Fort Larned Becomes Third Horse to Qualify for 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (August 4, 2012) – The 4-year-old Fort Larned became the third horse to qualify for the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series by winning Saturday’s Whitney Invitational Handicap at Saratoga Race Course by 1 ¼ lengths over favored Ron the Greek.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a global series of 73 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held on November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

The Classic, run at 1 ¼ miles with a purse of $5 million, will be run on Saturday, November 3. Fort Larned, a 4-year-old colt owned by Janis Whitham and trained by Ian Wilkes, won for the fourth time in six starts this year.

As part of the enhancements of the Challenge series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the $150,000 entry fee and provide the winning stable a $10,000 travel allowance for Fort Larned to start in the Championships.

Fort Larned joins the 5-year-old Ron the Greek, who won the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 16 and Game on Dude, who captured the Hollywood Gold Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 7 as the first three qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Watch the Whitney Handicap replay:

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Include Me Out Gains Automatic Entry into Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic

Following the Whitney, on the west coast, Jay Em Ess Stable’s Include Me Out qualified for the $2 million Ladies Classic Saturday at Del Mar by winning the Clement L. Hirsch, holding off the late charge of Star Billing and, winning by a neck in 1:41.96 for the mile and one-sixteenth over the main track. Trained by Ron Ellis and ridden by Joe Talamo, Include Me Out won for the fourth time in five starts this year, and became the second filly to qualify for the Ladies’ Classic this year. Defending Ladies’ Classic champion Royal Delta was the first filly to earn an automatic bid into this year’s race by capturing the Delaware Handicap on July 14.

Watch the Clement Hirsch replay:

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