Multi-Million Dollar 2012 Horse Racing Dates

by on January 6th, 2011
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Every year, thousands of horse racing fans crowd the racetrack at premiere events like the Kentucky Derby. While the winning horse for the Derby receives a hefty $2.5 million, is it the richest horse race of all? Among the races worldwide, the Kentucky Derby is not the only one that offers a million or more. In fact, the biggest purse in the world is at a track at the center of ancient horse racing crossroads.

Million dollar horse races not always profitable

In 2010, Monmouth Park in New Jersey decided to offer 50 days of million dollar horse races. Their website newsletter touted that holding an event of this type brought success to the track. Despite their good intentions, Monmouth Park’s “Million Dollar Meet” was determined to be a disaster. Altogether, it is estimated that the Million Dollar Meet cost taxpayers at least $6.6 million.

America’s million dollar horse races

Today we think of Thoroughbred racing as being the top-fetching horse races. Despite this, the quarter horse based All American Derby became the first million dollar horse race in 1972. It continued to be the number one purse for almost two decades. Although it has fluctuated, in 2012, the All American Derby will once again be in the over one million dollar category.

Another Ruidoso racetrack event, the Rainbow Futurity, will also be moving up in the million dollar horse races list in 2013. However, the 2012 Rainbow Futurity will remain at $700,000.

Currently, there are 15 2012 horse races in the United States that are an even one million dollars.

March 31, 2012 – Florida Derby

April 1 – Louisiana Derby

April 7 – Wood Memorial Aqueduct

April 7 – Santa Anita Derby

April 14 – Charles Town Classic

April 14 – Arkansas Derby

May 4, 2012 – Kentucky Oaks

May 19, 2012 – Preakness Stakes

June 9, 2012 – Belmont Stakes

TBA 07/2012 – Haskell Invitational Handicap

TBA 07/2012 – Hollywood Gold Cup

TBA 08/2012 – Pacific Classic Stakes

August 18, 2012 – Arlington Million

August 25 – Travers Stakes

October 6 – Jockey Club Gold Cup

More than a million

When it comes to North American horse racing, there are six horse races that bring winners more than a million. However, the 2012 Breeders’ Cup and the 2012 Breeders Crown are top purses. Despite the big numbers that the Breeders’ Cup and Breeders Crown advertise, these multi-million dollar earnings are divided into several races that range from $1 million to $5 million (estimated).

Below are the 2012 horse racing dates for the more than a million purses. The figures listed are based on 2011 winnings and 2012 estimates.

May 5 – Kentucky Derby: $2 million

September 2 – All American Derby estimated $2 million

September 3 – All-American Futurity: $2.4 million

October 3 – Hambletonian: $1.5 million

October 27 – Breeders Crown: $26 million total

November 2-3 – Breeders’ Cup: $26 million total

Top horse racing purse in the world

Since 1996, the Dubai World Cup at Meydan has been bringing in the top horses from around the world. Actually, it is no surprise that the Persian Gulf is the center of modern horse racing due to the history of the region.

On March 31, 2012, crowds will gather at the Dubai World Cup to see which horse will take home the largest purse in the world. Currently, winners are eligible for nine events totaling $27,250,000. The main event will have a prize of $10 million.

More from this Contributor:

Top 10 2012 TV Horse Racing Dates

Smartphones and New Horse Racing Laws

The Kentucky Derby’s Confusing Gambling Options

Videos: Top 10 Funny Horse Racing Moments

The Weird Sport of Man Versus Horse

Maryam Louise is a longtime resident of the Bluegrass State and has lived in the shadows of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky over the past two decades. In addition to being a fan of horse racing, she has also had a chance to get to know jockeys, horse groomers, and betting clerks as an ESL instructor. Currently, she writes for and relies on her friends in the multiple facets of the equine industry for writing inspiration.

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