Published Tuesday, April 11th, 2023   ( 10 months ago )

Breeders' Cup Announces Return of Dirt Race Incentive Program for World Championships

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 2023) ― The Breeders’ Cup today announced the return of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Dozen, an incentive-based participation bonus program for horsemen pointing runners to the dirt races in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Launched in 2022, the 12-race program is comprised of existing graded stakes races scheduled from May through October at six tracks throughout the United States. 

The Dirt Dozen program will again award bonus credits funded by the Breeders’ Cup for first through third-place finishes in the 12 program races. Horsemen can use those credits toward entry fees for one of six Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup World Championships dirt races: the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint, $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, $1 million PNC Bank Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. 

In Dirt Dozen races in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup race divisions, the bonus tier is allocated at $30,000 for first, $15,000 for second, and $7,500 for third. In Dirt Dozen races in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup race divisions, the bonus tier will award $15,000 for first, $7,500 for second, and $3,750 for third.    

The Dirt Dozen program begins May 6 with the Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs. The first three finishers in the race will earn credits toward entry fees for a potential start in the PNC Bank Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. The program concludes Oct. 1 with the Zenyatta Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, where the first three finishers in the race will earn credits toward entry fees for a potential start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. 

Last year, 13 horses that earned credits through the Dirt Dozen program participated in the Breeders’ Cup. Three of those were also Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners who took advantage of their automatic qualifying berths, leaving 10 contenders that applied earned credits toward a start in the World Championships.    

“After a successful launch in 2022, we are happy to again present our innovative Dirt Dozen program,” said Dora Delgado, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer of Breeders’ Cup Limited. “Last year, many horsemen who took advantage of those credits toward entry fees for our dirt races were rewarded at the World Championships, and we look forward to extending the same incentive to connections who are targeting a start at Santa Anita Park in November.”   

Further information on rules and participation in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Dozen program is available on the Breeders’ Cup Members site. 

DATE RACE / TRACK BC DIVISION
Sat. July 29 SAN DIEGO HANDICAP (Gr. II)
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Dirt Mile
Sat. Aug 19 PHILIP H ISELIN (Gr. III)
Monmouth Park
Dirt Mile
Sat. July 1 FLEUR DE LIS (Gr. II)
Churchill Downs
Distaff
Sun. Oct 1 ZENYATTA STAKES
Santa Anita Park
Distaff
Sat. May 6 DERBY CITY DISTAFF
Churchill Downs
Filly & Mare Sprint
Sun. Aug 27 RANCHO BERNARDO (Gr. III)
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Filly & Mare Sprint
Sun. Sept 10 DEL MAR FUTURITY (Gr. I)
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Juvenile
Sat. Sept 16 IROQUOIS (Gr. III)
Churchill Downs
Juvenile
Sun. Sept 3 SPINAWAY (Gr. I)
Saratoga
Juvenile Fillies
Sat. Sept 16 POCAHONTAS (Gr. III)
Churchill Downs
Juvenile Fillies
Sat. July 1 SMILE HANDICAP (Gr. III)
Gulfstream Park
Sprint
Sat. Sept 30 SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP (Gr. II)
Santa Anita Park
Sprint

ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races through an 80-race series hosted by 11 countries, and also administers the U.S.-based Dirt Dozen Bonus Series. The Breeders’ Cup supports and operates under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), which, for the first time, establishes a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack. HISA seeks to enhance the safety of both horse and rider and to protect the integrity of the sport to the benefit of all racing participants, fans, and bettors. 

The 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Grade 1 Championship races, and $31 million in purses and awards, is scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The Championships will return to the West Coast in 2024 with Del Mar in Del Mar, California, set to host Nov. 1-2. The Championships will be televised live by NBC Sports. Press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.