The Breeders’ Cup announced this week that it will be adding a Juvenile Turf Sprint event to the already busy weekend at the world championships. As the name suggests, two-year-old turf runners will be eligible for the 5 1/2 furlong blitz, which will also carry a purse of $1 million.
With the addition of a Juvenile Turf Sprint race, there will now be five total events for juvenile horses at the Breeders’ Cup. There is already the vaunted Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which helps establish a front runner for the Triple Crown the following year, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Both of these races cover 1 1/16th miles. There are also turf events for juvenile males and females which are contested over a distance of one mile.
Adding the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint to the mix is a perfect fit, especially since there is a Turf Sprint event already. Officials for the world championships spoke at length about how there is a long list of horses that are looking to breakthrough in to the prestigious event, so creating more pathways for entry is imperative. The more the merrier.
“The upgrade of the Juvenile Turf Sprint is in response to the increasing popularity of turf racing in North America and will fill a need for international turf sprint sires,” said Dora Delgado, who is the senior VP or Racing and Nominations for the Breeders’ Cup. “Each year, the Juvenile Turf and the Juvenile Fillies Turf are oversubscribed at the Championships. We feel that the Juvenile Turf Sprint will also be a popular draw among horsemen from North America and overseas stables and will generate interest among North American racetracks to card races in this division.”
The 2018 Breeders’ Cup will run out of Churchill Downs on Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd.