Keeneland Race Course and Del Mar Racetrack have been selected to host their first Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Breeders' Cup announced Tuesday that Keeneland will be the site of next year's 32nd World Championships and Del Mar has been selected to host the 2017 races for the first time. Santa Anita, this year's host track, will again do so in 2016.
"In solidifying the Breeders' Cup World Championships as a leading global event in Thoroughbred racing, we are very pleased to align ourselves with three of the world's premier racetracks in Keeneland, Santa Anita and Del Mar," said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup President and CEO. "The outstanding reputations and historic achievements of each of these venues, coupled with our enhanced platform of marketing and experiential initiatives, provide us with an excellent opportunity to grow our audience by combining the best that horse racing and entertainment have to offer."
Keeneland and Del Mar will have dirt tracks installed in time to host the Breeders' Cup. Keeneland's new surface will be unveiled during this year's Fall meeting and Del Mar will have a new main track for 2015.
"The Breeders' Cup at Keeneland is a homecoming for many of these great champions who were foaled and raised at Central Kentucky farms, and often sold at Keeneland," said Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason. "The Keeneland team feels that sense of connection and history with the Breeders' Cup, and we look forward to offering fans an extraordinary racing and entertainment experience."
"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 Thoroughbred Club 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."
This year's World Championships will take place at Santa Anita on Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1.
"Santa Anita Park offers horsemen, local fans and our many out-of-town guests the opportunity to experience the best that the sport has to offer, from racing to dining and hospitality. We look forward to working with the Breeders' Cup to put on a very successful event both this year and again in 2016," said Tom Ludt, president of Santa Anita Park.