DEL MAR, Calif. (Apr. 8, 2013) -- The Breeders' Cup announced today that the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series will consist of 67 automatic qualifying races into the Breeders' Cup World Championships. This year’s series will be conducted in 10 countries and will feature 48 Grade or Group 1 events, and nine new races. Breeders’ Cup will pay entry fees and provide travel allowances for the connections of the Challenge winners into the Championships. Del Mar will host five races during the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series beginning on July 28 with the Bing Crosby Stakes. (The complete 2013 schedule is available at https://members.breederscup.com/challenge/schedule.aspx).
Horses around the globe will be qualifying for the 30th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on November 1, 2, and will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network. The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be shown live in primetime on NBC from 8-9 p.m. ET on Nov. 2.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, now in its seventh year, will be held at many of the world’s premier racetracks in the US, Canada, Argentina, Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan and South Africa. This year’s series began in January in South Africa, when the 5-year-old Variety Club (SAF) won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town and qualified for an automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI). The first North American race of the series will be the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs June 15, for an automatic berth in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).
As part of the enhanced benefits program for Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for winners of all Challenge winners starting in the Championships. For this year’s World Championships, Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance for all starters, including Challenge winners. Breeders’ Cup will provide a $40,000 travel stipend to the winning connections of each Challenge winner from outside of North America and a $10,000 travel allowance for winners of North American races held outside of California. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 21 to receive the rewards.
Del Mar will host the following Breeders’ Cup Challenge races:
DATE RACE BC QUALIFYING RACE
July 28 Bing Crosby S. (GI) Turf Sprint
Aug. 3 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (GI) Ladies’ Classic
Aug. 25 Del Mar Handicap (GII) Turf
Aug. 25 Pat O’Brien S. (GII) Dirt Mile
Aug. 25 TVG Pacific Classic (GI) Classic
“Del Mar is delighted to again be hosting important Breeders’ Cup Challenge races,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s executive vice president for racing and racing secretary Tom Robbins. “These five prestigious races are only made more valuable by their additional monetary encouragement for horsemen to take part in racing’s championship events.”
Last year, a record 45 winners of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races participated in the World Championships. Of those, seven horses, Fort Larned (Classic), Wise Dan (Mile), Groupie Doll (Filly & Mare Sprint), Royal Delta (Ladies’ Classic), Shanghai Bobby (Juvenile), Little Mike (Turf) and Calidoscopio (Marathon) won Breeders’ Cup World Championships races.“Del Mar is delighted to again be hosting important Breeders’ Cup Challenge races,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s executive vice president for racing and racing secretary Tom Robbins. “These five prestigious races are only made more valuable by their additional monetary encouragement for horsemen to take part in racing’s championship events.”
“We are very encouraged that horsemen from around the world continue to take advantage of the Challenge series benefits of a guaranteed starting berth, free entry fees, and travel allowances as a way to secure a place into the Championships,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel.
There will be five automatic berths for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. The Classic qualifiers, all Grade I races, begin with the Stephen Foster Handicap. The Whitney Handicap from Saratoga on August 3, won last year by Fort Larned, will be the next Classic qualifier, followed by the TVG Pacific Classic from Del Mar on August 25 and the Jockey Club Gold Cup from Belmont Park and the Awesome Again Stakes from Santa Anita Park, both on September 28.
The 2012 series will feature 7 new races: the Triple Bend Handicap on June 29 at Betfair Hollywood Park for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint; the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Filly & Mare Turf) and the Lowther Stakes (Juvenile Fillies Turf), both at York in England on August 22; the Bing Crosby Stakes (Turf Sprint) on July 28 and the Pat O’Brien Stakes (Dirt Mile) on August 25, both at Del Mar; the ICON Juvenile Trial (Juvenile Turf) on September 7 at Leopardstown in Ireland and the Canadian Stakes (Filly & Mare Turf) on September 15 at Woodbine.
For the third consecutive year, the Breeders’ Cup will pay foal nominators of Challenge winners a $10,000 award.