Breeders’ Cup announced Friday announced its host sites for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Santa Anita Park kicks off the series in 2019, followed by Keeneland Race Course in 2020 and the 2021 host, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, rounds out the trio. Santa Anita, which has hosted the championships on nine occasions previously, most recently presented the series in 2016. The Arcadia, California oval is also the only track to have hosted the Breeders’ Cup for three consecutive years (2012-2014). Keeneland and Del Mar held the event for the first time in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
“We are extremely proud and excited to bring the Breeders’ Cup back to three of the country’s most beloved racetracks in California and Kentucky, all of which share our commitment to providing an exceptional race-day experience for horse racing enthusiasts and first-time guests alike,” said Craig Fravel, President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. “Breeders’ Cup events at Santa Anita, Keeneland and Del Mar have resulted in record success and overwhelming support from our fans around the world. We look forward to building upon past triumphs and to bringing the world’s best two days of Thoroughbred racing to these great racetracks and communities.”
The 2016 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita established a two-day attendance record of 118,484 spectators. Santa Anita officials indicated $5 million in new premium seating would be added prior to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, including new outdoor suites installed above the grandstand seating.
“We are thrilled to have the Breeders’ Cup back here at Santa Anita for a record 10th time in 2019,” said Tim Ritvo, COO for The Stronach Group. “In addition to our existing amenities, we have several other high-end attractions that will be operational in 2019 and they will complement what has already been a terrific Breeders’ Cup customer experience through the years.”
Keeneland expanded its accommodations heading into the 2015 Breeders’ Cup, including the installation of temporary seating chalets and lounges. Friday and Saturday’s cards drew a total of 95,102 patrons, breaking Keeneland’s attendance records.
“The Bluegrass served as the ideal backdrop for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup and we could not be more excited to have Keeneland serve as the host of the 2020 edition of the World Championships,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “Building on the success of the event for the industry and the community, we anticipate an even greater spectacle in 2020 and look forward to the Breeders’ Cup returning home once again.”
For its inaugural Breeders’ Cup, Del Mar expanded its luxury seating options and infield experiences. The Breeders’ Cup debut at Del Mar resulted in record-breaking business, including a two-day on-track wagering mark.
“Del Mar is delighted to again be hosting our sport’s championship days,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s chief executive officer Joe Harper. “We know we put on a good show here in 2017 and we look forward to presenting an even better one in 2021.”