The Breeders Cup World Championships, described as the Super Bowl of thoroughbred horse racing, is coming to the Del Mar Race Track in November 2017, the organization that puts on the races announced.
It’s the first time the prestigious annual event is being held here and is the result of a concerted campaign waged by the local track to attract it, Del Mar officials said.
“We’ve had many wonderful racing events and thousands of special racing people be part of our rich history at Del Mar. But bringing the Breeders Cup horses, horsemen and their worldwide fans to our seaside showplace in 2017 just might be our show of shows,” said Joe Harper, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president and CEO.
In addition to naming Del Mar to host the event Nov. 3-4, 2017, the Breeders Cup announced that Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, will host the event for the first time in 2015. The Cup returns to Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles in 2016. This year’s Breeders Cup is taking place at Santa Anita Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. This year’s championships will consist of 13 races and purses totaling $26 million.
The economic impact from hosting the Breeders Cup is a huge win for the San Diego region and California, said Russ Penniman, chairman of the State Race Track Authority.
“The Breeders Cup is anticipated to have a positive economic impact of over $75 million for the area. Further, the prospect of hosting the Breeders Cup at Del Mar on a rotating basis has the potential to be a real shot in the arm for the California horse racing industry over the long term,” Penniman said.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said he is proud that one of this region’s most iconic venues, the Del Mar track, was chosen.
“San Diego County provides a world-class setting for this world-class event to unfold,” Faulconer said. “I’m looking forward to this being the first of many Breeders Cups in the San Diego region for years to come.”
For further coverage of Del Mar hosting the Breeders Cup, read the June 30 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.