08/09/2012 3:23PM

Breeders' Cup confirms Santa Anita as 2013 host track


The 2013 Breeders’ Cup will be held on Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Southern California, and the marquee $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will be broadcast in prime time on the East Coast, the organization announced on Thursday.

The selection of Santa Anita Park will mark the seventh time that the track has been picked to host the event and the second time that the warm-weather track has been selected to host consecutive editions. Santa Anita will host this year’s two-day event on Nov. 2-3.

With the three-hour time difference between the coasts, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the last race on the Saturday card, will be held in prime time for Eastern viewers, from 8-9 p.m. The 2013 Breeders’ Cup will be broadcast by NBC and its related television properties, under a four-year agreement signed last year.

The Breeders’ Cup was last held at Santa Anita in 2008 and 2009. The track was the first to host consecutive editions of the event. In 2010 and 2011, Churchill Downs also hosted the event consecutively, under a policy supported by some Breeders’ Cup officials to leverage the event’s marketing efforts.

Santa Anita was selected as the 2013 host over Churchill and Monmouth Park, which has hosted the event once, in 2007. The decision to focus on those tracks has frustrated New York racing fans, but Breeders’ Cup officials are reluctant to commit to tracks operated by the New York Racing Association because of a fickle and sometimes hostile political environment surrounding racing in the state.

Combined handle for the two-day event at Santa Anita in 2009 was $153.3 million for 14 races, while attendance over the two days was 96,496. In 2008, combined handle was $155.7 million, while attendance was 86,588.

At Churchill in 2010, combined handle was $173.9 million and combined attendance was 114,353. The next year, combined handle was $161.5 million on 15 races, and combined attendance was 105,820.