Breeders’ Cup returns to Keeneland in 2022
The Breeders’ Cup provides the answer to the age old question of who’s the best, and it is scheduled to return to Lexington in 2022.
Although Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2020, pandemic restrictions prevented fans from attending in-person. NBC had 80 cameras on site to keep audiences engaged remotely with 14 championship races with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million. Authentic took the win at the 2020 Derby in September, and followed up quickly with another win at Breeders’ Cup.
“We do believe that the Lexington community deserves a second chance to host and attend the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at its full potential, and so we are very excited to be bringing the event back to Keeneland in 2022,” says Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Drew Fleming.
The 2022 World Championships will mark the third Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland since the event’s debut at the site in 2015. Fleming adds, “Bringing together two of the industry’s most iconic and prestigious organizations, the partnership between Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup represents the absolute ultimate Thoroughbred horse racing experience.”
The history of the Breeders’ Cup began in central Kentucky in 1982. A group of prominent thoroughbred breeders led by the visionary John Gaines, wanted to create a year-end, culminating championship. Their vision was to create an event that celebrated the best of horse racing.
Horse racing never looked as different as it did in 2020. It marked the first time since 1945 that the Kentucky Derby was not run in May, yet the postponement of the annual event brought a new wave of interest to the sport.
“In fact, the 2020 Kentucky Derby was actually the most-watched sporting event since the Super Bowl,” says Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Drew Fleming. “This incredible engagement follows a number of other milestone moments for the sport this summer, including significant gains in TV coverage, viewership and betting.”
FUN FACTS ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP AT KEENELAND
- World history was made in 2015 when Triple Crown winner American Pharoah broke the track record at Keeneland by more than five seconds in his win at the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
- The 2015 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland generated a $65 million economic impact on Lexington.
- Lexington’s hotel occupancy was 95 percent during Breeders’ Cup Weekend and 75 percent during Breeders’ Cup Week.
- 450 private jets arrived at Blue Grass Airport during Breeders’ Cup Weekend.
- 4.6 million viewers watched the 2015 NBC telecast of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.
This article appears on page 43 of the 2021 annual print edition of Beaumont Guide.
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