05/01/2006 11:00PM

Breeders' Cup increases purses


Purses for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were increased from $14 million to $20 million, officials with the series announced Tuesday afternoon in the Churchill Downs press box.

The Classic, the signature event of the eight-race series, had its purse increased by $1 million, to $5 million. The Turf, Filly and Mare Turf, Sprint, and Juvenile Fillies all had their purses increased by $1 million. The Mile and the Juvenile each received purse increases of $500,000. The Distaff, which had its purse increased to $2 million in 1994, did not receive an increase.

The Turf is worth $3 million, and the other six races are each worth $2 million.

"It's always the role of the Breeders' Cup board to keep an eye on purse levels to keep it competitive on the world stage," said Bill Farish Jr., chairman of the board of Breeders' Cup Ltd. "The board felt it was time to make a major increase."

Despite these increases, the Breeders' Cup still ranks behind the Dubai World Cup card as the richest event in racing. The six races on the Dubai World Cup card, highlighted by the $6 million World Cup, are worth $21 million.

It was also announced that Television Games Network has renewed its sponsorship of the Sprint, a race the network first sponsored last year.

The Breeders' Cup will be run for the 23rd time on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.