Peruvian Invader Al Qasr Earns BC Turf Berth with Win in Gran Premio 25 de Mayo
Making his turf debut, Peruvian invader Al Qasr won the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo (Arg-I) on Friday evening by two lengths over Bogeyman at San Isidro Racetrack in Argentina. The victory earned Al Qasr an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park through the Breeders’ Cup 'Win and You're In' Challenge series.
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 World Championships, which will be held on November 2-3.
Bought as a weanling at the 2009 Keeneland January Horse of All Ages Sale by Fahed Mitre's Stud Soribel, Al Qasr, a 4-year-old Kentucky bred son of Aptitude, trained by Chilean Juan Suarez and ridden by Carlos Trujillo, reacted in time to beat favorite Bogeyman, a son of Editor's Note. Almudena, also a Peruvian representative, was another two lengths behind, and a head in front of Soy Carambolo in the 14-horse field. Al Qasr covered the 1 1/2 mile distance in 2:34.51 over a soft course.
By winning the Gran Premio 25, Breeders’ Cup will provide the connections with free entry fees for Al Qasr to start in the 1 1/2-mile, $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, and a US$20,000 travel allowance for the winner to be ship to Santa Anita Park.
Commented winning owner Fahed Mitre:"It is a dream come true. It is the best reward for the effort of having traveled for so many years to the best races in Argentina. It was great work by all of the team and now we will accept the invitation to run in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.”
Al Qasr, now with 5 wins in 7 lifetime starts, was fifth in March's Gran Premio Latino Americano (G1) and finished a very close third in the Gran Premio Republica Argentina (G1) on May 1, having some problems at the start.
As another bonus from the Breeders’ Cup, Kathryn M. West will receive a US$10,000 award as the foal nominator of Al Qasr.
The Gran Premio 25 was the first of two Breeders’ Cup Challenge races to be held in Argentina this year. The Clasico General Belgrano (G2), over 1 1/2 miles, will be held on June 23 at Palermo Racecourse for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Marathon.