Los Angeles Business Journal

Santa Anita Gets Breeders’ Cup Nod

By David Nusbaum Thursday, August 9, 2012

Santa Anita Park will host the 2013 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, a series of races with stakes totaling more than $25 million, track owner Stronach Group announced Thursday.

The Arcadia track has hosted the championships five times and is set to host them this year on Nov. 2-3. The races were last held at Santa Anita in 2008 and 2009, both times setting attendance and wagering records. The stakes are the highest of any horse races in the world.

“We are pleased the Breeders’ Cup has chosen to stay at Santa Anita for the 2013 World Championships. This underlines the commitment of the Stronach Group to present world-class racing at its venues around the country,” said Mike Rogers, president of Stronach Group’s racing division, in a statement.

The two-day event of 15 races draws race owners and fans from Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. has estimated that the cup had a local economic impact exceeding $60 million in both 2008 and 2009.

The event is a significant boost to the track, which has been owned by entities controlled by Canadian auto parts magnate Frank Stronach since 1998. His Magna Entertainment Corp. went into bankruptcy in 2009, but Stronach has retained control of the track.

Santa Anita and several other parks formerly owned by Magna have since been acquired by the newly created Stronach Group, which also owns Golden Gate Fields in Northern California, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, and Pimlico.

Among the most memorable moments in Breeders’ Cup history, Zenyatta became the first female horse to win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at the 2009 World Championships at Santa Anita.