Three Japanese Group One Races Added to Breeders' Cup Challenge Schedule
LEXINGTON, Ky., (June 27, 2016) — The Breeders’ Cup and the Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced today that three Japanese group one races have been added to the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series schedule, joining the G1 Takarazuka Kinen which has been a part of the “Win and You’re In” program since 2011.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series consisting of 81 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and entry fees paid into the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held on November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Breeders’ Cup and the JRA have been in discussions over the past several months to add Japanese races to the Challenge series, two of which will award retroactive Breeders’ Cup Challenge berths into the Championships. Those races are: February Stakes (G1), run at a distance of one mile on February 21 at Tokyo Racecourse for an automatic berth into the $6 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the Yasuda Kinen (G1), a one mile turf race run on June 5, also run at Tokyo Racecourse, for an automatic berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The third new Challenge race is the Sprinters Stakes (G1), a six-furlong turf race to be run October 2 at Nakayama Racecourse for an automatic berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
“Working in concert with the Japan Racing Association, we are very pleased and proud to strengthen the international reach of the Challenge series by adding the February Stakes, Yasuda Kinen and the Sprinters Stakes to our schedule,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “We thank the JRA for their commitment to the series and look forward to continued participation by Japanese horsemen in the Challenge series and in the World Championships.”
The February Stakes was won by the 4-year-old Moanin, a son of Henny Hughes, owned by Yukio Baba and trained by Zei Ishizaka. Moanin was bred in the United States by Empire Equines LLC. Moanin won the February Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths over a muddy track, as the second choice in a 16-horse field. Moanin joins Stephen Foster Stakes (G1) winner Bradester and Gold Cup Santa Anita (G1) winner Melatonin as the first three horses to qualify for the Classic this year.
The 6-year-old Logotype (JPN), for owner Teruya Yoshida and trainer Tsuyoshi Tanaka, won the Yasuda Kinen by 1 ¼ lengths over the heavily favored Maurice (JPN) in a 12-horse field to earn a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The dark bay or brown son of Lohengrin was bred by Shadai Farm. Logotype joins four others who have qualified for the Mile: Legal Eagle (SAF), winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Racecourse in South Africa; Winx (AUS), who won the Star Doncaster Mile (G1) at Randwick in Australia; Kitcat (CHI), winner of the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) in Chile and Midnight Storm, who won the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
On Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse, the 5-year-old mare Marialite (JPN) won the Takarazuka Kinen (G1), and earned an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
As a part of the benefits of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay for the pre-entry and entry fees of the winning horse of each Challenge race. All international runners in the Championships will be provided a US$40,000 travel stipend. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of October 24 to receive the rewards.
2016 Breeders’ Cup Challenge schedule is available at this link: www.breederscup.com/challenge