Winner of Tuesday's Gran Premio Criadores at Palermo in Argentina Gains Automatic Berth into Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff
First of Five Breeders’ Cup Challenge races to be run in South America this year
BUENOS AIRES (April 27, 2018) – Multiple Group 1 winners Halo Holiday (ARG), La Extrana Dama (ARG) and defending champion Kiraki (ARG) headline a field of 13 fillies and mares entered for Tuesday’s (May 1) 1¼-mile Gran Premio Criadores (G1) on dirt at Palermo Racecourse for the first automatic starting position into this year’s $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive free berths and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on November 2-3.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Gran Premio Criadores to start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 22 to receive the rewards.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, now in its 12th year, will be held at many of the world’s premier racetracks in 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Japan, Ireland, Peru, South Africa and the United States.
The Gran Premio Criadores is the first of five Breeders’ Cup Challenge races to be run in South America this year. The races are:
Halo Holiday, a 3-year-old filly trained by Juan Etchechoury and ridden by leading jockey Leandro Goncalves, comes into Tuesday’s race off a solid win in the 1 1/8-mile Paseana Stakes (G2) on turf at San Isidro on April 14, winning by 1 ½ lengths over Atomico Oro (ARG). Owned by Stud Firmamento, Halo Holiday, a bay daughter of Harlan’s Holiday out of the Southern Halo mare Cuidadosa Halo (ARG), posted back-to-back Group 1 victories last year, winning the 1 ¼-mile Seleccion de Pontrancas (Argentine Oaks) at La Plata by 10 lengths on September 24, and followed up that win by edging Gold Beauty (ARG) by a short neck in the Gran Premio Enrique Acebel on turf on November 4 at San Isidro. She closed out the year on a disappointing note, finishing seventh of 13 in the Copa de Plata (G1) at San Isidro on December 8.
A top challenger rounding into form is La Extrana Dama, a 4-year-old filly owned by La Pomme and trained by Jose Cristobal. On April 7, La Extrana Dama was a five-length winner over Magica Stripes (ARG) in the 1 3/8-mile Gilberto Lerena Stakes (G1 at Palermo over a heavy turf course. A bay daughter of Catcher in the Rye (IRE), La Extrana Dama, ridden by Eduardo Pavon, has won seven of 19 races lifetime.
Stud Santa Ines’s 5-year-old Kiriaki, trained by Gustavo Calvente and ridden by Juan Udaondo, won last year’s Gran Premio Criadores by a head over Hispanidad (ARG) as the 6-4 favorite. In 2016, she finished second by a nose to Corona del Inca (ARG). This year, she fared poorly in the Gilberto Lerena, finishing seventh of nine runners at odds of 3-1.
Prior to coming to South America, the international portion of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series began on January 6 in South Africa at Kenilworth Racecourse, when Oh Susanna (AUS) won the Cartier Paddock Stakes (G1) and qualified for an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and Legal Eagle (SAF) captured the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) and gained an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
On April 7 at Royal Randwick in Australia, Happy Clapper (AUS) won the Star Doncaster Mile (G1) and became the second horse to earn a free berth into the Mile. Last Saturday (April 14), Alizee (AUS) won the Coolmore Legacy Stakes (G1) at Royal Randwick and earned an automatic starting position into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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Courtesy of Vance Hanson of TwinSpires.com
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