Friday, December 12, 2008

Breeders' Cup Suspends Stakes Program

By Lenny Shulman

Breeders’ Cup officials have decided to suspend the entire Breeders’ Cup stakes program for 2009, according to a memo sent to racing secretaries, stakes coordinators, and officials Dec. 11.

The memo, from Breeders’ Cup senior vice president of operations Pam Blatz-Murff, said that the organization was projecting a reduction in overall Breeders’ Cup revenues of more than $10 million next year due to the global economic downturn and a likely shortfall in nominations revenue. It goes on to state that in order to maintain the Breeders’ Cup Championship purses at their current levels, television and marketing spending will be slashed by more than $5 million. In the last two years, the Championships have expanded from one day to two, and from eight races to 14.

Previously, according to the memo, the Breeders’ Cup had committed to allocating funds for 2009 races, but now those allocations are suspended.

Blatz-Murff would not comment pending an expected release from Breeders' Cup.

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