Breeders’ Cup To Return to Keeneland in 2020

The Breeders’ Cup — a two-day Thoroughbred racing extravaganza, festival and absolute showcase — will be returning to Kentucky a lot in the near future.

The 2018 version will be held at famed Churchill Downs in Louisville on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. Plans are fully under way to help ensure that the newest rendition and edition — to be housed at the home of the Kentucky Derby — will be one of the best in history.

Now, the news is breaking that the Breeders’ Cup will return to Keeneland in 2020, “The Pressbox” has confirmed.

When contacted this afternoon, Keeneland officials were not at liberty to comment on the matter. “The Pressbox” was able to confirm the impending news through several reliable sources.

Keeneland — the historic racetrack, located in Lexington, KY. — had previously hosted the Breeders’ Cup once, in 2015. And, what a historic event it was.

It was the year that American Pharoah captured the Triple Crown and then became the first Triple Crown winner to make it a “Grand Slam” by capturing the Breeders’ Cup Classic in a world masterpiece performance.

The Breeders’ Cup and Keeneland are planning a press conference this Friday at the racetrack to officially announce the news. A news release announcing the press conference was sent out this afternoon at 2:55 p.m. stating that the Keeneland/Breeders’ Cup news announcement would be held at 3 p.m. this Friday.

Here is a quick glance at the Keeneland email blast:



WHAT:           A press conference regarding a championship racing event to be held at Keeneland.

WHEN:          3 p.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018

WHERE:        Paddock Keeneland Race Course/Enter via Grandstand East Admission Gate. In case of rain: Keeneland Sales Pavilion

WHO:             Keeneland President & CEO Bill Thomason

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-6th District

Kentucky State Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray

Local dignitaries and special guests


Keeneland will stream live coverage of the press conference at and the Keeneland Facebook page.

In addition to the press conference at Keeneland on Friday, the Breeder’s Cup will also hold joint press conferences in California this Friday, as well.

One announcement will be held at Santa Anita, which will become the host site in 2019 for the series of Championship Races.

Breeders' Cup

Another announcement will be conducted at Del Mar, later in the day, to announce that the Breeders’ Cup — held at the small track near San Diego in 2017 — will be hosting the major event again in the year 2021.

The Breeders’ Cup, which was founded by the late John Gaines and has been headquartered in Lexington since its’ inception, has made it’s regular home in either Kentucky or California for the past several years. The last time it was not held in one of those two states was in 2007, when the two-day event was hosted at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

Torrential rains that weekend turned the racing venue into a near river, water feature, for sure.

The 2019 Breeders’ Cup will be the 10th time that Santa Anita has hosted the event. That will be a record number for any venue.



The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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