Media Centre

Breeders' Cup stakes
race decision reversed

AFTER an outcry from breeders in the US caused by the Breeders' Cup decision to suspend the Breeders' Cup Stakes programme that helps to fund stakes races run in the US, the TDN reports that the Board has reversed that position.

Despite continuing worldwide economic troubles and the continuing likelihood of a decline in nomination revenue, the original reason cited for the suspension of the funding, the programme will continue for 2009, although no guarantees have made made for further years.

Bill Farish, chairman of the Breeders' Cup board, explained the reasons as why the organisation has made such an about-turn.

Farish stated: "The Breeders' Cup will announce that our board has authorized funding a national Breeders' Cup Stakes programme in 2009 from its reserves.

"There has been much discussion about the board's decision last week to temporarily suspend this program, which we did with an eye toward achieving a balanced budget in these extremely uncertain times.

"Since then, we have been urged by a number of leading nominators and Trustees to reconsider. Given the economic circumstances of our breeders and with our goal of being responsive to our nominators, we have listened.

"The board still believes, as Ido personally, that it's critical to mainain sufficient reserves to allow for the long-term viability of the Breeders' Cup. In this instance, however, the board has been persuaded that these extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures."

He went  on to say that the board was not in a position to commit funds beyond 2009.

Through 2008, the Breeders' Cup supported over 100 stakes races run in the US and Canada to the tune of $5 million. The money was funded by Breeders' Cup stallion and foal nomination revenues.

On December 11, in a memo, Breeders’ Cup senior vice president of operations, Pam Blatz-Murff, stated that the likely fall in nomination revenue through 2009 would mean that the organisation would need to make cut-backs. In order to maintain the $25.5 million Breeders' Cup prize-money, which the board had voted to keep on December 7, those cut-backs would need to be made in marketing spend.

The decision came under fire from breeders who had already committed nomination funds with the belief  that the Breeders' Cup would help fund a number of stakes races across the US andCanada.




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