Breeders’ Cup announces Challenge Series races for September and October

Awesome Again, Preakness Stakes and The Jockey Club Gold Cup Highlight Final “Win and You’re In” Races for Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic; Irish Champion Stakes and Qatar Prix de l’ Arc Triomphe Lead European Schedule

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2020) — Led by the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) and Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), a total of 44 automatic berths into the 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be up for grabs over the next two months as Breeders’ Cup Ltd. today released its schedule of Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races for September and October.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge, now in its 14th year, is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid for a corresponding race in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held on Nov. 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky.

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“Win and You’re In” qualifiers will be contested in Brazil, Canada, England, Ireland, France and the U.S. over the September-October time frame, including 27 Grade or Group 1 stakes.

Among the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series racing highlights are:

  • Three “Win and You’re In” automatic qualifiers for the $7 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), featuring the 145th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico for 3-year-olds on Oct. 3, the first Triple Crown race to be in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. Bookended around the 1 3/16-mile Preakness are the 1 1/8-mile Awesome Again Stakes (G1) on Sept. 26 at Santa Anita Park and the 1 ¼-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 10.

 

  • Five Challenge Series races in Ireland on Sept. 12-13 during Irish Champions Weekend. There will be three races at Leopardstown on Sept. 12: the 1 ¼-mile Irish Champion Stakes (G1) for an automatic position in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), the 1-mile Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes (G1), giving the winner a free position into the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), and the 1-mile KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2), awarding the winner an automatic qualifying spot into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). On Sept. 13 at The Curragh, automatic berths will be contested in the 5-furlong Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes (G1) for a “Win and You’re In” into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), and the 7-furlong Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) giving the winner a free berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

 

  • Woodbine in Toronto will host three “Win and You’re In” turf races, beginning on Sept. 19 with the 1-mile Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) for a free slot into the gate of the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1). The following day (Sept. 20), the 1-mile Natalma Stakes (G1) will give the winner an automatic starting position in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), and the 1-mile Summer Stakes (G1) will offer a “Win and You’re In” spot for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. NBCSN will televise the Ricoh Woodbine Mile on Sept. 19, and the Natalma Stakes and the Summer Stakes on Sept. 20 as a part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing.”
  • In addition to the Awesome Again, Santa Anita will be home to six more “Win and You’re In” races, starting on Sept. 19 with the 5 ½-furlong Speakeasy Stakes. The Speakeasy winner will receive a free berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). The Sept. 26 card will feature the 1 1/16-mile  American Pharoah Stakes (G1) for an automatic starting position into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1), the 1 1/16-mile Chandelier Stakes (G2) for a free qualifying spot into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and the 1 ¼-mile Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) (Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf). On Sept. 27, Santa Anita will run the 6-furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2), a “Win and You’re In” for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and the 1 1/16-mile Zenyatta Stakes (G2) with the winner earning an automatic slot in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
  • Brazil will host its Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race on Sept. 27 with the 1 ½-mile Grande Premio Brasil (G1) at Hipodromo da Gavea in Rio de Janeiro for an automatic starting position into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
  • There will be nine Breeders’ Cup Challenge races during Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend on Oct. 2-4. Those races include five Grade 1 events: the 1 1/16-mile Darley Alcibiades(Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies) on Oct. 2, the 1 1/16-mile Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance), the 1-mileShadwell Turf Mile (FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF), the 1-mile First Lady presented by UK Healthcare (Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf) on Oct. 3, and the 1 1/8-mile Juddmonte Spinster Stakes(G1) (Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff) on Oct. 4.NBCSN will provide live coverage of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races at Keeneland on Oct. 2 and Oct. 4 as a part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing.” NBC also will air coverage from Keeneland on Oct. 3 during its Preakness Stakes broadcast.
  • On Oct. 4 at ParisLongchamp in France, there will be five Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races, led by the 1 ½-mile Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf), along with the 5-furlong Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint), the 1 ¼-mile Prix de l’Opéra Longines (Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf), the 7-furlong Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf) and the 1-mile Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac(Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf).
  • The 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series will conclude on Oct. 10 with five races at Belmont Park. In addition to the Jockey Club Gold Cup, there will be the 1-mile Champagne (G1) (TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance), the 1-mile Frizette (G1) (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies), the 1 ¼-mile Flower Bowl (G1) (Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf) and the 6-furlong Futurity (G3), (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint).

The complete Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series schedule can be accessed here.

As part of the enhanced benefits to horsemen competing in the series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees and guarantee a starting position in a corresponding Championships race for winners of all Challenge races. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 26 to receive the rewards, and those rewards must be used in the year they are earned.

Breeders’ Cup also will provide a $10,000 travel allowance for starters within North America that are stabled outside of Kentucky, and a $40,000 travel stipend to the connections of all Championship starters from outside of North America.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com