Breeders’ Cup opts for ‘Future Stars Friday’ format beginning this year

Posted: May 11, 2018

Breeders’ Cup has reshuffled its two-day race schedule for 2018 and beyond but carding all of its stakes for 2-year-olds on Friday and all races for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held Nov. 2-3 at Churchill Downs. Officials said the realignment is for this year “and in the future,” and that the first day of the event will be known as “Future Stars Friday.”

Friday Breeders’ Cup races are the $2 million Juvenile, $2 million Juvenile Fillies, $1 million Juvenile Turf, $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, and a new event, the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint. All but the Juvenile Turf Sprint, which isn’t graded, are grade I.

The $2 million Distaff and $1 million Dirt Mile will move to the Saturday program and join the $6 million Classic, $4 million Turf, $2 million Mile, $2 million Sprint, $2 million Filly & Mare Turf, $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint, and $1 million Turf Sprint. All of the races are grade I.

“With the increased excitement and international interest in our juvenile races, ‘Future Stars Friday’ will create an identity to showcase the emerging stars of our sport on the first day of the World Championships,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and Chief Executive Officer. “Churchill Downs also provides the perfect stage for our fans to witness the potential candidates for next year’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, as well as standouts competing from overseas.

“We also look forward to the Distaff and Dirt Mile bolstering an already blockbuster lineup of World Championship races on Saturday culminating with the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.”

The official race order for this year’s event won’t be released until Oct. 24.

(Churchill Downs photo by THA)