The Breeders’ Cup World Championships run at the Keeneland racecourse in Kentucky this year is the two-day, 14 race year-end culmination of the racing season that horses and jockeys around the world have their sights on. For the 37th edition of the North American thoroughbred meeting, racing will remain behind closed doors. However, horseracing fans across the world can enjoy this belter of a meeting from home – read on for my tips for bottles, horses and activities to see you through the weekend.
The Breeders’ Cup attracts racing talent from around the world, across 6 continents and over 16 countries. John Gaines planned the first Breeder’s Cup World Championships as a way to decide “who’s the best?” at a year-end culminating championship. Each year, the best stallions in the world are nominated to the Breeders’ Cup, paving the way for their foals to join the international event. The Breeders’ Cup has grown from a one day, 7 race event to a two day, 14 race event with so many top class races to remember:
Kicking off The Breeders’ Cup in style is Future Stars Friday, comprised of 5 juvenile races showcasing the finest rising stars of the industry.
7:30 GMT/2:30 EST – JUVENILE TURF SPRINT Grade 2 51/2f. Having made its debut at the 2018 World Championships at Churchill Downs, the Juvenile Turf Sprint carries a purse of $1 million.
8:10 GMT/3:10 EST – JUVENILE TURF PRESENTED BY COOLMORE AMERICA Grade 1 2yo C&G Turf 1m. This is often a forecast for top turf horses of the future and has a purse of $1 million.
8:50 GMT/3:50 EST – JUVENILE FILLIES Grade 1 Main Track Dirt 1m1/2f. Restricted to 2 year old fillies, the winner of the Juvenile Fillies has nearly always been named the champion of all 2 year old fillies. With a purse of $2 million, this is a Grade 1 race not to miss.
9:30 GMT/4:30 EST – JUVENILE FILLIES TURF Grade 1 1m. Bringing together the best 2 year old fillies from across the world, this 1 mile test on the grass course has a purse of $1 million.
10:10 GMT/5:10 EST – TVG JUVENILE PRESENTED BY THOROUGHBRED AFTERCARE ALLIANCE Grade 1 Dirt 1m1/2f. This is the richest 2 year old race in North America with a purse of $2 million. It often showcases the talent of the following year’s Triple Crown race winners.
As one of the richest days in horseracing, Champions Saturday awards over $22 Million in purses and awards, finally settling the question “who’s the best?”
5:02 GMT/12:02PM EST – FILLY & MARE SPRINT (Grade 1) (3yo+ Fillies & Mares) (Main Track) (Dirt) 7f. A purse of $1 million for the fastest females.
5:39 GMT/12:39PM EST – TURF SPRINT (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Turf) 5½f. The Turf Sprint combines both speed and agility for international competitors, with the chance to win $1 million.
6:57 GMT/1:57PM EST – MAKER’S MARK FILLY & MARE TURF (Grade 1) (3yo+ Fillies & Mares) 1m1/2f. The world’s best female grass horses compete for $2 million.
7:36 GMT/2:36PM EST – SPRINT (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Main Track) (Dirt) 6f. The world’s fastest thoroughbreds compete in the Sprint, nearing speeds of 40MPH for a purse of $2 million.
8:15 GMT/3:15PM EST – FANDUEL MILE PRESENTED BY PDJF (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Turf) 1m. Here, the world’s best grass milers compete for $2 million.
8:54 GMT/3:54PM EST – LONGINES DISTAFF (Grade 1) (3yo+ Fillies & Mares) (Main Track) (Dirt) 1m1f. Bringing together the best female dirt horses for $2 million.
9:33 GMT/4:33PM EST – LONGINES TURF (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Turf) 1m4f. The race attracts the top grass talent from Europe and North America to compete for a $4 million purse.
10:13 GMT/5:13PM EST – LONGINES CLASSIC (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Main Track) (Dirt) 1m2f. In Thoroughbred racing, the $6 million Longines Breeder’s Cup is the defining event of the international racing season.
Get to know the runners here, and learn all about the world’s best horses.
