It’s time! Saturday November 3 it’s the running of the BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC! How many of you West Coasters are bumming out right now that you’re not at Santa Anita or Del Mar today? I am. For the last few years we have always designed our Novembers’ around the Cup. This November it just so happened that the Cup is being held at the famous Churchill Downs in Louisville KY so none of us know what to do with our weekend. EQluxe will be proudly represented at the VIP hotel lounges so I guess we’re there in spirit…but honestly, it’s just not the same. I suppose we should throw a little BC party? Sure. Let’s give all you newbies a little background and we’ll start from there.
OK so here’s the story of the famed Breeders’ Cup. In 1982 a group of prominent thoroughbred breeders from central Kentucky, led by the visionary John Gaines, made a plan. Their idea was to create a year-end, culminating championship for their sport. An event where horses from across the world could meet to settle the age old question, who is the best.? An event that celebrated the best of horse racing. Put on a national platform and helped to build the market for racing and breeding. The end result: The Breeders’ Cup. The Breeder’s Cup is 14 Grade I races (the most competitive races in North America) held over two days. It was created as a year-end championship festival of racing that could draw horses from all over, and it was first run at the now-defunct Hollywood Park in 1984. It was expanded to two days in 2007 and now rotates to a different track every year. This year, it returns to Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, for the first time since 2011.
There are a few ways for a horse to qualify for a Breeders’ Cup race. The first is by winning a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, which you can learn more about here. The second is based on a points system, where horses are ranked based on their performance in major races during the year. The third way to gain entry is to be selected by a panel of experts. For each race, there are a maximum of 14 horses selected for each Breeders’ Cup Championship race. Seven who come from the Challenge races and points system and seven who have been selected by the experts. This ensures the highest quality of competition. The Breeders’ Cup is the richest two days in sports, with $30 million paid out in purses and awards over the entire weekend. Winnings are paid out to owners, stallion nominators, and foal nominators. Owners share their winnings with their trainer and jockey on their own terms. The Breeders’ Cup also donates several millions of dollars each year to different charities and helps in supporting the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Old Friends, The permanently disabled Jockey’s fund and many others.
Now that you have the background let’s get into the nitty gritty. Even if you are not a racing fan, seeing these athletes from around the world is a sight for certain. I’m still talking about the Talismanic run last year on the turf that almost gave me a heart attack from our winnings. Love that horse, I strictly bet on him by looks alone. What a stunner. I digress. Back on track ,pay no mind to the pun intended, let’s break down the field in the BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC….with a little help from our Correspondent at Large Gerard Apadula who you might recognize from our beautiful story about OLD FRIENDS racing retirement facility in the latest issue.
After comparing Gerard’s expert advice with others and there are a ton of breakdowns, this little lady is going to go with WEST COAST. Big surprise there. Yeah probably not, I’m a sucker for a Bay. We also have to support our locals and well we’re lucky that Bob Baffert ,the trainer of two past triple crown winners, happens to be local. He can also train a horse like no other. There’s also the favorite , ACCELERATE trained by John Sadler, who has been racing at Santa Anita. This would be John’s first BC classic win.
Just like the Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup weekend is another great reason to pull out all the stops when it comes to fashion — with a few notable differences.
Gone are ‘spring-like’ colors we all love and adore the first weekend of May. Purple is the name of the game and the official color of the Breeders’ Cup. It showed everywhere on both men and women, including in stylish toppers, ties, slacks and pocket squares. One fan even turned her hair purple for the races. With a temperature hovering right around 45 degrees Friday at the iconic Churchill Downs racetrack, wool coats, fur trim and faux fur bomber jackets kept the crowd cozy.
Keep is cool ladies, this is the Breeder’s Cup not the Derby. Sure, you can wear a hat if you want to…but honestly, keep the nutter in the butter. Here’s some more sophisticated looks that will keep you in the chic horsey but not make you look like a clown. Now get into that VIP room and grab yourself a copy of EQluxe! Available online now.
Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Etro