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The Washington Independent

5 Reasons to watch the Breeders’ Cup 2021

5 Reasons to watch the Breeders’ Cup 2021

This year will be no different, as Del Mar hosts the biggest show for true horse racing fans, as the Breeders’ Cup takes place on Friday, 5th November and Saturday, 6th November. But, what are the main reasons to tune into the event this year?

Elisa Mueller
Sep 20, 2021

Table of Contents

Every year the flat racing season reaches its climax with the Breeders’ Cup. Stars from around the world travel to a different American track annually to compete for some of the biggest Grade 1s in the world of racing.

This year will be no different, as Del Mar hosts the biggest show for true horse racing fans, as the Breeders’ Cup takes place on Friday, 5th November and Saturday, 6th November. But, what are the main reasons to tune into the event this year?

Number of grade 1s

It’s hard to look past any other reason to tune in other than the fact that every race that is staged is a Grade 1. The level of action doesn’t diminish throughout the card, as every race is unmissable.

Grade 1s such as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf both see some of the youngest stars of the equine world on show, before the main players then get involved with the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Breeders’ Cup Classic, and breeders’ Cup Turf being among the most highly-regarded races on the two-day card. Around $28 million in prize money is available throughout the meeting, with all 14 races being Grade 1s.

Superstar horses on show

Due to the quality of races being the highest anywhere in the world, the biggest superstars travel to Del Mar to get involved in the action. Horses that fans would have seen in Triple Crown action earlier in the season, such as Essential Quality, Medina Spirit, and Hot Rod Charlie, will all be strutting their stuff in the Classic, while superstar fillies and mares such as Malathaat, Lestruska, and Swiss Skydiver will also be in action.

It also offers a first look at the horses that could be hitting the headlines in 2022, with the Juvenile being a race that was won by Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality in 2020. When it comes to seeing the best of the best, there is nothing that comes close to the Breeders’ Cup.

Talent of foreign horses

It isn’t just American-trained horses that will be on show at the Breeders’ Cup, as American fans will be able to see some of the stars from around the rest of the world that have been in dominant form. Superstar Mishriff could yet oppose the American-strong field for the Classic, while the majority of other European raiders will land in the turf races.

Horses such as Hurricane Lane and Adayar have both won English Classics this season, while older horses such as Love and Poetic Flare could be set to travel to Del Mar to continue their dominant records that they have enjoyed in Europe.

Legends are made

The Breeders’ Cup is all about creating legends, with horses such as American Pharoah and Cigar among the stars that have wowed audiences in the past. Some of the most prestigious records at the event include the biggest names in the sport, with Mike Smith and D. Wayne Lukas being the leading jockey and trainer, respectively.

Meanwhile, Godolphin will be looking to end their season on a high after winning the Epsom Derby and Belmont Stakes, and add to their winnings of just over $15 million at the Breeders’ Cup.

It’s the pinnacle

For any racing fan, the Breeders’ Cup is the pinnacle. Unlike other big meetings throughout the season, this one is all about seeing the best that racing has to offer. 

There is nothing better than seeing the best take on the best, and it is the one meeting throughout the year where we see the best of Europe travel to American shores to take on the best that North America has to offer.

You can bet on the 2021 Breeders' Cup Championship Races here.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.


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