Breeders' Cup Challenge Races Featured on Three Continents this Weekend
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 22, 2012) – Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in South America, Asia and Europe for three automatic starting positions in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be contested this weekend beginning in Argentina on Saturday with the Clasico Belgrano (G2) at Palermo Racecourse, followed on Sunday in Japan by the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) and in France with the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a global series of 73 stakes races whose winners earn automatic starting positions into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup, which will be held November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live in the U.S., on the NBC Sports Network.
As a part of the incentives provided by the Breeders’ Cup, if the Challenge winner is nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by Oct. 22:
- The winning stable will have its entry fees into the Championships paid by Breeders’ Cup Ltd.
- The winning stable will receive a US$20,000 travel allowance to Santa Anita for the Championships.
- The nominator of the Challenge winner will receive a US$10,000 nominator award from Breeders’ Cup Ltd.
On Saturday at Palermo in Argentina, Mr. Dany (CHI), trained by Juan Bianchi, headlines a seven horse field in the Clasico Belgrano at 1 1/2 miles for 3-year-olds and up for a “Win and You’re In” berth into the US$500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon (GII). Among the contenders, the 4-year-old Mr. Dany, by Powerscourt, comes into the Belgrano off a third place finish in the Gran Premio de Americas (G1) at Palermo on May 1. He won both the Premio Polla Potrillas – Roberto Alvarez Calderon Rey (G1) and the Premio Luis Olachea Du Bois (G3) last year. The 4-year-old Manuscrito (ARG), trained by Edgardo Marticci, was second by a head to leading Argentine Horse of the Year candidate Expressive Halo (ARG) in the Grad Premio Republica Argentina at 1 1/4 miles at Palermo on May 1.
Sunday’s Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin Racecourse, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 3/8 miles, drew 16 starters, including last year’s Japanese Triple Crown winner Orfevre (JPN) and defending champion Earnestly (JPN). The Takarazuka Kinen guarantees the winner an automatic berth into the US$3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI). Orfevre, a 4-year-old colt by Stay Gold, won 6 consecutive races from March through December of last year for trainer Yasutashi Ikee, but has not found the winner’s circle in his two starts in 2012, including an 11th place finish last out on April 29 in the two mile Tenno Sho Spring (Emperor’s Cup) (G1) at Kyoto Racecourse, which was won by Beat Black, who is also in the Takarazuka Kinen field.
Rulership (JPN), comes into the race off a sparkling win at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on April 29 in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup at 1 1/4 miles. The 5-year-old To the Glory (JPN), also trained by Yasutashi Ikee, is a four time stakes winner who recently won at Hanshin on June 2 in the Naruo Kinen (G3) at 1 1/4 miles. Eishin Flash (JPN) won the 2010 Japan Derby, and was second to by three-quarters of a length to Orfevre in last December’s Arima Kinen (G1). The 7-year-old Earnestly, last year’s upset winner of the Takarazuka Kinen, is winless in four starts this year and was fifth last out in the Nauro Kinen won by To the Glory.
Last year’s Prix L’Arc de Triomphe winner Danedream leads the six-horse field of four Group One stars in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at 1 1/2 miles for 4-yaer-olds and up for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The 4-year-old old filly Danedream, the pride of Germany, trained by Peter Schiergen, returned to the races this year in winning fashion, when she captured the Grosser Pries Der Badischen Unternehmer (G2) under Andrasch Starke. Galikova (FR), half-sister to three-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Goldikova (IRE), will be making her first start of 2012. She won last year’s Qatar Prix de Vermeille (G1) before finishing ninth in the Arc for trainer Freddy Head. Meandre (FR), who won last year’s Grand Prix de Paris (G1), was second on June 11 in the La Coup (G3) at Longchamp in his first start of the year. The 6-year-old Cirrus des Aigles (FR) has won two of his four starts this year, including a victory in the Prix Ganay (G1) at Longchamp.
The complete 2012 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Schedule: http://members.breederscup.com/challenge/schedule.aspx