Case study: John Fulton and The Breeders’ Cup World Championships

The Breeders’ Cup is doing its part to encourage Latin American involvement in the U.S.

Club Hípico de Santiago racetrack from the backside

On May 22, 2016, I walked through the stone arch and wrought iron entrance gates of Club Hípico de Santiago racecourse (CHS) to claim my press and photography passes for a race called the Clásico Club Hípico de Santiago-Falabella. The 147-year-old grandstands of Club Hípico looked like a castle, crowned by swaying flags of Chile and the CHS logo. Run for the first time in 1903, the race’s history and prestige stands for itself. However, the 2016 edition would have added incentive, as it had been designated the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race of Chile – a “Win and You’re In” for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in California.

The Breeder’s Cup, founded in 1984 and operated by Breeders’ Cup Limited, is a two-day horse racing championship held in the United States each year. The event offers $28 million in purse money and attracts horses from around the world. The Breeders’ Cup includes a lucrative nomination program and the Challenge Series, also referred to as “Win and You’re In” races. These races, held across the globe, allow the winning horse and their connections to travel to the Breeders’ Cup by paying their expenses and offering a berth into the race. The Breeders’ Cup website states “And while these two days have seen legends born, history made, and fortunes won, the greatest part is that the best is still yet to come” (“About”). Continue reading

Our World Series

The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships was one for the history books

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series last week, ending a 108-year drought. The “World Series” of horse racing, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, took place over the weekend.

bcwc_logo_4cIn my favorite sport, I cheer for multiple teams – as do most horse racing fans. My game hats and tee-shirts don’t sport a single set of colors or a solitary name of who I stand behind. Red and white for Songbird, orange and purple for Beholder, silver and white with the word “Chrome” for California Chrome, one fan can have alliances with one or all.

Our sport is unique in the sense that nearly every “player” has their own jersey with distinct colors and symbols to represent their team – a team that consists of a jockey, trainer, owner, hot walker, groom, veterinarian and exercise rider, or maybe multiples of each.

Our series is spread out throughout the year, with each team picking their games based on the ability and necessities of our superstars – the equine masterpieces that have been bred for centuries just to play and excel at this game. Each game is strategically selected based on the horse’s level of training, ability, stamina, speed and preferred distance. The other teams are also taken into account, with the “coaches” speculating about the right time and place to challenge a particular foe. Continue reading

Breeders’ Cup Throwback

In the spirit of Breeders’ Cup 2015, here’s a memory from 2010

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Meeting Garrett Gomez

The first horse racing magazine I ever opened was a copy of the May/June 2008 issue of Thoroughbred Style. I don’t even know if it’s in print anymore, and a Google search didn’t provide much for answers. I can’t remember how exactly it ended up in my 13-year-old hands, but I’m pretty sure someone at the North Dakota Horse Park gave it to me. On page 45 was an article called “Gomez and the Mig,” about now-former jockeys Garrett Gomez and Richard Migliore, by Steve Schuelein and Bill Heller. At the time I wanted to be a jockey, ignoring that I was nearing 5’7” in height. But I poured over that article to gain insight on the careers of two successful jockeys, hoping one day I would have their skill.

Later that year I tuned into the Breeders’ Cup on NBC for the first time in my life and watched Garrett Gomez take home four Breeders’ Cup victories, with my personal favorite in the Juvenile aboard Midshipman.

In September of 2010 I won a 4-H speech competition at the MN State 4-H Horse Show with a piece I had written about my favorite racehorse, Ruffian. I qualified to advance on to the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup held in Louisville, Kentucky in November. Lucky for me, the competition was at the same time at the Breeders’ Cup, so as an early Christmas present I received tickets to BC Friday. Continue reading