Santa Anita to host 2012 Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup will return to Santa Anita in 2012, three years after Zenyatta’s thrilling victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at the Southern California track.

Wednesday’s official announcement confirmed that the track in Arcadia in suburban Los Angeles beat out Churchill Downs in Kentucky and Belmont Park in New York to host the event November 2-3, 2012.

Santa Anita has hosted thoroughbred racing’s richest event five times, mostly recently in 2008 and 2009.

In 2009, Zenyatta became the first filly or mare to win the Classic and that year the multi-race event drew 34 starters from outside the United States.

Charles Hayward, president and chief executive of the New York Racing Association, congratulated Santa Anita officials but admitted Belmont Park officials were disappointed to be overlooked.

“The event was most recently held at Belmont in 2005, and since then, two different tracks — Churchill Downs and now Santa Anita — have hosted the Breeders’ Cup three times,” he noted in a statement. “We remain hopeful that Belmont will remain a serious option for the 2013 Breeders’ Cup.”

The 2011 Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for November 4-5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

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