Field Selection & Points
A complete list of rules, regulations and minimum entry qualifications can be obtained
by contacting the Breeders’ Cup Racing Department at (859) 514-9422 or emailing
A maximum of 14 starters are allowed in each of the Breeders' Cup Championships races with the exception of the Dirt Mile and the Filly & Mare Turf which each allow 12. Breeders'' Cup Limited has adopted a field selection system to select runners in the event fields are oversubscribed. This system ranks horses in order of preference based upon (i) wins in Breeders'' Cup Challenge Races, (ii) a point system, and (iii) the judgment of a panel of racing experts. The first two criteria will assign a maximum of 7 horses for fields limited to 14 starters and a maximum of 6 horses for fields limited to 12 starters, or all Challenge winners. The field selection system will be implemented as necessary following the taking of pre-entries on October 26, 2020, to officially rank the oversubscribed fields. The Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel (the “Panel”) will rank all the horses pre-entered in the oversubscribed races as described below. After pre-entry, any vacancies in the fields will be filled by horses in order of panel preference.
Online Pre-Entry opens October 1st
In the case of an oversubscribed 14- or 12- horse field, the first horse(s) selected will be the winner(s) of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in the corresponding Breeders’ Cup Championships division. After the selection of Challenge winners, the next horses will be ranked at pre-entry based on the total number of Graded Stakes points they have collected during the year until a maximum of seven or six horses (or all Challenge winners) have been ranked based on Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and Graded Stakes points. All horses will need to accumulate a minimum of six (6) points in American and/or Canadian Graded Stakes races to be considered to receive an automatic selection on points in any Championships race with the exception of the five Juvenile races. In the five Juvenile races, horses will need to accumulate a minimum of four (4) points in American and/or Canadian Graded Stakes races to be considered to receive an automatic selection on points.
The horses remaining after the first seven or six (or all Challenge winners) in oversubscribed fourteen or twelve horse fields at the time of pre-entry will be ranked in order of preference by the Panel. The Panel will be free to establish its own criteria or ranking so that high-quality horses of demonstrated ability will have the opportunity to participate in Championships races regardless of earlier participation in graded events.
Horses will be allowed to pre-enter a maximum of two races. The races in which the horse pre-enters must be designated in order of choice at the time of pre-entry on October 26, 2020. Performance in Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and points earned in American Graded Stakes races and/or Canadian Graded Stakes races have no bearing on a given Championships race field unless the race is oversubscribed (more than fourteen or twelve pre-entered).
Once a horse has been ranked among the first 14- or 12-horses in its race of first choice at pre-entry, its ranking in its race of second choice will be based first on whether it won a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race in the Championships division of the second choice and then on the judgment of the Panel regardless of the number of points earned in American and/or Canadian Graded Stakes races. If a horse is not ranked among the first fourteen or twelve horses in its race of first choice and it did not win a Challenge race in its Championships division of second choice, then its points earned in American and/or Canadian Graded Stakes races will be utilized for ranking in its race of second choice.
"Ties" at Pre-Entry
In the event more than fourteen or twelve horses are pre-entered in a particular Championship Race and two or more horses are tied for the seventh or sixth, as applicable, highest number of American and/or Canadian Graded Stakes Races points at the time of pre-entry, the Panel shall decide which of those horses shall be the seventh or sixth, as applicable, highest point earner. Horses not selected shall then be ranked in order of preference by the Panel at its discretion.
The Panel will issue a list of all horses ranked in order of preference for each Championship Race that is oversubscribed at the time of pre-entry. After pre-entry, any vacancies in the fields of oversubscribed races will be filled by horses in the Panel's order of preference as determined at pre-entry. NOTE: Points will have no bearing on ranking after pre-entry.
Entries for all Breeders' Cup Championship races will close on Monday at 10 a.m., (ET), November 2, 2020. At the time of entry, a maximum of fourteen or twelve horses will be accepted for entry in each fourteen horse race and a maximum of twelve for each twelve horse race based on the order of preference in the rankings established at pre-entry. A horse will be permitted to enter two Breeders' Cup Championship races under the following conditions: (i) the horse is eligible for both races; (ii) the races will be contested on different days; (iii) the pre-entry and entry fees are paid for both races; and (iv) neither race is oversubscribed. A horse may not double-enter Breeders' Cup Championship races if the effect of such double entry is to exclude another horse from competing. A horse entered in two Championship races on different days may not compete on both days. Pre-entry and entry fees will not be refunded for the race in which the owner of the double-entered horse elects not to compete.
There may be up to two (2) also-eligible horses for each Championships race, excluding the Dirt Mile and the Filly & Mare Turf which will each carry a total of four (4) also-eligible horses. The also-eligible horses will be designated in accordance with the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel’s order of preference for each Championships race that is oversubscribed at the time of pre-entry. See Field Selection System in the Horsemen’s Information Guide .Scratch time for Friday Championships races will be 8:00 a.m. ET, Friday, November 6. Scratch time for Saturday Championships races will be 8:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, November 7.
Breeders' Cup Limited, Keeneland, and the KHRC have assembled a team of impartial, experienced equine veterinarians that will be conducting a series of physical inspections as well as observing each horse under tack during the week preceding the event. Horses will be inspected on multiple occasions in the stable area, initially upon arrival and at least one other time prior to race day. Race day customary procedures for pre-race inspections also will be followed.
There are new rules in place for the 2020 Championships, please note the following:
- All runners MUST have a pre-race exam from their attending veterinarian stating that the horse is fit to compete (form enclosed). This form must be on file with the Breeders’ Cup Racing office prior to ENTRY at 10:00 am (ET) on Monday, November 2.
- All runners MUST request permission to work out on any of the Keeneland surfaces. This request must be on file with the Breeders’ Cup Racing office by 12 noon, 48 HOURS BEFORE the intended work. (form enclosed).
- All runners MUST submit a 14-day veterinary treatment record to the KHRC official veterinarian. This treatment record should show the date of treatment and what medications were administered. This treatment record should be for the period of time 14 days prior to ENTRY Day, Monday, November 2.
- There is a maximum permitted amount of Lasix of 250 mg (5 cc). Lasix is administered by a KHRC Authorized Lasix Veterinarian or KY registered veterinary technician only. No private administration.
- In 2020, no two-year-olds competing at Keeneland will be administered Lasix.
- Intra-articular corticosteroid treatments are prohibited within 14 days of racing. More than one corticosteroid in a post-race test sample is prohibited. For specific dates and rule, see the Horsemen’s Information Guide.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prohibited within 48 hours of a work or a race. There is no authorized threshold for NSAIDs.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be run in accordance with the rules of racing of the State of Kentucky and as promulgated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Keeneland. A complete listing of these rules may be obtained at KHRC and Keeneland.