Announced in April of 1982 by leading Thoroughbred owner and breeder John R. Gaines, the Breeders'' Cup has served as a positive step toward not only promoting racing, but uniting the industry itself. Breeders'' Cup Limited enjoyed immediate and widespread support from the industry through annual nomination payments for stallions and one-time nomination payments for those stallions'' offspring.
Since the inaugural running at Hollywood Park 25 years ago, the Breeders'' Cup has established itself as the season-ending championship of Thoroughbred racing. It is now firmly entrenched in American racing lore with a history and tradition all its own. The Breeders'' Cup World Championships has also served as a deciding factor in Eclipse Award voting. The Eclipse Awards, which honor Horse of the Year and other champions in the sport, are voted on annually by representatives of Daily Racing Form, the National Turf Writers Association and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. In 2006, we witnessed every Eclipse Award winner (including Steeplechase Champion McDynamo) participate in the Breeders'' Cup, something not ever achieved previously. With each Breeders'' Cup race worth $500,000 and up to $5,000,000, the day has been a magnet for the most outstanding equine competitors in the world. American champions such as Azeri, A.P. Indy, Alysheba, Cigar, Personal Ensign, Ferdinand, Sunday Silence, and countless others have demonstrated greatness at Breeders'' Cup.
European-based horses have also come and conquered on American soil. In 1984, Alain de Royer-Dupre saddled the Aga Khan''s Lashkari to win the first Breeders'' Cup Turf. The late Francois Boutin brought over the great mare Miesque in 1987; she was the heroine of the Mile that year and she returned the next year to win again, making her the first multiple Breeders'' Cup race winner. France-based trainer Andre Fabre has had a talented contingent over the years with four winners from 39 starters but Arcangues will be remembered as his standout performer. In 1993, Arcangues stunned the world with his win in the Classic, paying $269.20, which still stands as the highest payoff in Breeders'' Cup history. More recently, Irish trainer Aidan O''Brien has brought his top runners from Ireland and England and Raven''s Pass took the Breeders'' Cup Classic in 2008. Each year the Breeders'' Cup World Championships is held at a different racetrack in North America on a rotating basis. In 2009, the Breeders'' Cup World Championships returns for a second-straight year to California where it all began in 1984. For the fourth time, the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita will host and the expansion of the two-day event (November 6th and 7th) with 14 total races worth $25.5 million.