One of the most prestigious international Thoroughbred horse racing is just around the corner. The 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will once again kick off on the first weekend of November to feature the best of the best horses from all over the world.
For the past two years, many Breeders’ Cup fans couldn’t witness the race due to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, this two-day annual event welcomes everyone back to the host venue in person again this year!
Before getting too giddy, here are some things you need to know about the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
A Competition of The World’s Best Thoroughbred Racehorses
John Gaines, the visionary father of the Breeders’ Cup, hatched a plan to finally answer the age-old question, “who’s the best horse race around the world?” 40 years ago. As a result, the annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships was created.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championship is an elite Grade I Thoroughbred horse races series, attracting the best Thoroughbred racehorses in the sport from across the world. So far, the United States has the most Breeders’ Cup winners with nearly 300 victories, followed by 35 wins from Ireland and 23 wins from Great Britain.
How Do They Qualify?
Breeders’ Cup Limited, the company operating the Breeders’ Cup, adopts a field selection system for picking the runners in the event. Victors of the “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge races have free entries and automatic starting positions in the championship.
On the other hand, other pre-entries are ranked in two ways. First, competitors have to go through a point system for the year’s graded stakes performance. Second, they get assessments from a panel of racing experts.
Contenders take the pre-entry two weeks before the Breeders Cup World Championship. Their rankings during the event determine whether they’re eligible for the oversubscribed races. Otherwise, they can try their luck once more when vacancies are available after the pre-entry. However, it’s important to note that horses usually fill these in order of panel preference.
Schedule: November 4-5, 2022
The 2022 breeders cup schedule will happen over two days on November 4-5. Every year, this elite horse race series takes its show on the road every first weekend of November. This way, the Thoroughbreds will have ample time to be eligible for running throughout the spring, summer, and autumn.
Venue: Keeneland Race Course, Lexington, Ky
The historic Keeneland Race Course is going to be once again the host site for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. It’ll be the venue’s third time as host since its first in 2015 and its second in 2020. On top of that, what made the track even more impactful is that it’s situated in Lexington, Kentucky, the heart of Thoroughbred country.
Unique Customary Trophies, Garlands, and Cocktails
The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championship comprises 14 races. The winning horses for each race don’t only get purse money. The 14 race winners will also don a garland of flowers draped across their withers and receive a Breeders’ Cup Trophy presented to their connections.
The garland of flowers is 96 inches in length and has a signature look of purple and gold (or yellow), the official race colors. It’s usually a combination of Beauty Asters, Cattleya Orchids, Cremons, Chrysanthemums, and Golden Asters. These flowers are grown exclusively just for the race. This flower blanket has a round purple cloth plaque with the embroidered name and logo of the Breeders’ Cup on it.
The Breeders’ Cup Trophy is one of a kind. It’s an authentic reproduction of the bronze Renaissance anatomical sculpture “The Torrie Horse.” The original one was created by Giovanni da Bologna in Florence, Italy, around the late 1580s and has been permanently owned by the Breeders’ Cup. Additionally, to help racing fans celebrate the upcoming World Championships, another bigger version of the sculpture moves to the host track each year.
Moreover, the Breeders’ Cup has not one but two signature cocktails. They’re based on the event’s garlands and trophies. Hence they’re called the Garland and Torrie Cup. The Garland combines Tito’s Handmade Vodka, triple sec, honey-green tea, and fresh lemon juice. The Torrie Cup, in contrast, is a mixture of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange juice, and lemonade.
Another official drink for the Breeders’ Cup is Down the Stretch, which was first known in 2007. Its mixture depends on the host venue, but it typically has Blue Curacao, Grey Goose Vodka, cranberry juice, sweet and sour mix, and Sprite.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is a year-end culminating horse racing championship that doesn’t only celebrate the best of the sport. It’s also putting on a national platform and helping to build the market for horse racing and breeding globally.