06/11/2011 11:48AM

Belmont makes pitch to host 2012 Breeders' Cup


ELMONT, N.Y. – Officials of Belmont Park made a presentation on Thursday to the Breeders’ Cup board of directors to be the host site of the organization’s year-end event as early as 2012, according to the New York Racing Association’s chief executive, Charles Hayward.

Breeders’ Cup has not yet named a host site for the 2012 event. The organization is believed to be considering naming the same host site for both the 2012 and 2013 events, following its decisions over the past four years to award consecutive events to both Santa Anita Park in Southern California and Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Churchill will host the two-day event in November for the second consecutive year.

Hayward said on Saturday morning that he expected Breeders’ Cup to make a decision on the host site within the next month. Breeders’ Cup has a board meeting scheduled for July 8, when the organization’s directors are also expected to name a new chief executive.

Belmont Park has not hosted the Breeders’ Cup since 2005, despite lobbying to be named a host site on multiple occasions since then. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup a total of four times.

Breeders’ Cup officials would not comment this week about the selection process.

“Breeders’ Cup cannot comment on host-site track selection until the process has been completed,” said Jim Gluckson, a spokesperson for the organization.

At least one other track, Santa Anita, was also known to have made a presentation at the Thursday meeting. Santa Anita is currently owned by MI Developments, a publicly-traded company, but the track and the rest of the company’s racing assets are expected to be transferred to a new company headed by MI Developments’ chairman, the owner-breeder Frank Stronach, at the end of June. Breeders’ Cup’s former chief executive, Greg Avioli, has been named head of the company.