Breeders’ Cup ‘Future Stars Friday’ to Showcase Emerging Talent at World Championships

Breeders Cup
The horses enter the first turn of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2011 at Churchill Downs. The Juvenile will anchor the “Future Stars Friday” card beginning this year at the World Championships. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Breeders’ Cup announced May 10 a new and exciting race schedule that will begin with the 35th World Championships on Nov. 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

This year, and in the years to come, all five Breeders’ Cup races for 2-year-old Thoroughbreds will be run on the first day of the two-day racing event. The racecard will be branded “Future Stars Friday.” 

Under the new schedule, the Grade 1, $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will be moved from its former position on the Saturday World Championships card to Friday and be scheduled as the final race of “Future Stars Friday” at approximately 6:05 p.m. ET. The Grade 1, $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the new $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint will join the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on the Friday card, gathering all divisions for rising stars in the 2-year-old class for a day of unveiling new talent and raising expectations for Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve season the following spring.

The Grade 1, $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff and the Grade 1, $1 million Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile will be moved to the Saturday World Championships card, which this year falls on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. That program will feature nine Breeders’ Cup races, culminating in the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at approximately 5:44 p.m. ET.

“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 Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel. “Churchill Downs also provides the perfect stage for our fans to witness the potential candidates for next year’s Kentucky Derby and Longines 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 Championships races on Saturday,” Fravel added.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nyquist Kentucky Derby
Nyquist after winning 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. (Eclipse Sportswire)

A total of eight starters from the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf competed in the May 5 Kentucky Derby: Good Magic, My Boy Jack, Solomini, Firenze Fire, Bolt d’Oro, Flameaway, Free Drop Billy, and Mendelssohn. Overall, six horses have run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and then gone on to win the Kentucky Derby as 3-year-olds: Nyquist, Mine That Bird, Street Sense, Sea Hero, Alysheba, and Spend a Buck. Nyquist and Street Sense won both races.

For a list of 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championship races organized in the new two-day format, click here.

In addition to the revamped race lineup, the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf will be run at 1 3/8 miles in 2018. It was run at 1 1/8 miles in 2017. The Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint both will be run at 5 ½ furlongs.

Total purses and awards for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will exceed $30 million, including more than $1 million in purses for the undercard races at Churchill Downs.

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