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). 

Kentucky Derby modifies qualifying, elevates prep races

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Churchill Downs has modified paths to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, awarding points to the top five finishers in qualifying races and increasing significance for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and late prep season events.

Most Derby prep races during the qualifying series for 3-year-olds will award points on a 10-4-3-2-1 sliding scale after using a 10-4-2-1 system since 2013. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, run during the season-ending championships on Nov. 4 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, will increase points from 20-8-4-2 to 30-12-9-6-3 to differentiate the Grade I event from others during prep season.

Select prep races for the 20-horse Derby field have elevated points from a 10-4-2-1 scale to 20-8-6-4-2 to increase their importance and motivate hopefuls to begin their 3-year-old campaigns earlier in the season, track officials stated in a release.

“We believe these modifications adhere to and amplify our goal of assembling the finest group of 3-year-olds in the starting gate for a race at the classic distance of 1\ miles on the first Saturday in May,” Churchill Downs vice president/general manager Mike Ziegler said.

The 149th Kentucky Derby and Oaks for fillies will be held on May 5-6, 2023. Derby qualifying season begins with Saturday’s $300,000, Grade III Iroquois for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

The point changes apply to Oaks qualifiers.

Elevated Derby preps include the Lecomte at Fair Grounds in Louisiana; Southwest at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Withers at Aqueduct in New York; Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park in Florida; Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in California; Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs; and John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park in Kentucky.

Bob Baffert wins record 16th Del Mar Futurity with Cave Rock

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Cave Rock won the $302,000 Del Mar Futurity by 5 1/4 lengths, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record 16th victory in the Grade 1 race in which he finished 1-2.

Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Cave Rock ran seven furlongs in a stakes-record time of 1:20.99 on closing day at the seaside track north of San Diego. He lowered the old mark of 1:21.29 set by Declan’s Moon in 2004.

Baffert tied Phil D’Amato for the trainers’ title with 19 wins each at the 31-day summer meet. It was Baffert’s eighth title at Del Mar, but his first since 2003.

Hernandez won the jockeys’ title.

Havnameltdown, also trained by Baffert, finished second in the race for 2-year-olds. Skinner was another 4 1/4 lengths back in third.

Longtime Baffert clients Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman own the first and second-place finishers.

Cave Rock paid $2.80 to win as the 2/5 favorite. He earned $180,000 for the win.