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Curlin practicing at the 2007 Kentucky Derby. AP File Photo

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is coming to the Santa Anita Park for the third time since its inception in 1984.

For those of you not familiar with the horsies, the Breeders’ Cup is an annual series of thoroughbred horse races. In a short time it has established itself as the season-ending championship. With a total of 14 different races spread out over two days, a total of $25.5 million will be awarded making it one of the richest payouts in all of sports. Additionally the $17 million that will be awarded in the second day will be the second highest payout in one day behind the Dubai World Cup Night, another thoroughbred racing event.

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The big unfortunate news coming out of the Breeders’ Cup is Big Brown retiring from racing with an injured hoof. He grabbed his right front foot with his right hind foot tearing off a three-inch piece of flesh. With a recovery time expected to be at least two months, this injury essentially forces Big Brown to retire from racing before going out to stud.

With Big Brown out, the Breeders’ Cup is even more anxious about having Curlin participate. Curlin won the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the triple crown, in 2007 and also won the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year when it was run at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. If he races this year he could become only the second thoroughbred since Tiznow in 2000 and 2001 to win the Classic on back-to-back years.

The Championships begin Friday October 24 and culminate with the Breeders’ Cup Classic Saturday October 25 at 3:45 pm.