Exciting Return: Santa Anita Park Selected to Host Prestigious Breeders’ Cup in 2023

The Breeders’ Cup Returns to Santa Anita Park for its 40th Running

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships has announced that the prestigious horse racing event will be hosted at Santa Anita Park, Southern California, for a record-breaking 11th time in 2023. This milestone occasion will also mark the 40th running of the Breeders’ Cup, making it an even more significant event for both the track and the racing community.

Record-Breaking Crowds and Unparalleled Wagering

Santa Anita Park holds the impressive record for the highest attendance at a Breeders’ Cup event, with over 118,000 attendees witnessed in 2016. The track has consistently attracted massive crowds, as evidenced by the previous editions of the racing festival. Moreover, in 2019, bettors wagered an astounding $175 million, establishing another record for the event.

This remarkable success and popularity have compelled the Breeders’ Cup organizers to select Santa Anita Park as the venue for their milestone 40th running. Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Drew Fleming emphasized Santa Anita’s historical significance and its ability to deliver an exceptional racing experience, combining top-notch hospitality, entertainment, and horse racing.

Why Santa Anita Park Stands Out

Santa Anita Park has become a beloved and reliable choice for hosting the Breeders’ Cup due to various reasons. Situated at the base of the picturesque San Gabriel Mountains, the track offers a scenic setting enhanced by the mild November weather that characterizes Southern California. Its proximity to Hollywood and the entertainment industry adds to the allure, attracting not only racing enthusiasts but also celebrities and media attention.

Moreover, Santa Anita Park enjoys the privilege of being the only track that has hosted the Breeders’ Cup for more than two years consecutively. From 2012 to 2014, it served as the event’s home, followed by a return in 2016 after a brief stint at Keeneland in 2015. The track was further validated as an excellent choice when the Breeders’ Cup made stops at Del Mar in 2017 and Churchill Downs in 2018 before returning to Santa Anita Park in 2019.

Adding to its appeal is the fact that 1/ST RACING, Santa Anita Park’s parent company, is now led by former Breeders’ Cup CEO Craig Fravel. Fravel’s experience and knowledge of the event and the industry have surely played a role in Santa Anita Park’s continued prominence in hosting this esteemed racing championship.

A Tale of California and Kentucky

The Breeders’ Cup began in 1984 at Hollywood Park, marking the inception of this iconic racing event. For more than two decades following its inception, the Breeders’ Cup traveled to various tracks across North America, including Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park, and Lone Star Park.

However, California and Kentucky emerged as the primary hosts for this prestigious event since the early 2000s. The Breeders’ Cup, after its 2007 edition at Monmouth Park, has primarily rotated between Santa Anita Park and Churchill Downs in Kentucky. The alternating venues have allowed for a diverse racing experience while ensuring the continued popularity and growth of the Breeders’ Cup brand.

The Upcoming 2023 Breeders’ Cup and the Legacy it Holds

The highly anticipated 2023 Breeders’ Cup is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 3, and Saturday, November 4. This two-day event attracts some of the finest Thoroughbred horses from around the globe to compete in 14 diverse and prestigious races. With an exceptional total purse of $31 million, the Breeders’ Cup offers substantial prize money, with the Classic race alone awarding a massive $6 million. Winning the Classic is often a significant determining factor for Horse of the Year.

As Santa Anita Park prepares to host the record-breaking 11th Breeders’ Cup in 2023, fans and enthusiasts eagerly await the thrill and excitement of witnessing the world’s best horses, jockeys, and trainers competing at this iconic venue. The combination of Santa Anita Park’s historical significance, the scenic setting at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, and the memorable experiences it offers will undoubtedly make the 40th running of the Breeders’ Cup an unforgettable event in horse racing history.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will the 2023 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park have any special celebrations or events for its 40th running?

While specific details haven’t been announced yet, it is highly likely that the 40th running of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park will include special celebrations and events to commemorate this significant milestone. Fans can expect surprises and additional fanfare to make the occasion even more memorable.

2. How does the Breeders’ Cup compare to other prestigious horse racing events?

The Breeders’ Cup is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world. Its combination of top-level competition, substantial prize money, and global participation sets it apart. The Breeders’ Cup features the best horses, jockeys, and trainers from around the globe, showcasing the pinnacle of Thoroughbred racing.

3. How does the Breeders’ Cup contribute to the growth of horse racing as a sport?

The Breeders’ Cup plays a crucial role in increasing the popularity and awareness of horse racing. By bringing together the best horses and creating a championship atmosphere, the event attracts a wide audience, including both avid racing enthusiasts and casual spectators. This exposure helps grow the sport by showcasing its excitement, skill, and the sheer athleticism of the horses and jockeys.

4. Can you attend the Breeders’ Cup if you’re not a horse racing fan?

Absolutely! The Breeders’ Cup offers an incredible experience for both avid horse racing fans and those who are new to the sport. The event provides a fantastic atmosphere, outstanding hospitality, and the opportunity to witness world-class racing. Even if you’re not a die-hard fan, the Breeders’ Cup is a thrilling spectacle that can be enjoyed by everyone.

5. How can one secure tickets to attend the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park?

Tickets for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park can be purchased through authorized ticket vendors, the official Breeders’ Cup website, or directly from Santa Anita Park’s ticketing office. It is advisable to check for updates on ticket availability and prices closer to the event date to ensure availability and secure your spot at this extraordinary racing event.


The announcement of the Breeders’ Cup returning to Santa Anita Park for its 40th running in 2023 has generated immense excitement among horse racing enthusiasts. Santa Anita’s rich history, picturesque setting, and successful track record in hosting the event have solidified its status as a top-choice venue. The upcoming Breeders’ Cup promises to be an unforgettable experience, blending the best of horse racing, entertainment, and hospitality. As the racing world eagerly awaits, Santa Anita Park stands ready to deliver a remarkable celebration of this prestigious event.

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Doug I. Jones

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