LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2014) – The Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international events, has today announced Del Mar, near San Diego, Calif., as the host site of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. This is the first time that Del Mar, one of the most iconic tracks in the country, will play host to the Breeders’ Cup. The event will be held on November 3-4, 2017.
The announcement marks the second time in the event’s history and the first time since 1993 that the Breeders’ Cup has revealed on the same day more than one future host site for the World Championships. In addition to Del Mar, the brand’s multi-year location strategy includes bringing the event to Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, Ky. in 2015 and a return to Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif. for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
“We are very pleased to announce Del Mar as a first time host site for the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships,” said Craig Fravel, President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. “Over the years, Del Mar has established an extraordinary reputation for outstanding racing, entertainment and first-class hospitality. We are excited by the energy and support of the local San Diego community and their efforts to make the 2017 World Championships one of most successful in our history.”
Del Mar, founded by entertainment icon Bing Crosby back in 1937, would seem a perfect Breeders’ Cup location. The Crosby connection, which brought Hollywood stars regularly to the sun-splashed track alongside the blue Pacific, continued forward for many years and has expanded in modern times to a getaway for the rich and famous, a spot for sports celebrities to watch four-legged athletes perform and as a favorite location for film and TV crews.
“We’ve had many wonderful racing events and thousands of special racing people be part of our rich history at Del Mar,” said Del Mar President and CEO Joe Harper. “But bringing the Breeders’ Cup horses, horsemen and their worldwide fans to our seaside showplace in 2017 just might be our show of shows.”
The multi-year host site decision is part of Breeders’ Cup larger, forward-thinking growth strategy to showcase the best of what Thoroughbred racing has to offer and is an extension of the brand’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” campaign which promises a curated Thoroughbred racing experience that will attract the best horses, the best owners and the best marketing partners.
Like Del Mar, Keeneland, which will be the site of next year’s event on October 30 and 31, will be hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time in the event’s 30-year history. Breeders’ Cup will return to Santa Anita for the 2016 event on November 4 and 5 which will be the ninth time the track plays hosts the Breeders’ Cup. Del Mar will host the 2017 Breeders’ Cup on November 3 and 4. All event dates are pending approval by the tracks’ respective states.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2014 World Championships will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, and will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network and NBC. The $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will be shown live and in primetime on NBC. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About Del Mar
Del Mar, just a few furlongs from the Pacific Ocean, has been a racing holiday location since its founding in 1937 by Hollywood pals Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien. Owner-breeder Crosby, known as the original laid-back Californian, put his special stamp on the place “where nobody’s in a hurry but the horses.” Bing penned and sang a ditty called “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” in 1938 and the song is still played today at the start and finish of every card. That same year the track itself became famous when it hosted a match race between champion Seabiscuit and South American star Ligaroti, broadcast live on Crosby’s highly popular radio show coast to coast. Johnny Longden set the world’s record for most wins by a rider on Labor Day in 1956, a mark broken on Labor Day 1970 at Del Mar by Bill Shoemaker. The seaside oval has evolved from a “quaint country track” to one of America’s racing stalwarts, a proving grounds for stars-in-the-making and stars-in-fact guided by first-rate horsemen and enjoyed by enthusiastic racing crowds all summer long. This fall Del Mar will conduct a second racing season during the month of November.