Friday, January 10, 2014

KENILWORTH, South Africa (January 10, 2014) — The 2014 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series begins Saturday at Kenilworth Race Track in suburban Cape Town with the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) and new to the series, the Main Chance Farms Paddock Stakes (G1).

Now in its eighth year, the Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive an automatic starting berth and paid entry fees into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held on October 31-November 1 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

A field of 14 has been drawn for the $1 million L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at one mile on the turf for 3-year-olds and up, for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The South African bred 5-year-old Jackson, winner of last summer’s one mile Champagne Stakes (G1), and runner-up in last year’s Queen’s Plate, is the 18-10 pre-race favorite for trainer Brett Crawford.

The $1 million Main Chance Farms Paddock Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the turf is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Defending champion Beach Beauty (SAF), trained by Dennis Drier, leads the 14 horse field. The 7-year-old Dynasty (SAF) mare was third against males in the Lanzerac Le General Green Point Stakes (G2) at about one mile on the turf on November 23 at Kenilworth.