ET).

Four Championship races ran Friday, highlighted by the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles and featuring champions Beholder, Songbird and Stellar Wind in a field of eight.

The 169 horses entered includes six also-eligibles. Among the entries are eight winners from the 2015 event at Keeneland. Going for repeat wins in the same race are Tepin (Mile), Found (Ire) (Turf), Wavell Avenue (Filly & Mare Sprint) and Mongolian Saturday (Turf Sprint). The others are Juvenile Fillies winner Songbird (Distaff), Sprint winner Runhappy (Las Vegas Dirt Mile), Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Catch a Glimpse (Filly & Mare Turf) and Juvenile Turf winner Hit a Bomb (Mile).

Champions For Charity

Breeders’ Cup Charities was founded in 2008 as the official charity outreach program for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The program is designed to support a variety of important causes and has raised over $1.3 million to date.

A special three-year charitable program, Champions for Charity, was launched in 2015 in partnership with Marker’s Mark. This program will support both Equine charities as well as local charities in the markets the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are hosted. Each year a new Limited-Edition Commemorative Maker’s Mark Bottle will be released featuring a Breeders’ Cup Champion. In 2016, Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark will release the Zenyatta Bottle benefiting Old Friends.

The 2015 bottles featured A.P. Indy, Lure, and Personal Ensign and the beneficiaries included Grayson Jockey Club Foundation, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, The Lexington Cancer Foundation, The Race for Education, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Foundation. For questions, email bccharities@breederscup.com

  Richie Sambora