The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is an annual series of Grade I Thoroughbred horse races, operated by Breeders’ Cup Limited. From its inception in 1984 through 2006, it was a single-day event; but starting in 2007, the racing event expanded to two days. Historically, the location of the Breeders’ Cup changes every year. All sites have been in the U.S, except in 1996, when the races were held at the Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario, Canada.
Considered by many as the “World Championship” of thoroughbred horse racing, the annual Breeders’ Cup trails only the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is considered the “main event”. Only the Dubai World Cup, Japan Cup, Melbourne Cup and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe surpassed its $5 million purse.
Often, the winner goes on to win U.S. Horse of the Year honors, as have the four winners of the race between 2004 and 2007—respectively Ghostzapper, Saint Liam, Invasor, and Curlin. Thee race is notoriously hard to predict due to the high quality of the participating horses. One notable example of an underdog winning the Classic is the victory of Arcangues in 1993. This was the biggest upset in Breeders’ Cup history and his $269.20 payoff for a $2 wager remains a Breeders’ Cup record