03/20/2009 12:00AM

Breeders' Cup lengthens the Marathon


The Breeders' Cup Marathon will be run at 1 3/4 miles later this year, a quarter-mile longer than last year's distance, the Breeders' Cup announced on Friday.

The Marathon, which was run for the first time last year, will be one of the 14 races in the year-end event, scheduled for Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita Park in Southern California. The event takes place during the Oak Tree not-for-profit meet at the track, which is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp.

In a statement, Robert Manfuso, the chairman of the Breeders' Cup Racing and Nominations Committee, said that the Marathon was lengthened "to bring the race in line with the category standards of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities." The IFHA coordinates rules and standards among 58 racing countries.

The Breeders' Cup said that the newly configured Marathon will be the longest major stakes race on a main track in the U.S. this year.

The starting gate for the 1 3/4-mile race will be placed near the six-furlong chute at Santa Anita, which has the Pro-Ride artificial surface for its main track.