By US Racing Team
As expected, the Breeders’ Cup announced that no spectators will attend racing’s championship weekend at Keeneland on Nov. 6-7, but the track in Lexington, Kentucky will again host the event in 2022.
The Breeders’ Cup confirmed on Saturday that on-site attendance will be limited to essential personnel and participants, including owners, horsemen, and jockeys, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, purse money for the Breeders’ Cup races will remain at $31 million – the same as 2019 – after an announcement earlier in the year of a $4 million increase. The increase will instead take place for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in California.
Choosing Keeneland as the 2022 site was made in conjunction with the decision to run this year’s 37th Breeders’ Cup without fans. Racing officials made the call after consulting with Gov. Andy Beshear, local and state government and public health officials and independent medical experts.
“The decision to hold this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships without fans in attendance was not made lightly,” said Drew Fleming, the president and CEO of Breeders’ Cup, in a news release. “However, after many months of careful deliberation, planning and consultation, it has become abundantly clear that this is the right decision in order to proceed with our event while still protecting the collective health of our community. Despite many major racing events reducing purses significantly, we are proud to be able to maintain 2019 purse levels to support our nominators and horsemen during this challenging year.”
The purses for the BC Classic and BC Turf will remain at $6 million and $4 million, respectively.
All 2020 Breeders’ Cup ticket holders will receive a full refund and will also be granted first access to purchase the same or similar tickets for the 2022 event at Keeneland.