The official announcement is not scheduled until the 23rd of June but the worst kept secret in horse racing is running rampant already. After this year, where Santa Anita is hosting the Breeders Cup, the event will return to Kentucky. However, the event is not heading back to Churchill Downs. Keeneland Race Course in Lexington Kentucky will play host to the worldwide spectacle that is the World Championships. Touted as one of the most visually spectacular venues in all of horse racing, Keeneland will be a first time host of the two day event.
2016 will see the event return to Santa Anita Park but 2017 there will be another Southern California venue taking center stage when the Breeders Cup World Championships make their way to Del Mar. Del Mar, perched with a Pacific Ocean view had hoped to take 2016 but gladly will accept host venue status in 2017.
Honestly I can see two reasons why the wait until 2017 makes sense. First, no person should have expected to see the board select first time venues in back to back seasons. Secondly, Del Mar is preparing for major changes over the next year. The new turf course will be met by a return to dirt racing by the 2016 summer meet. The board probably wants to see how the course will run after the return to dirt.
If successful, I would expect to see Keeneland and Del Mar in a steady rotation with Santa Anita and Churchill downs for years to come. However, all things being equal, Del Mar and Santa Anita would probably be the first choice each year. Fall weather in Southern California is superior to Kentucky. The Kentucky tracks and horse racing history will keep them in rotation.