336 days

Ever Rider Qualifies for Breeders' Cup Marathon Following Upset Win in Clasico General Belgrano in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (June 21, 2013) - Ever Rider (ARG) was the upset winner by a neck over Sunny Rex (ARG) in Friday’s Clasico General Belgrano-G2 at Palermo Racetrack in Argentina, and became the first horse this year to earn an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Marathon (GII) at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on November 1 through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a global series of 67 stakes races whose winners earn automatic starting positions into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held on November 1, 2 at Santa Anita. As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, Breeders’ Cup Ltd., will pay the entry fees and provide a US$40,000 travel allowance for Ever Rider to start in the Marathon.

Alberto Ibáñez, Ever Rider's owner, said after the Clasico General Belgrano: "I will go with the horse to Santa Anita and will be a great pleasure for us."

Last year’s Clasico General Belgrano winner, Calidoscopio (ARG), won the Marathon at Santa Anita and became the first horse from Argentina to win a Breeders’ Cup World Championships race.

Eduardo Ortega Pavon rode Ever Ride, 28.5-1, with absolute confidence, putting the 5-year-old son of Rider Stripes (ARG) in front from the start, establishing moderate fractions and, in the straight, and held off Sunny Rex at the wire. Es Corino (ARG) was third, giving trainer Juan Carlos Bianchi the first and third place finishers. 1-3. Favored Soy Carambolo finished a disappointing 10th.

Ever Rider covered the about 1 ½ mile distance (2500 meters) in 2:36.70 over a fast track.

"When I can put him on the front, he is a different horse,” said Pavon, a native of Paraguay and one of Argentina’s top riders. “He won with me by 13 lengths two races back. I can drive the pace and that was the key for the win."

Ever Rider is a son of G2 winner Rider Stripes, out of Alleg Dancer (ARG) by Il Corsaro. Ever Rider, now a winner of four races in 23 starts, was bred by Luis M. Pittaro and San Jose del Socorro SA.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge continues Sunday with two automatic qualifying races for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI): the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse in Japan and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) in France.

Diego Mitagstein of Turf Diario contributed to this story.

Photos courtesy of Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo.

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