Breeders’ Cup is the World’s Best Race Series

Breeders’ Cup is the World’s Best Race Series

Breeders’ Cup is the World’s Best Race Series

That’s a little hard to say being an Aussie, but it is a fact, the Breeders’ Cup is by far the World’s Best Race Series.

Australia has some of the World’s best racing, Royal Ascot is an incredible event, the Dubai World Cup improves year after year, but the Breeders’ Cup is the one that sets the standard.

The prize money is just part of the appeal, a win at the Breeders’ Cup is a guaranteed start to a stud career, it adds significant value to the horse, the sire , the dam and the family and that is where the big money is made.

A Breeders’ Cup victory is worth its weight in Gold.

In 1982 a group of prominent thoroughbred breeders from central Kentucky, led by the visionary John Gaines, hatched a plan. Their idea was to create a year-end, culminating championship for their sport. An event where horses from across the world could meet to settle the age old question, who is the best. An event that celebrated the best of horse racing. Put it on a national platform and helped to build the market for racing and breeding. Their vision – The Breeders’ Cup.

Before the best can race, the Breeders’ Cup need to determine who the best are. There are a few ways for a horse to qualify for a Breeders’ Cup race. The first is by winning a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, which you can learn more about here. The second is based on a points system, where horses are ranked based on their performance in major races during the year. Points are awarded based on the following scale:

Race Quality Win Place Show
Grade 1 10 6 4
Grade 2 6 4 2
Grade 3 4 2 1




The third way to gain entry is to be selected by a panel of experts. For each race, there are a maximum of 14 horses selected for each Breeders’ Cup Championship race. Seven who come from the Challenge races and points system and seven who have been selected by the experts. This ensures the highest quality of competition.


How much do they win?

The Breeders’ Cup is the richest two days in sports, with $30 million paid out in purses and awards over the entire weekend. Winnings are paid out to owners, stallion nominators, and foal nominators. Owners share their winnings with their trainer and jockey on their own terms.

The breeding industry is the cornerstone of the Breeders’ Cup program, the very foundation of the Championships and Challenge series. All horses have to be nominated in order to compete in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and it all begins with the stallions.

North American stallions are nominated annually to the Breeders’ Cup, the nomination is for the upcoming breeding season and the fee to be eligible is equal to the stud’s advertised breeding fee. Once the stallion is nominated and begins breeding (covering mares) all of his progeny (foals) from that breeding season are then eligible to be nominated the year they are born. If a stallion is really popular and has more than 50 foals born each year, then he pays more in nomination fees.

Foals born in North America only have to be nominated once to the Breeders’ Cup, by October 15 of the year they are born, their breeder pays a one-time $400 nomination fee and that foal is then is fully eligible to run in any Breeders’ Cup World Championships race for its entire racing career. For the nominator, a Breeders’ Cup nomination pays off in the sales ring with nominated foals bringing six times on average what non-nominated foals sell for and it pays off in nominator awards earned through the Challenge Series and in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Stallions that stand outside of North America can participate too, international stallions standing in the Northern Hemisphere pay 50% of their stud fee and stallions standing in the Southern Hemisphere pay 25% of their stud fee. Once an international stallion is nominated for a breeding season, all his foals that are born the following year receive free nominations to the Breeders’ Cup.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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