The 2019 Breeders' Cup World Championships was the 36th edition of the premier event of the North American thoroughbred horse racing year. The 14 races, all but one of which were Grade I, took place on November 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The races were telecast by NBCSN on Friday and early Saturday, and by NBC later on Saturday.
The Breeders' Cup is generally regarded as the end of the North American racing season, although a few Grade I events take place in later November and December. The event typically determines champions in many of the Eclipse Award divisions.
A maximum of 14 horses (12 in the Turf Sprint and Juvenile Turf Sprint) are allowed to start in each race. Horses can automatically qualify by winning one of the designated races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, which provide "Win and You're In" berths in a specified division of the Breeders' Cup. Other pre-entries are ranked by a points system and the judgement of a panel of experts.
On October 21, pre-entries to the event were submitted for 188 horses, including 47 from overseas. During this stage, the connections of the horses indicated their intention to enter a specific race, and could also list a possible alternate. After assessing the potential competition, the connections made their final decision and paid the necessary entry fees on October 28. At that time, the field for each race was set, barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances.
Fifty of the pre-entries qualified automatically via the Breeders' Cup Challenge series. These include the two leading candidates for the Classic, McKinzie (Whitney Handicap) and Code of Honor (Jockey Club Gold Cup). Other highly ranked qualifiers include Bricks and Mortar (Arlington Million) in the Breeders' Cup Turf and Midnight Bisou (Ogden Phipps, Personal Ensign Stakes) in the Distaff, both undefeated this year and considered leading candidates for Horse of the Year.
On August 17, 2018, the Breeders' Cup organization announced that Santa Anita Park would host the event for a record tenth time. The track committed to over $5 million in improvements, including new suites on the upper level of the grandstand. The selection became controversial however when 30 horses died during Santa Anita's 2018-9 winter-spring meeting, raising concerns over the safety of the equine athletes. The management of Santa Anita undertook several changes, including extensive testing of the track surface and changes regarding pre-race medication. "It's been an area of concern," said Chad Brown, Eclipse Award-winning trainer. "But ultimately I didn't avoid running any horses in the Breeders' Cup due to this issue. I did have some questions from clients, but I feel confident Santa Anita management will make the track safe, and I agree with all the safeguards their management has put in."
Out-of-competition testing for the event was also extensive, including the use of hair samples for the first time.
Extensive wildfires in California, including the Getty Fire in western Los Angeles, did not affect the Breeders' Cup as they were all downwind from the facility.
The winner of the Breeders Cup 2019 was Vino Rosso with odds of 4-1. Find the full list of Breeders Cup Winners Below.
|Breeders Cup Race||Winning Horse|
|Longines Classic||Vino Rosso|
|Longines Turf||Brick and Mortar|
|Longines Distaff||Blue Prize|
|Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf||Iridessa|
|Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile||Spun the Run|
|Turf Sprint||Belvoir Bay|
|Filly & Mare Sprint||Covfefe|
|TVG Juvenile||Storm the Court|
|Juvenile Turf Sprint||Breeze Easy|
|Juvenile Fillies Turf||Sharing|
|Juvenile Fillies||British Idiom|