The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic is the marquee race at a championship event and annually attracts many of the best racehorses in training. This year is no different, with a competitive field of older horses, 3-year-olds, and potentially a filly in Swiss Skydiver lining up in the Nov. 7 event at Keeneland Race Course.
Learn 12 key facts about the 2020 Classic below.
1. This year’s race is worth $6 million, making it one of the richest races in the world. The winning horse earns $3,120,000 of the total purse.
3. Zenyatta is the only female winner of the Classic, doing so in 2009, but Swiss Skydiver could attempt to join her this year. The recent Preakness Stakes winner will race in either the Classic or Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
4. The biggest payout in Breeders’ Cup history came in the 1993 Classic, when Arcangues generated $269.20 for each $2 win bet placed on him. The French invader was sent off at 133.60-1.
6. No horse has won the Classic by a larger margin than 2015 Triple Crown champ American Pharoah, who finished the 2015 Classic 6 ½ lengths ahead of runner-up Effinex. Volponi also won by 6 ½ lengths in 2002.
7. Irad Ortiz Jr., Joel Rosario, and Robby Albarado are the only jockeys expected in this year’s race who have won the Classic before. Irad Ortiz Jr., named to ride Improbable, will seek his second consecutive Classic win after piloting Vino Rosso last year. Rosario, who will ride Tom’s d’Etat, won aboard Accelerate in 2018 while Albarado, who will ride Swiss Skydiver if she is entered, rode Curlin to victory in 2007.
8. Just one horse has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice: Tiznow, who was victorious in 2000 and 2001.
9. The Classic has produced the eventual Horse of the Year (racing’s highest year-end honor) on 20 occasions. Thirteen of those champions won the Classic.
10. The race has been decided by a nose five times, most recently when Bayern defeated Toast of New York in 2014.
11. Authentic will attempt to become just the second Kentucky Derby winner since 1990 to also triumph in the Classic. American Pharoah is the other. The Classic was won by a Kentucky Derby winner each year from 1987-1990.
12. The Classic has the third-highest winning payoff average among all Breeders’ Cup races, with a $2 ticket paying $24.86 on average.