Watch The 2020 Breeders’ Cup online via Youtube & Facebook, at Breederscup.com or the new Breeders’ Cup mobile app. If you have a VR headset, you can virtually visit Keeneland and the Walking Ring for an immersive at home experience of the meeting.
Get involved on Social Media this Breeders’ Cup with the #MyBreedersCup photo filters. Connect with Facebook or Email to take pictures with some top class filters and share them online. Don’t forget to tag me on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Breeders’ Cup on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MyBreedersCup.
You can also enter the competition for the Longines Prize for Elegance at the Breeders’ Cup – just snap, post and tag @Longines and use #MyBreedersCup. Judges include Carson Kressley, Bonnie-Jill Laflin, Julie Stewart-Binks, and Pascal Savoy.
Shop the Breeders’ Cup Shop to stock up on your merchandise – how about an official face mask, pullover or keyring to celebrate the meeting with or for a loved one this holiday season.
For this classic North American meeting, why not explore the wine of the country:
Dark Horse Chardonnay 2019, California, USA £8.50 – £8.75. Stockists: Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda.
This underrated Chardonnay comes with a big personality, with flavours of vanilla, tropical fruits, toasty well balanced oak and a creamy, full-bodied finish.
Pair with roast chicken, Caesar salad, pasta with a creamy sauce.
Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, California, USA. £8.50 – £8.75. Stockists: Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado.
The Dark Horse range has welcomed many new drinkers to Californian wines and their medium-bodied and versatile Cabernet Sauvignon is packed with intense, dark fruit flavours, gentle oak and importantly smooth, velvety tannins.
Great with a burger.
Barbara Banke, chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, took over the reins in 2011 following the death of her husband Jess Jackson. Their Jackson Family Wines from California, Oregon and their other properties Château Lassegue in St Emilion and Tenuta di Arceno in Tuscany. Just as with her wines, Barbara has an impeccable record in the world of horse racing. With her late husband Jess Jackson they acquired the major share in Curlin, winner of the 2007 Breeders Cup and now standing at stud. They also purchased the major share in Rachel Alexandra, the USA Horse of the Year in 2009, who stands at the family’s StoneStreet Farm. This is where they have a broodmare band of nearly 100 and run a very successful breeding program. Barbara Banke is one of the Board of Directors for the Breeders’ Cup. Here are a couple of unmissable selections:
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2017/18, California, £18.79 on offer to £16.79. Stockist: Drinks Direct.
This is a classic example of balancing French and American oak barrel ageing with some delicious, ripe tropical fruit and this is an excellent way to introduce you to Californian Chardonnay.
Great with eggs benedict, fish pie, caesar salad, vegetable risotto or grilled fish.
Edmeades Mendocino County Zinfandel 2015, abv 15.3%, Mendocino County, California, £19.00. Stockist: Soho Wine Supply.
Zinfandel just doesn’t get the credit it deserves from California and I have enjoyed some wonderful examples of how good these wines can be. This blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Syrah aged in American and French oak is packed with red and dark fruit, toasted oak and caramel with real depth of flavour.
This is fabulous with rich stews and casseroles – Try it!
Wines from the USA have so much to offer and The Wine Tipster recommends The Wine Society.
For those really looking to celebrate, a classic cocktail accompanies the world class racing well. See below for the official Breeders’ Cup Cocktails and The Wine Tipster’s personal favourite. See how mixologist Mark Tubridy creates these delicious drinks here.
The Breeders’ Cup Garland – 1 part Vodka, 1 part Triple Sec, 1 part Honey-Green Tea, 1/2 part Fresh Lemon Juice. Place all ingredients and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake well and serve in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with edible purple flowers.
The Breeders’ Cup Torrie Cup – 1½ parts Bourbon, 3/4 part Sweet Vermouth, 1½ parts Orange Juice, 2 parts Lemonade. Add all ingredients and ice to a cocktail shaker and pour into glass of your choice such as a brandy glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Espresso Martini – The Wine Tipster’s must have for a classy race day. 100ml Vodka, 50ml freshly brewed espresso coffee, 50ml coffee liqueur, 1tbsp simple syrup. Combine all in a cocktail shaker, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with coffee beans.
The Wine Tipster
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