Breeders Cup Marathon Betting

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The Breeders Cup Marathon is a long distance Grade Two race which takes place annually at the Breeders Cup meeting in North America.

Raced over a distance of one mile six furlongs on dirt, it is the longest race at the two day meeting and is widely considered to be the most prestigious race of its kind in the USA,

Horses aged three years-old and above are permitted to enter with a ‘weight for age’ handicap distributed to the field accordingly.

Inaugurated in 2008, the race was first run over a distance of one mile four furlongs at Santa Anita Park, the host venue for the Breeders Cup that year, before being extended in trip for the 2009 renewal.

For both of those years, the race was ungraded due to the technicalities set out within the rules of the American Graded Stakes Committee, which state that any newly inaugurated race must take place under the same conditions for two successive years before it can acquire graded status.

The race was awarded Grade Three status for the 2010 Breeders Cup and has subsequently being upgraded further to a Grade Two event for the 2011 festival.

Despite this, the race still carries the equal lowest prize purse at the meeting of $500,000, the same as the Juvenile Sprint division. Muhannak, a four year-old, was the first winner of the Breeders Cup marathon in 2008 for jockey Pat Smullen and trainer Ralph Beckett.

World renowned Ballydoyle handler Aiden O’Brien scooped the honours in 2009 courtesy of Man of Iron and Johnny Murtagh and 2010 was the turn of Eldaafer for trainer Diane Alvardo and popular jockey John Velazquez. Horses eligible for the race can obtain automatic qualification through a series of other high status races throughout the campaign, a process known as the Breeders Cup Challenge.

The Greenwood Cup Handicap at Philadelphia Park, Fall Park Championship Stakes at Turfway, Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar and Dundalk’s Diamond Stakes all offer horses a potential berth in the Breeders Cup Marathon – with the latter indeed serving as a direct springboard for the aforementioned Muhannak in 2008, winning readily at the Irish track before going onto score in America a few weeks later.

Although the Breeders Cup Marathon falls someway behind other events on the Breeders Cup card in terms of prestige, the tactical, testing nature of the race can often provoke the most intrigue and entertainment.

The one mile six furlong trip does, if anything, sort out the true, classier stayers from the rest of the field and the race can form a real platform for older horses which require the longer distance as they progress into the latter stages of their careers.

An abundance of form should be on offer making the race potentially one of the easiest at the meeting to fathom. Typically, the Diamond Stakes at Dundalk provides the strongest line of form and any horses sent over from Ireland to compete in America are highly likely to be involved in the shake-up.

Aiden O’Brien is a real master of producing and prolonging top drawer stayers and it would be no great shock to see him double his tally of training successes in the race looking ahead to the near future.

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