2019 Breeders’ Cup schedule: Post times, races, TV channel

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The Breeders’ Cup Classic pits the top horses from around the world against each other in the ultimate showdown to finish out the year in horse racing. Here’s everything you need to know about racing’s grand finale this weekend at Santa Anita:

What is the Breeders’ Cup World Championships? The Breeders’ Cup is horse racing’s last hurrah of the year. Horses from around the globe will compete in 14 races over two days, with the Breeders’ Cup Classic closing out the weekend. Friday will see some of the most promising young horses run in 5 juvenile races. On Saturday, many of the richest horses, trainers and jockeys face off in 9 championship races, including the weekend’s marquee race, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The Breeders’ Cup originated in 1984 as a year-end championship for North American Thoroughbred horses and their breeders. The brainchild of the late John Gaines, the former owner of Gainesway Farm, the Breeders’ Cup was built by Thoroughbred breeders, for Thoroughbred breeders.

2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic post positions, early odds

Who runs in the Breeders’ Cup? The “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is a series of Breeders’ Cup qualifying races that gives the winner an automatic entry into the relevant Breeders’ Cup race (with entry fees paid).

Horses who didn’t get in through a Challenge Series race accumulate points throughout the season by finishing graded races in the money, and the horses with the most points at the end of the season will fill the remaining spots.

How to watch the Breeders’ Cup Classic

Where is the Breeders’ Cup? The Breeders’ Cup changes tracks every year, with California’s Santa Anita hosting in 2019 for a record-10th time.

When is the Breeders’ Cup? The Breeders’ Cup runs from November 1-2. Friday’s coverage runs from 4-8 p.m. ET, and Saturday’s coverage runs from

How can I watch the Breeders’ Cup live? NBC Sports is home to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app before, during and after. Coverage kicks off with Future Stars Friday on November 1, from 4-8 p.m. on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. NBC Sports will resume coverage the following day on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET, with the Classic hour jumping to NBC from 8-9 p.m. ET.

What to know about the 2019 Breeders’ Cup

When does each Breeders’ Cup race begin? Below is every Breeders’ Cup World Championships race in the order they will be run, along with approximate post times.

Friday, Nov. 1 schedule

  • Race #5 – Juvenile Turf Sprint (Post time: 4:12 p.m. ET)
  • Race #6 – Juvenile Turf (Post time: 4:52 p.m. ET)
  • Race #7 – Juvenile Fillies (Post time: 5:32 p.m. ET)
  • Race #8 – Juvenile Fillies Turf (Post time: 6:12 p.m. ET)
  • Race #9 – Juvenile (Post time: 7:03 p.m. ET)

Saturday, Nov. 2 schedule 

  • Race #4 – Filly and Mare Sprint (Post time: 2:55 p.m. ET)
  • Race #5 – Turf Sprint (Post time: 3:33 p.m. ET)
  • Race #6 – Dirt Mile (Post time: 4:10 p.m. ET)
  • Race #7 – Filly and Mare Turf (Post time: 4:54 p.m. ET)
  • Race #8 – Sprint (Post time: 5:36 p.m. ET)
  • Race #9 – Mile (Post time: 6:20 p.m. ET)
  • Race #10 – Distaff (Post time: 7 p.m. ET)
  • Race #11 – Turf (Post time: 7:40 p.m. ET)
  • Race #12 – Classic (Post time: 8:44 p.m. ET)

Watch NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup starting with Future Stars Friday on Nov. 1 from 4-8 p.m. ET (NBCSN) and continuing with Championship Saturday on Nov. 2 from 3:30-9 p.m. ET (NBCSN until 8, NBC from 8-9). 

Jason Servis, trainer of Maximum Security, pleads guilty to drugging his horses

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NEW YORK – Trainer Jason Servis, whose horse Maximum Security was the 3-year-old champion in 2019, pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges involving a widespread scheme to drug horses.

The 65-year-old New Jersey-based trainer faces four years in prison when he is sentenced next May in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He was the last defendant facing charges in the scheme, and now 23 of the 31 individuals charged have pleaded guilty.

Servis pleaded guilty in connection with his role in the distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs intended for use on horses in his stable.

“Servis’ conduct represents corruption at the highest levels of the racehorse industry,” Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “As a licensed racehorse trainer, Servis was bound to protect the horses under his care and to comply with racing rules designed to ensure the safety and well-being of horses and protect the integrity of the sport.”

Servis’ attorney, Rita Glavin, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Servis was charged in 2020 after a wide-ranging investigation into doping in the horse racing industry. Racing authorities suspended his trainer’s license.

Maximum Security finished first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby but was disqualified for interference during the running of the race. The colt finished first in the $10 million Saudi Cup shortly before Servis’ arrest in March 2020. Saudi officials later withheld the winner’s share of the purse, citing Servis’ arrest and indictment.

“I don’t take any solace in other peoples misery, actually quite the opposite I feel some empathy for them,” Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Graham Motion tweeted, “but the reality is that those of us who were beaten by Jason Service’s (sic) horses have little to show for it other than losing money, owners and horses due to his success.”

Another New Jersey-based trainer, Jorge Navarro, is serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty a year ago. Eleven of the defendants were trainers and seven were veterinarians.

Servis is the brother of trainer John Servis, who trained Smarty Jones to victories in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness before the colt lost his Triple Crown bid in the Belmont.

Irad Ortiz sets single-season record with 77th stakes win

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NEW YORK – Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. earned his record 77th single-season North American stakes victory when he guided Dr B to victory in the $200,000 Go for Wand at Aqueduct.

The 30-year-old native of Puerto Rico broke the old mark of 76 set by the late Hall of Fame rider Garrett Gomez in 2007.

“This is great. Amazing feeling,” said Ortiz, Jr., who won the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey from 2018-20. “Gomez did it in 2007 and he was a great rider, one of the best in the game. I’m so happy just to be a part of this. I love this sport.”

Ortiz Jr. won the Belmont Stakes with Mo Donegal in June to go with Breeders’ Cup victories in the Juvenile, Filly & Mare Sprint and Sprint. He also earned nine other Grade 1 wins in New York, including Life Is Good in the Woodward and Whitney and Nest in the Alabama and Coaching Club Oaks. He won riding titles at Belmont’s spring-summer meet and Saratoga’s summer meet.

Ortiz Jr. leads North American riders with 304 overall victories this year. His purse earnings totaled over $35.8 million going into Saturday’s races, which already surpassed his single-season record of $34.1 million in 2019.