Inside the Numbers: 2018 Breeders’ Cup

Champion Beholder (center) tallied her third Breeders’ Cup win in 2016 with a thrilling score in the Longines Distaff. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Breeders’ Cup is just around the corner, and a talented group of horses is set to compete on Nov. 2-3. This year the event returns to iconic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Get the scoop on the 2018 World Championships with the stats below.

1- A Breeders’ Cup race has ended in a dead heat (tie) on just one occasion: when High Chaparral and Johar hit the wire together in the 2003 Turf.

3- This year’s Breeders’ Cup is expected to feature three horses defending their 2017 titles: Talismanic (Longines Turf), Roy H (TwinSpires Sprint), and Stormy Liberal (Turf Sprint). Two more will be trying to win their second different race: Oscar Performance (2016 Juvenile Turf winner races in the Mile) and Mendelssohn (2017 Juvenile Turf winner races in the Classic).

2017 Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn. (Eclipse Sportswire)

4- The number of Breeders’ Cup races won by offspring of mare Leslie’s Lady: Daughter Beholder won the 2012 Juvenile Fillies, the 2013 Distaff, and the 2016  Longines Distaff, and son Mendelssohn won the 2017 Juvenile Turf. Mendelssohn could make it five if he wins the Classic this year.

5 ½ furlongs- The distance of the shortest Breeders’ Cup races: the Turf Sprint and the Juvenile Turf Sprint. The longest race is the Longines Turf at 1 ½ miles.

9- This year is the ninth time Churchill Downs will host the Breeders’ Cup, tying Santa Anita Park as the tracks that have hosted the event most often.

10- Of the 11 different equine Eclipse Award champions of 2017, 10 of them raced in last year’s Breeders’ Cup. The only one who didn’t was the steeplechase champion.

12- The number of racetracks that have hosted the Breeders’ Cup at least once.

13 ½ lengths - Largest winning margin ever at the Breeders’ Cup, when Inside Information defeated Heavenly Prize and eight others in the 1995 Distaff.

14- This year’s Breeders’ Cup has grown to 14 championship races over two days after the Juvenile Turf Sprint joined the lineup.

14- The average field size of the Turf Sprint, a full field. The race has never been contested by a field smaller than 13 horses.

19- The number of horses who have won at least two Breeders’ Cup races.

Mike Smith (Eclipse Sportswire)

20- Record number of Breeders’ Cup wins by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

22- The number of Breeders’ Cup races that have been decided by the slimmest of margins, a nose. The most recent nose victory came in the Filly and Mare Sprint last year when Bar of Gold defeated Ami’s Mesa.

26- Number of wins by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, more than any other jockey. His total earnings in the event top $35 million.

$26.67- Average $2 win payoff in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the highest among all current Breeders’ Cup races.

31%- Success rate of the betting favorite in the Breeders’ Cup. Favorites have won 99 of 318 races.

35- This year is the 35th annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

38- The number of international-based starters in the 2017 races. Three of them won: Mendelssohn (Juvenile Turf), Talismanic (Turf), and Wuheida (Filly and Mare Turf).

59- There have been 59 odds-on Breeders’ Cup favorites (.90-1 or less), good for 19 percent of all betting favorites in the event’s history. Just 26 of them won.

A jam-packed Churchill Downs at Breeders' Cup 2011. (Eclipse Sportswire)

64- The total number of Grade 1 winners that entered the 2017 Breeders’ Cup races.

221- Record number of horses that were pre-entered for this year's Breeders' Cup.

$269.20- Winning $2 payoff when Arcangues won the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Classic at odds of 133.60-1. He’s the only top-three finisher among 39 horses sent off at triple-digit odds.

1984- The first year the Breeders’ Cup was run, two years after John Gaines hatched the idea.

105,820- The number of fans that packed Churchill Downs over two days the last time the track hosted the event, in 2011.

$2,687,611.20- Pick 6 payoff for a $2 wager at the 2003 Breeders’ Cup, a record.            

$6,000,000- Purse of the Classic, with the winner earning $3.3 million of that.

$30,000,000- Total purses and awards given out for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup.

$166,077,486- Record dollars bet on the 2017 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.

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