08/03/2011 3:01PM

Breeders' Cup to count Canadian graded stakes in qualifying process


In-the-money finishes in 33 graded stakes races held in Canada will now earn points toward qualifying for the races held by the Breeders’ Cup during its year-end event, the Breeders’ Cup announced on Wednesday.

The Canadian stakes will join the roughly 400 graded stakes in the United States scheduled to be run before Oct. 23 that award points to horses for qualifying for a spot in one of the 15 Breeders’ Cup races, which are each limited to fields of 14 horses.

Under the Breeders’ Cup field-selection process, the first seven positions in a race are reserved for horses who have won one of the Breeders’ Cup’s Win and You’re In stakes races, with any remaining spots in the first seven filled by the horses who have earned the most qualifying points. The remaining seven spots are granted to horses selected by a panel of racing officials.

Stakes races that have already been held this year in Canada will count retroactively toward earning points in the qualifying system, Breeders’ Cup said.

Under the points qualifying system, a first-place finish in a Grade 1 stakes in either the U.S. or Canada earns a horse 10 points, with six points to the second-place finisher, and four points to a third-place finisher. In a Grade 2 stakes, the points are six to win, four to place, and two to show. In a Grade 3 stakes, the points are four to win, two to place, and one to show.