Saturday's Stephen Foster is First Automatic Qualifier for Breeders' Cup Classic
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 13, 2012) – The first automatic qualifying position for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic is on the line Saturday evening at Churchill Downs with the 31st running of the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI).
The Stephen Foster is the first of six Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in the Classic division this year, and the first time that the Foster is an automatic Classic qualifier. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is limited to 14 starters. Since its inception in 1984, 11 Classic winners have been named Horse of the Year.
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, to be held November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
The NBC Sports Network will televise live this year’s Breeders’ Cup. The Classic will be shown live and in primetime on NBC from 8-9 p.m. ET, on November 3.
Under the enhanced rules of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, if the Stephen Foster winner is nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by October 22, Breeders’ Cup Ltd. will benefit the winning stable by paying the $150,000 in entry fees into the Classic and provide them a $10,000 travel allowance to Santa Anita for the Championships.
In addition, if the Breeders’ Cup Challenge winner was nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program as a foal, the foal nominator will receive a $10,000 breeder award from Breeders’ Cup Ltd.
In 2010, the 4-year-old Blame won the Foster and later the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga to earn a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Classic, where he defeated Zenyatta by a head at Churchill Downs.
Below are the six Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in the Classic division for 2012:
DATE / TRACK / RACE / DISTANCE / AGE
6/16/12 / CD / Stephen Foster Hcp. (GI) / 1 1/8 Miles / 3YO & Up
7/07/12 / BHP / Hollywood Gold Cup (GI) / 1 1/4 Miles / 3YO & Up
8/04/12 / SAR / Whitney Handicap (GI) / 1 1/8 Miles / 3YO & UP
8/26/12 / DMR / TVG Pacific Classic (GI) / 1 1/4 Miles / 3YO & Up
9/29/12 / BEL / TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) / 1 1/4 Miles / 3YO & Up
9/29/12 / SA / Goodwood Handicap (G1) / 1 1/8 Miles / 3YO & Up
The complete Breeders’ Cup Challenge schedule can be viewed here: https://members.breederscup.com/challenge/schedule.aspx