The Breeders’ Cup appears to be headed back to in 2012.
An announcement is expected Aug. 10 that Santa Anita, which served as the host of horse racing’s world championships in 2008 and 2009, will be getting next year’s event.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held Nov. 4-5 at Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby. The 2010 Breeders’ Cup was also held at historic track in Louisville, Ky.
Invitations to a gala event in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 10 were sent out Tuesday and read:
“Please join the Breeders’ Cup and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for a luncheon and special announcement.”
Jim Gluckson, a spokesman for the Breeders’ Cup, declined comment.
However, Santa Anita has been the expected site for several months. The 2012 Breeders’ Cup would mark the sixth time the Arcadia track has served as the host of the world championships.
Churchill Downs, which has hosted the Breeders’ Cup eight times, counting this year, was a strong candidate to serve as the host again in 2012. Another possible site was Belmont Park, which has been the host four times, most recently in 2005.
But according to earlier reports, Santa Anita was the only racetrack to offer a substantial guaranteed revenue stream. There were concerns about Santa Anita’s main dirt track, but it just went through another renovation and on July 26 re-opened to positive reviews.
It was the fourth time in five years the track has either been replaced or renovated. A synthetic surfaced was installed in 2007 and had to be re-done. Santa Anita went back to a dirt surface last year but safety concerns led to the recent renovation.
The previous Breeders’ Cup World Championship held at Santa Anita took place during the fall meet put on by the Oak Tree Racing Association.
But Oak Tree was forced out last year and held its fall meet at Hollywood Park.
Santa Anita recently announced that it plans to hold its own fall meet, running from Sept. 30 to Nov. 6.
If appears now that if all goes according to plan, the Breeders’ Cup will be held during next year’s fall meet. The dates will probably be announced at the gala event Aug. 10.