As the horse racing calendar heads into Q4, certain race fans or bettors alike may be looking towards 2022 already. Let me stop you in your tracks, slow that horse down, and don't neglect the end-of-year events that horse racing has to offer. The Breeders' Cup is the penultimate of US horse racing and should close out the year in style, amongst many other dates that should draw your interest. Continue reading as we preview the end of year horse racing events you don't want to miss.
The Breeders Cup – November 5th & 6th, 2021
If you aren't familiar with the Breeders' Cup and its significance in horse racing, you're either from another solar system or you've been living under a rock.
It's the moment where the entirety of America enjoys horse racing in its glory, even those who don't watch the sport regularly will often be found tuning in. Live streaming and viewership reaches its peak during fall, and that's with great thanks to the Breeders' Cup.
Fourteen championship races will occur this year, with 5 ½ furlongs to 1 ¼ mile on turf and dirt will race it out in Del Mar, California. From juveniles, fillies, colts, and older horses, they'll all be gunning for that considerable prize money.
The Breeders' Cup World Championship concludes a year of elite horse racing with massive purses, the fastest horses, with huge fields that deliver the crowning of champions whilst making those skilful betting handicappers rich. The best bets for today will undoubtedly provide higher value than a regular event, including the races themselves like the Breeders' Classic which is well-known for it's $6 million purse.
Between the fourteen races scheduled, an event total of $30 million will be split between the many different types of races. The marquee event is always the Breeder's Classic Cup, which, as mentioned, boasts a six-million-dollar purse with horses travelling from all over the globe to compete in the event. Horses from countries such as France, Brazil, Japan, Ireland, and Great Britain will regularly compete in the Breeders' Cup, which is why it can own the title of 'World Championship'.
It's one of the most heavily bet on horse racing events worldwide, with a record of $173 million being wagered in 2010. In addition, more impressive numbers are delivered when tens of thousands of fans show up each year, including 118,484 who turned up in 2016.
Clark Handicap – November 26th, 2021
The Clark Handicap holds significant importance in US horse racing; the annual event takes place at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky, in late November and its among the oldest races in the United States. The initial Clark Handicap event took place in 1875, and as of 2021, it holds a $500,000 prize purse.
The quality of horse racing becomes evident at the Clark Handicap when the Grade I race forces jockeys to hold nothing back in their pursuit for greatness. Good weather requires solid and fast runners, but given the time of year, we usually witness poor conditions, which provides a need for stamina from horses and jockeys alike.
Cigar Mile – December 4th, 2021
As an exciting year of horse racing comes to a close, most keen eyes are already looking towards 2022; however, there are still two events to take notice of before the year's end. One of them being the Cigar Mile in New York. Racing fans from New York are treated to ten races on a card that provides a $250,000 Cigar Mile main event; this race sees a field of nine horses and usually offers some intriguing betting opportunities with the top horses in the country.
The Cigar Mile has been moved from late November to early December this year, and the event will play witness to many thoroughbred horses racing for glory at the Aqueduct Racetrack. The total prize pool is $500,000, and it's ran on one mile of dirt with Grade I horses.
La Brea Stakes – December 26th, 2021
We head back to sunny California for the final major horse racing event of 2021. The La Brea Stakes closes out the year and is the last Grade I race for three-year-old fillies in the racing calendar year.
The La Brea Stakes has been an annual event since 1974 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. The seven-furlong distance takes place on dirt, and the December event kicks off a series (La Canada Series) open to newly turned 4-year-old fillies. The series continues into the new year with the El Encino Stakes and finishes with the La Canada Stakes in February.
As you can see, there is no shortage of quality horse racing with just three months remaining in the calendar year. Throughout the three months left, there's plenty of action to follow.
There are lots of interesting articles in our section on Horse Racing.