Published Tuesday, June 24th, 2014   ( 8 years ago )

Del Mar to Host Breeders' Cup in 2017


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Announcement marks the debut of the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar

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 Breeders' Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 races and purses totaling $26 million will be held October 31-Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders' Cup press releases appear on the Breeders' Cup Web site, 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.



Breeders' Cup Del Mar Quotes

Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of City of San Diego
"I'm proud that one of our region's most iconic entertainment venues – the Del Mar racetrack – has been chosen to host the Breeders' Cup in 2017. San Diego County provides a world-class setting for this world-class event to unfold. I'm looking forward to this being the first of many Breeders' Cups in the San Diego region for years to come."

Lee Haydu, Mayor of City of Del Mar
"The City of Del Mar is extremely thrilled that the Del Mar racetrack has been selected to be the home of the 2017 Breeders' Cup. As the premier racetrack on the west coast that brings together the fun and excitement of horse racing and the natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the protected lagoon, the city is well-prepared to welcome the expected high volume of attendees to this exciting event. With our vibrant downtown that has many award-winning restaurants and a variety of hotel accommodations, Del Mar is the ideal place for racing enthusiasts."

David Batchelder, Chairman of the Board, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
"The Breeders' Cup in 2017 will be fabulous for the surrounding communities, Southern California horse racing and our patrons. Once the Breeders' Cup experiences the best facility in horse racing and the Del Mar weather during November, the will never want to leave."

Russ Penniman, Chairman of the State Race Track Authority and the State Race Track Leasing Commission

"The opportunity to host the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar in 2017 is not only a big 'win' for our racetrack, but also for the San Diego region and the State of California. The equivalent of the 'Super Bowl' of horse racing, the Breeders' Cup is anticipated to have a positive economic impact of over $75 million for the area. Further, the prospect of hosting the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar on a rotating basis has the potential to be a real shot in the arm for the California horse racing industry over the long term. Congratulation to both the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and to Breeders' Cup for their collective efforts to bring the Breeders' Cup to Del Mar in 2017 and, hopefully, beyond. This is a great day for horse racing in California."

Chuck Winner, Chairman of the California Horse Racing Board

"On behalf of the California Horse Racing Board, we congratulate Del Mar on being selected to host the Breeders' Cup. People from around the world will be able to enjoy the beauty of Del Mar, the warm hospitality of the management and staff of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the incomparable experience of racing 'where the turf meets the surf.'"

Fred Schenk, Board President for the 22nd District Agricultural Association
"The 22nd District Agricultural Association is extremely pleased that the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has been selected as the 2017 host for the Breeders' Cup. These historic races are considered by many to be the most important Thoroughbred races of the year in the United States and we are excited to showcase this magnificent event on our grounds at the Del Mar racetrack."

Tim Fennell, CEO/General Manager of Del Mar Fairgrounds
"The Breeders' Cup is the crème de la crème of horse racing and it is pleasing and exciting to realize it is coming to Del Mar in 2017. The best horses and horsemen in the world will join us for this special event and the economic impact in the San Diego region will be tremendous. I take my hat off to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Breeders' Cup and the Fairgrounds board of directors for the collaborative efforts that have made this a reality."