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Revisiting the 2021 Breeders’ Cup

Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup is the largest horseracing event of the year, with numerous races for different age groups, sexes, and distances. A win at one of the races can put horses into contention for one of the Eclipse Awards in their respective division. It is also a historical achievement for trainers and jockeys, and the purse for each race can range from $1 million all the way up to $6 million.

The Breeders’ Cup changes venue each year, and has been held at some of the most famous racetracks in the US such as Santa Anita, Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, Keeneland, and many more.

Breeders’ Cup Race Results

There are 14 races in the Breeders’ Cup and each is contested by 14 runners who can qualify by winning specific races held earlier in the year, or they can receive an invitation to run based upon their overall yearly performance. In last year's Breeders’ Cup, the 14 races were held over three days instead of the customary two days, with the first race being run on November 5, the following 9 races run on November 6 and the final 4 races were run on November 7.

Juvenile Turf Sprint

The first race of the Breeders’ Cup in 2021 was the Juvenile Turf Sprint, a race for all horses aged 3 years and above over a distance of 5 furlongs. Irish filly Twilight Gleaming had a great start from the gates, she quickly took the lead and won the race in a wire to wire victory. Jockeyed by Irad Ortiz Jr and trained by Wesley Ward, this was the duo’s third win at the race, having previously won it in 2019 and 2020 with Four Wheel Drive and Golden Pal.

Juvenile Fillies

This race is run over a distance of 1 mile and is open to fillies aged 2 years old. Coming into the race, Echo Zulu, a filly trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Joel Rosario, was in great form. She had won 2 grade 1 races prior to the race and took the lead straight from the start. She easily won the race with a 5 ¼ length victory.

Juvenile Fillies Turf

This race is also open to 2 year old fillies and is run over the same distance as the Juvenile Fillies, only it is run over a turf track. Trainer Christophe Clement won his first Breeders’ Cup when Pizza Bianca, a local filly, made a last minute sprint to win the race by a half-length. At the start of the race, Cachet, an Irish filly, took the lead. It was only at the mid-stretch when Pizza Bianca took the lead, and she was given firm competition by another Irish filly, Malavath, whWo finished in second place.


The TVG Juvenile presented by TAA, is a race that is run over a distance of 11/16 miles and has a larger purse of $2 million. Corniche took the lead on the dirt track at the start of the race, and managed to hold his position, despite attempts from Pappacap to overtake him. Corniche won the race, giving trainer Bob Baffert his 5th Breeders’ Cup Juvenile title and jockey Mike Smith his 18th.

Juvenile Turf

This is a 1 mile race that is run on a turf track for horses aged 2 years old. As soon as the horses were out of the gates, Modern Games took the lead and then won the race in a wire-to-wire victory. Ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby, the Irish colt was on the verge of being pulled out of the race following an incident where he was scratched before the race, but his trainer decided to keep him in.

Filly And Mare Sprint

The second sprint of the Breeders’ Cup in 2021 was open to all fillies and mares aged 3 years old and older. It was run over the distance of 7 furlongs on a dirt track. At the mid-stretch, there were three horses in the lead, including the winner of the previous edition of the race, Gamine. Ce ce managed to overtake the leaders and bolted past the post 2 ½ lengths ahead of the others. Ridden by Victor Espinoza and trained by Michael McCarthy, the homebred filly won in 1:21.

Turf Sprint

This race is shorter than the previous race; it is run over a distance of 5 furlongs. Golden Pal had a thunderous start, running at a distance of 2 lengths ahead of all the other runners, and went on to win the race in under a minute. Trained by Ward and ridden by Ortiz, Golden Pal belonged to the same owners as Twilight Gleaming, who won the Juvenile version of this race.

Dirt Mile

Life Is Good, a 3 year old colt won the Dirt Mile without too much competition. He was only beaten once in five starts, making him a heavy favourite and he lived up to his reputation to finish by a margin of 5 ¾ lengths.

Filly and Mare Turf

This race is run over the distance of 13/8 miles, with a purse of $2 million. The 5 year old Japanese mare Loves Only You managed to overtake My Sister Nat by a half length to create history as she was the first Japanese based horse to win a Breeders’ Cup Championship race. Trained by Yoshito Yahagi and ridden by Yuga Kawada, she ran the length of the turf track in 2:13.87.


This race also has a purse of $2 million, and is run over the distance of 6 furlongs. Dr Schivel was in the lead towards the end of the race, but Aloha West, who was sixth at the head of the stretch, managed to cut in from the outside to beat Dr Schivel by a nose. Trainer Wayne Catalano claimed his fourth Breeders’ Cup win with the race, and jockey Jose Ortix clinched his second race at the competition, to put his tally to five.


The mile was the first race ridden on Sunday in last year’s Breeders’ Cup. The race went down to the wire, with Space Blues and Smooth Like Strait, who had led the race out of the gates, were neck and neck at the mid-stretch. Space Blues managed to edge a victory and bring jockey William Buick and trainer Charlie Appleby their second collective victory in the 2021 event.


Marche Lorraine replicated Loves Only You’s success, and became the second Japanese bred horse to win a Breeder’s Cup when she won the Distaff. The horses ran over a distance of 11/8 miles, and though Marche Lorraine started as a 49-1 longshot, she managed to take the lead at the top of the stretch whilst running in the middle of the pack, and she kept it through to the final post.


Appleby and Buick won their third race as a trainer and jockey duo when the British bred horse Yibir won the Turf. This is chronologically the penultimate race at each event, and it has huge significance, not only for its massive $4 million purse, but also because it has a strong influence on which horses may or may not win the Eclipse Awards for Turf racing. With the victory, it was enough for Yibir to become the Champion Male Turf horse in the Eclipse Awards 2021.


This is the last race of the Breeders’ Cup and it is the most important one. The horses run over a distance of 11/4 miles, and the winner and horses that place will receive cash prizes from the purse of $6 million. Knicks Go, a horse owned by Korea’s Racing Authority, won the race in a dominating run. Ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Brad Cox, the horse had won a Breeders Cup race the previous year as well, and with his victory in the 2021 race, he was subsequently given the 2021 Champion Older Dirt Male and Horse of the Year awards.


The Breeders’ Cup attracts a great number of horseracing fans as well as punters who try their luck betting on some of the best horses in the world. Whilst betting can enhance the experience of watching the races, it is always important to never bet with money that you cannot afford to lose. If you want advice about safer gambling, you can visit, which specialises in this area.

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