Breeders' Cup Host Tracks Must Meet Rigorous Standards

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Breeders' Cup Host Tracks Must Meet Rigorous Standards
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Just as the Thoroughbred racing community was not stunned at the recent announcement that the Breeders' Cup World Championships was headed back to Santa Anita Park in 2013, the criticism it inspired was something officials had to know was coming. After 10 different tracks played host during the first 24 runnings of the event, Santa Anita and Churchill Downs have held a monopoly for what will be six consecutive years, sharing the site duties since 2008. Though a number of fans — and some industry figures — bemoan the perceived demise of founder John Gaines' original rotation vision, officials with Breeders' Cup Ltd. say the growth of the sport's year-end championships has limited the venues that can handle the two-day event.

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