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The Breeders' Cup was founded in 1982 by John R. Gaines, a leading thoroughbred owner and breeder. Since the inaugural running at Hollywood Park 26 years ago, the Breeders' Cup has established itself as the season-ending championship of racing. From its inception in 1984 through to 2006 it was a single-day event but, starting in 2007, it was expanded to two days.

Often billed as 'The Ryder Cup of horse racing', the Europeans tasted success against their American counterparts at the very first Breeders' Cup meeting as Alain de Royer Dupre sent over the Aga Khan's Lashkari to win the Breeders' Cup Turf. The following year, in the same race, Britain had their first Breeders' Cup winner as the Clive Brittain-trained Pebbles came from last to first under Pat Eddery. On the strength of that single victory in the US, she was awarded the 1985 Eclipse Award for outstanding turf female.

The late Francois Boutin saddled Miesque to win the Mile in 1987 and again in 1988, making her the first multiple Breeders' Cup winner. Since then there have been numerous multiple winners:

• Classic: Tiznow (2000, 2001)
• Filly & Mare Turf: Ouija Board (2004, 2006)
• Ladies' Classic: Bayakoa (1989, 1989)
• Mile: Miesque (1987, 1988), Lure (1992, 1993), Da Hoss (1996, 1998), Goldikova (2008, 2009)
• Sprint: Midnight Lute (2007, 2008)
• Turf: High Chaparral (2002, 2003), Conduit (2008, 2009)

The only horse to win two different Breeders' Cup races is Zenyatta, winner of the Ladies' Classic in 2008 and the Classic in 2009.

Although the unbeaten mare Zenyatta was undoubtedly the star of last year's show at Santa Anita, 2009 was particularly good for the European-trained runners; Aidan O'Brien's Man of Iron won the Marathon and Henry Cecil's Midday took the Filly & Mare Turf on the Friday, whilst on the Saturday Godolphin's Vale of York won the Juvenile and John Gosden's Pounced the Juvenile Turf, and Freddie Head's Goldikova (in the Mile) and Sir Michael Stoute's Conduit (in the Turf) were both gaining back-to-back victories.

Whilst the Europeans have had their share of success, US legend D. Wayne Lukas stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries at the Breeders' Cup, sending out an astonishing eighteen winners. Lukas has won both the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies' on five occasions, with his most recent win coming in the 2005 renewal of the latter with Folklore.

The all-time leading jockey at the meeting is the now-retired Jerry Bailey, who rode fifteen winners. Those wins included five Classics, three of them consecutively (1993-1995), perhaps most notably on Cigar.

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, has hosted the card six times, more than any other track. It staged the card most recently in 2006 and will do so again this year, the 27th running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

This year the Breeders' Cup World Championships consist of 14 Championship Graded races with purses and awards for the two days totalling $26 Million.

The Race Schedule for 2010 (subject to change) is as follows:

Friday November 5th

Breeders' Cup Marathon 20:10
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf 20:50
Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint 21:30
Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies 22:10
Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf 22:50
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic 23:30

Saturday November 6th

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf 17.50
Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint 18:30
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint 19:15
Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile 19:55
TVG Breeders' Cup Mile 20:40
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile 21:20
Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf 22:00
Breeders' Cup Classic 22:45

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