Q and A with Courtney Reid on New Breeders' Cup Programs
An incentive-based participation bonus program called the Breeders' Cup Dirt Dozen was unveiled by the Breeders' Cup this Thursday. Also this week, Breeders' Cup announced that the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In schedule will feature 82 qualifying races in 11 counties. The TDN spoke with Courtney Reid, the Director of Racing and Industry Relations at Breeders' Cup, to learn more about these new programs. TDN: How did the idea for the Dirt Dozen come about? Reid: Just like the Challenge series, we try to make our races more attractive for our horsemen to participate in each year. TDN: How are the divisions in the program set up and how will the bonus credits be allocated? With these races, a horse could technically get complete free entry into the Championship if they ran in both races in the division. TDN: Do you think that in the past, entry fees have held horses back from attending the Breeders' Cup?
Reid: I don't think that entry fees have been the main factor that has held horses back, but I will say that over the years, prohibitive favorites have discouraged some outfits who might be on the fence. TDN: Why was there a need to create this program specifically for dirt races? Reid: We have 56 turf races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge series program, so we think there is ample room to automatically qualify in a Challenge race for a turf race. TDN: Could you give an overview of the restructured format this year for the regional qualifying program in the U. Reid: The Breeders' Cup Challenge Series is in its fifteenth year this year. Domestically, we have restructured the program to establish regional balance throughout the country with an East, West and Midwest division. TDN: What are some of the most notable changes with races that will or will not be considered a Win and You're In? Reid: For example, in New York, the Jockey Club Derby, the John A.
TDN: With this new setup, do you expect to see regional rivalries form on the road to the World Championships? TDN: The Breeders' Cup Win and You're In Challenge Series has evolved since it was launched 15 years ago. Reid: Each year, we assess the races and we have had a lot of participation from our horsemen. TDN: As you plan for the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland this fall, how do you envision the entries shaping up in respect to these new formats and programs. Reid: We always get a significant number of our Challenge winners to run in our Championships races and we hope that our Dirt Dozen program will have the same results. TDN: Will there be any major changes or updates this year specifically in regards to international participation, given their incredible results last year? Reid: The only international change in regard to the Challenge series is that at Royal Ascot, the King's Stand S. We expect to have another strong international contention as we did last year.
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