How to watch Breeders’ Cup 2021: Live stream online, TV channel, start time, full schedule

How to watch Breeders' Cup 2021
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The Breeders’ Cup World Championships pits the top horses from around the world against each other in the ultimate showdown to finish out the year in horse racing.

NBC Sports is home to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Coverage begins on Friday, Nov. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN and resumes on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN before jumping to NBC from 8 to 9 p.m. ET.

Here’s everything you need to know about racing’s grand finale at Del Mar:

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 five juvenile races. On Saturday, many of the richest horses, trainers and jockeys face off in nine 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.

Related: What to know about the 2021 Breeders’ Cup

Where is the Breeders’ Cup?

The Breeders’ Cup changes tracks every year, with Del Mar hosting for the second time. Del Mar, Calif. is home to one of the most beautiful tracks in the country just a couple of feet from the beach.

When is the 2021 Breeders’ Cup? 

The Breeders’ Cup runs from November 5-6. Friday’s coverage goes from 5 to 9 p.m. ET, and Saturday’s coverage runs from 2:30 to 9 p.m. ET. Post time for the Breeders’ Cup Classic is tentatively set for 8:40 p.m ET.

How to watch Breeders’ Cup: 

NBC Sports is home to the 2021 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 5, from 5-9 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 2:30 p.m., with the broadcast jumping to NBC from 8-9 p.m.

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. 5 schedule

  • Juvenile Turf Sprint (Post time: 5:50 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Juvenile Fillies (Post time: 6:30 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Juvenile Fillies Turf (Post time: 7:10 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Juvenile (Post time: 7:50 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Juvenile Turf (Post time: 8:30 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse

Saturday, Nov. 6 schedule 

  • Filly and Mare Sprint (Post time: 3:05 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Turf Sprint (Post time: 3:40 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Dirt Mile (Post time: 4:19 p.m. ET) – $1 million purse
  • Filly and Mare Turf (Post time: 4:59 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Sprint (Post time: 5:38 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Mile (Post time: 6:20 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Distaff (Post time: 7:00 p.m. ET) – $2 million purse
  • Turf (Post time: 7:40 p.m. ET) – $4 million purse
  • Classic (Post time: 8:40 p.m. ET) – $6 million purse

Watch NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup starting with Future Stars Friday on Nov. 5 from 5-9 p.m. ET (NBCSN) and continuing with Championship Saturday on Nov. 6 from 2:30-9 p.m. ET (NBCSN until 8, NBC from 8-9). 

Newgate wins Robert B. Lewis Stakes; Baffert runs 1-2-3-4

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Newgate won the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by a neck, with Bob Baffert as the trainer of all four horses in the Kentucky Derby prep race at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Newgate ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.11 and paid $4 and $2.60 as the even-money favorite. There was no show wagering because of the field size.

Hard to Figure returned $5.20 at 12-1 odds. Worcester was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Arabian Lion was fourth.

“So much improvement in all these horses,” Baffert said. “I was actually nervous before the race, worried that something weird might happen, but I can relax now.”

The Lewis was a Kentucky Derby prep race, but no points were awarded because Baffert has been banned for two years by Churchill Downs Inc. The Hall of Fame trainer was in Louisville to testify in federal court as he seeks a temporary injunction to end the suspension, which runs through the end of the upcoming spring meet. It was meted out following a failed drug test by Medina Spirit after the colt finished first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

Newgate earned his first graded stakes victory. The colt was second, beaten by a neck in the Sham Stakes last month in his previous start.

“Frankie Dettori has been teaching him how to just sit back, relax and come with a punch and that’s what he did today,” Baffert said.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Newgate’s career earnings to $241,975, with two wins in six starts.

Baffert: 2-year Churchill Downs suspension hurt reputation

bob baffert
Sam Upshaw Jr./USA TODAY NETWORK
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Churchill Downs never gave advance notice nor reached out to explain its two-year suspension, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said in federal court, and reiterated that the penalty has caused irreparable harm to his business and reputation.

Baffert has sued the historic track and is seeking a temporary injunction to stop his suspension following a failed drug test by the now-deceased Medina Spirit after the colt came in first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

The suspension for a series of failed tests by his horses runs through the end of the upcoming spring meet and could exclude Baffert from the Derby for a second consecutive spring.

Almost a year ago, Kentucky racing officials disqualified Medina Spirit and suspended Baffert for 90 days for those failed tests. Churchill Downs elevated Derby runner-up Mandaloun to winner.

“They’ve hurt my reputation,” Baffert said during nearly two hours of testimony in U.S. District Court. “My horses should’ve made much more money. I didn’t run for 90 days, and I had to let people go.”

Churchill Downs wants the case dismissed, citing nine failed tests by Baffert-trained horses as justification for disciplining horse racing’s most visible figure. The list of violators includes 2020 Kentucky Oaks third-place finisher Gamine, who was ultimately disqualified.

Medina Spirit failed his test for having in his system the corticosteroid betamethasone, which Baffert and attorney Clark Brewster have argued came from an ointment rather than an injection.

Track president Mike Anderson said the decision by Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen stemmed from Baffert’s “refusal to take responsibility for repeat violations” during a news conference at his backside barn after Medina Spirit’s failed test was revealed.

“We wanted to make a statement that this was a consequence of not doing the right thing,” Anderson said.

Attorneys Matt Benjamin and Christine Demana, who are representing Churchill Downs, also disputed Baffert’s contention that business has suffered by noting his latest crop of promising 3-year-old colts on this year’s Derby trail.

One of them, Arabian Knight, won last week’s Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn by 5+ lengths to give Baffert his record sixth win in the race. The horse is ineligible to earn Kentucky Derby qualifying points as the winner because of Baffert’s suspension.

A slide presented also showed that Baffert horses made 477 starts from May 10, 2021, through December 2022 and won marquee races such as the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Corniche, the Eclipse winner) along with Grade 1 wins in the Pennsylvania Derby and Malibu Stakes (Taiba).

Friday’s 3 1/2-hour hearing followed four hours of testimony on Thursday. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings gave no indication when she would rule. But Brewster said he expects a decision “within several days.”

Baffert testified that he had had a good relationship with Churchill Downs, though he noted that he was paying for his seats at the track and having to “grovel” to get them. He also insisted that he tried to be a good ambassador for horse racing, especially after American Pharoah and Justify won the Triple Crown in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

“I think today was great because I finally got to tell my story in a nonbiased atmosphere,” he said. “I hope for the best, and hopefully we’ll be here.”