Village King Dominates Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina and Gains Automatic Berth into 2022 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf
Photo of Village King, with jockey Martin Valle up, courtesy of Hipodromo de San Isidro
BUENOS AIRES (Dec. 11, 2021) ― Haras El Angel De Venecia’s 7-year-old Village King (ARG) took the lead with two furlongs remaining and cruised to a 9-length victory Saturday in the 1 ½-mile Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini-Internacional (G1) at Hipódromo de San Isidro. With this victory, Village King, ridden by Martin Valle, earned an automatic starting position into the 2022 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held on Nov. 4-5 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional, South America’s most prestigious race, was the first Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race of the 2022 season.
Village King (ARG), trained by Carlos Etchechoury, finished third in the 2017 and 2020 editions of the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini. Today, the bay son of Campanologist out of the Pleasant Tap mare Villard, won his ninth race in 21 starts, and his fourth Group 1 triumph. He completed the 1 ½ miles in 2:23.42.
Sent off at the 9-1 third choice in the 19-horse field, Village King broke sharply and settled in behind the pace set by Sandino Ruler (ARG) and Encarrilado (ARG) through the first 1600 meters in 1:37.15. On the turn for home, Village King ranged up and easily passed a fading Encarrilado and set his sights on Sandino Ruler, catching the pacesetter in midstretch and extending his margin to nine lengths at the wire. Mirinaque (ARG), the 5-1 second choice, closed well to finish second, with Sandino Ruler holding on for third. Cool Day (ARG), the defending champion and 2-1 favorite, finished ninth.
Village King began his career in Argentina with five starts and was then sent to the U.S. following a third-place finish in the 2017 Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini. Under the care of trainer Todd Pletcher, Village King made eight starts, highlighted by a win in the 2018 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct. After an eighth-place finish in the Man o’ War Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in May 2019, Village King was returned to Argentina and won his first race on more familiar ground, taking the 1 ½-mile Progreso (G2) at San Isidro.
Following a second-place finish in the Copa De Oro-Alfredo Lalor (G1), Village King finished third in last year’s Carlos Pellegrini, just slightly more than a half-length behind Cool Day. He continued his solid form into 2021, reeling off three consecutive turf victories at San Isidro, taking the Miguel Alfredo Martinez de Hoz (G1), the Porteno (G3) and the 25 de May – Copa Dr. Enrique de Hoz (G1). The streak ended Oct. 24 in the Longines Gran Premio Latino Americano (G1) on dirt at Maronas Nacional Racecourse in Uruguay, where he finished fourth, 6 ¼ lengths behind Aero Trem (BRZ).
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Village King to start in the 1 ½-mile Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Breeders’ Cup also will 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 pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24, 2022 to receive the rewards.
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 4-5 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
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Led by defending champion Cool Day (ARG), multiple Group 1-winner Village King (ARG), and 2020 Argentine Horse of the Year Mirinaque (ARG), a wide-open field of 19 runners has been entered for Saturday’s 1 ½-mile Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini-Internacional (G1) at Hipódromo de San Isidro. The Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini-Internacional winner will receive an automatic starting position into the 2022 $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.