2013 Breeders' Cup Challenge Features 48 Grade/Group 1 Races Worldwide
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8, 2013) -- The Breeders' Cup announced today that the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series will consist of 67 automatic qualifying races into the Breeders' Cup World Championships. This year’s series, to be conducted in 10 countries, will feature 48 Grade or Group 1 events and nine new races. Breeders’ Cup will pay entry fees and provide travel allowances for the connections of the Challenge winners outside of California to compete in the Championships. (Complete 2013 schedule is available at https://members.breederscup.com/challenge/schedule.aspx)
Horses from around the globe will be qualifying for the 30th Breeders’ Cup, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on November 1, 2, and will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network. The $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will be shown live in primetime on NBC from 8-9 p.m. ET on Nov. 2.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, now in its seventh year, will be held at many of the world’s premier racetracks in the US, Canada, Argentina, Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan and South Africa. This year’s series began in January in South Africa, when the 5-year-old Variety Club (SAF) won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town and qualified for an automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI). The series continues this Saturday, April 13, at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Australia with the TJ Smith Stakes for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
The first North American race of the series will be the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs June 15, for an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).
As part of the enhanced benefits to horsemen in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees and guarantee a starting position in a corresponding Championships race for winners of all Challenge races.
Breeders’ Cup will provide travel allowances to all starters outside of California for this year’s Championships including Challenge race winners. Breeders’ Cup will provide a $40,000 travel stipend to the connections of each Challenge winner from outside of North America – a $20,000 increase over last year’s overseas travel allowance - and in North America, a $10,000 travel allowance for winners stabled outside of California. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 21 to receive the rewards.
Last year, a record 45 winners of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races participated in the World Championships. Of those starters, seven horses, Fort Larned (Classic), Wise Dan (Mile), Groupie Doll (Filly & Mare Sprint), Royal Delta (Ladies’ Classic), Shanghai Bobby (Juvenile), Little Mike (Turf) and Calidoscopio (Marathon) won Breeders’ Cup World Championships races.
“We are very encouraged that horsemen from around the world continue to take advantage of the benefits provided in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series by awarding a guaranteed starting berth, paid entry fees, and travel allowances as the best way to secure a place into the Championships,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel.
Some of the highlights of this year’s Challenge series are as follows:
- There will be five automatic berths for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. In addition to the Stephen Foster, the Classic qualifiers, all Grade I races, will be the Whitney Handicap from Saratoga on August 3, won last year by Fort Larned, followed by the TVG Pacific Classic from Del Mar on August 25, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup from Belmont Park and the Awesome Again Stakes from Santa Anita Park, both on September 28.
- The series will include 9 new races: the Triple Bend Handicap (GI) on June 29 at Betfair Hollywood Park for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile; the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) (Turf Sprint) from Del Mar on July 28; the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) (Filly & Mare Turf) and the Connally’s Red Mills Lowther Stakes (G2) (Juvenile Fillies Turf) at York in England, both on August 22; the Pat O’Brien Stakes (Dirt Mile) at Del Mar on August 25; the ICON Juvenile Trial (G3) (Juvenile Turf) on September 7 at Leopardstown in Ireland; the Pocahontas Stakes (GII) (Juvenile Fillies) and the Iroquois Stakes (GIII) (Juvenile), both from Churchill Downs on Sept. 7, and the Canadian Stakes (GII) (Filly & Mare Turf) on September 15 at Woodbine.
- There will be 14 series races held in California, the most of any region, comprising $610,000 in paid entry fees to race winners.
- For the third consecutive year, the Breeders’ Cup will pay foal nominators of Challenge winners a $10,000 award.