When the Breeders’ Cup announced a new host site strategy back in 2014, it aligned itself with three racetracks for the forthcoming years: Keeneland, Santa Anita, and Del Mar. Three prestigious courses with rich histories of their own were slated to infuse their energy and charm into the Breeders’ Cup World Championships®, further cementing the event as one of the premier Thoroughbred competitions in the world.
2019 marks the return of the Breeders’ Cup to Santa Anita Park, the tenth time in the 36 years since the inception of the Breeders’ Cup. With this year’s Breeders’ Cup on the horizon, let’s take a look at what makes Santa Anita Park so special!
Santa Anita Park is perfectly poised against the San Gabriel Mountains, providing a breathtaking view and making spectators feel as though something absolutely magical is about to happen. The action on this track always lives up to expectations, too, as it’s been the site of many an upset over the years.
The course itself lies outside the city limits of Los Angeles in a town called Arcadia. Its proximity to Pasadena, home of the Rose Bowl and cultural hub of the area, ensures that there is never a dull moment throughout the year! The gorgeous California weather has a hand in that, too. Santa Anita Park is known for hosting horse racing events through the winter months, when the rest of the United States is shivering from cold temps and snowfalls!
It’s no secret that there’s a home field advantage for those owners and trainers whose charges reside near Arcadia. Horse racing’s biggest purses are fought for and won in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and the opportunity to train and practice at the track where the ultimate competition will take place is invaluable.
In addition, if you’ve ever worked with horses, you’re probably aware that most do not travel exceptionally well. They can be finicky, sassy, and downright mean when asked to load onto a trailer. Once in transit, if they’re unhappy, they can do serious harm to themselves if they get upset or worked up. It’s actually speculated that the stress of traveling contributed to the scratch of stellar mare Beholder in 2015, the horse who was thought capable of beating American Pharoah to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Contenders who don’t have to travel certainly have an advantage over those who do!
The original Santa Anita racetrack was opened back in 1907 just a short distance from where it stands today. The inaugural Santa Anita Handicap, arguably the most influential race regularly scheduled at the track, was run in 1935 with a handsome purse of $100,000. The third time was the charm for legendary racehorse Seabiscuit, who won the Santa Anita Handicap in 1940 after two unsuccessful attempts. The last horse to win the Triple Crown™ prior to American Pharoah, Affirmed, took the Santa Anita Handicap in 1978 – a win which set him on the path to earn all three gems of the Triple Crown™ that year!
Be There for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup®!
Get your name on the waiting list for exclusive 2019 Breeders’ Cup ticket packages! Witness the thundering action of the races from lavish elevated accommodations. Don't miss the chance to reserve one of these Official Ticket Packages as soon as they become available!