He's already made history by winning the Triple Crown. Now American Pharoah has his sights set on the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky will host the Breeders' Cup for the first time ever, starting Friday, October 30 and wrapping up Saturday with American Pharoah's appearance at the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic.

It's about time the biggest event in thoroughbred racing made its way to the top racetrack in North America. The Breeders' Cup has skyrocketed in importance since its 1984 inauguration, and this year will be even more important, as American Pharoah will be the first Triple Crown winner to participate. He's already earned entry into the Classic via the Breeders' Cup Challenge, where winners of qualifying races are automatically invited to attend. American Pharoah punched his Classic ticket on August 2 with a win at the Haskell Invitational.

Here is the list of 13 Breeders' Cup races being held at Keeneland this year. Race order is subject to change.


Friday Races




Juvenile Turf

$1 million

1 mile

Dirt Mile

$1 million

1 mile

Juvenile Fillies Turf

$1 million

1 mile


$2 million

1-1/8 miles, dirt


Saturday Races




Juvenile Fillies

$2 million

1-1/16 miles, dirt

Filly & Mare Turf

$2 million

1-3/16 miles

Filly & Mare Sprint

$1 million

7 furlongs, dirt

Turf Sprint

$1 million

5-1/2 furlongs


$2 million

1-1/16 miles, dirt


$3 million

1-1/2 miles


$1.5 million

6 furlongs, dirt


$2 million

1 mile, turf


$5 million

1-1/4 miles, dirt

Considerable attention will be paid to the Distaff on Friday. The Distaff used to be called the Ladies' Classic; it's the biggest race of the year for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up. Past winners include Bayaoka (1989, 1990), Zenyatta (2008), and last year's champion, Untapable.

The majority of spectators will be flocking to the Classic – the main event of the weekend. Last year Bob Baffert-trained Bayern impressed the crowds with a gate to wire win, finishing ahead of second-place finisher Toast of New York and third-place finisher California Chrome.

American Pharoah is widely expected to be the pre-race favorite for this year’s Classic after claiming the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. However, the Bob Baffert-trained colt lost his first stakes race of the year on August 29, when he came in second behind 12-1 shot Keen Ice at the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.

Keen Ice has yet to win a Challenge race this year, but he can also earn an invitation to the Classic by earning enough points in graded stakes, or via nomination by an expert panel. Six other horses have already qualified to run alongside American Pharoah at this year's Classic; here they are in order of their victories on the Challenge circuit. May the best horse win.


Qualifying Race

Noble Bird**

Stephen Foster Handicap

Hard Aces

Gold Cup at Santa Anita

Honor Code

The Whitney


Pacific Classic

Smooth Roller

Awesome Again Stakes


Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational

** injured, out for the year



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