Fort Larned Becomes First Horse to Qualify for 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic Following Dominating Win in Stephen Foster

Fort Larned winning the 2013 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 15, 2013) – Defending Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned became the first horse to qualify for the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series by winning the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) presented by Abu Dhabi at Churchill Downs Saturday evening by 6 ¼ lengths over Golden Ticket.

In a dominant performance over five rivals, the Kentucky bred 5-year-old son of E Dubai, owned and bred by Janis Whitham and trained by Ian Wilkes, Fort Larned ($8.60) led from nearly start to finish, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.45 under jockey Brian Hernandez.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a global series of 67 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions into a corresponding racing of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Under the enhancements of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, Breeders’ Cup will pay the $100,000 entry fee and provide a $10,000 travel allowance for Fort Larned to start in the Classic.

The Foster was the first win of the year for Fort Larned, who began the season inauspiciously by unseating Hernandez at the gate in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (GII) on March 9 and then ran a lackluster fifth in the Oaklawn Handicap (GII) in April 13. Fort Larned has now won 10 races in 23 lifetime starts.

The $5 million Classic, run at 1 ¼ miles, will be run on Saturday, November 2 at Santa Anita. Fort Larned won last year’s Classic at Santa Anita by a half-length over Mucho Macho Man.Tiznow, in 2000 and 2001, was the last horse to win the Classic in consecutive years.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic division Challenge races for 2013 are:

DATE TRACK RACE DISTANCE AGE
6/15/13 CD Stephen Foster Hcp. (GI) 1 1/8 Miles 3YO& Up
8/03/13 Sar Whitney Handicap (GI) 1 1/8 Miles 3YO & UP
8/25/13 Dmr TVG Pacific Classic (GI) 1 ¼ Miles 3YO & Up
9/28/13 Bel Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) 1 ¼ Miles 3YO &Up
9/28/13 SA Awesome Again Stakes (G1) 1 1/8 Miles 3YO & Up

The complete Breeders’ Cup Challenge schedule can be accessed at the following link: https://members.breederscup.com/challenge/schedule.aspx

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