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National Thoroughbred Racing Assn.
|August 1, 2007
Contact: Jim Gluckson at 212-230-9512
BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE SWINGS INTO CHICAGO AUGUST 11 FOR SECOND LEG OF “WIN AND YOU’RE IN” QUALIFYING RACES FOR BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
WINNERS OF ARLINGTON MILLION, SECRETARIAT AND BEVERLY D. EARN AUTOMATIC BERTHS INTO BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge, a series of 24 automatic qualifying races at six of the nation’s premier racetracks, swings into Chicago and Arlington Park on August 11 for the second leg of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Following the first set of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races at Saratoga last Saturday, Arlington Park will play host to three more qualifying events into the Championships: The Arlington Million, the Secretariat Stakes and the Beverly D. All three races will be televised live on ABC as part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge – Presented by Emirates Airline” telecast beginning at 3:00 p.m. CT. (See full Breeders’ Cup Challenge Schedule http://www.breederscup.com/schedule.aspx).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge, highlighted by its “Win and You’re In” format, will for the first time, automatically place the winners of the 24 stakes held between July 28 and October 8 into a corresponding divisional race for the 11-race, $23 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27.
Among the standouts expected in the 25th Arlington Million at 1 ¼ miles on the turf - who will race for an automatic starting position in the $3 million John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf - are two standouts from the West Coast: defending Arlington Million champion The Tin Man and Eddie Read Handicap winner After Market.
Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, The Tin Man, still running sensationally at age 9, won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in May at Hollywood Park. After Market, trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, has also won the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park. Canadian standout Sky Conqueror is also expected in the Million, following his victories in the Northern Dancer at Woodbine and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
The American stars are slated to square off against European standouts Dr. Dino, third in the Singapore Airlines International Cup and Stage Gift, second in the group II Sky Bet York Stakes.
The Secretariat Stakes at 1 ¼ miles for 3-year-olds on the turf is another Breeders’ Cup Challenge automatic qualifying race for the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf. Headlining the contenders for the Secretariat are Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Lattice, winner of the Grade II American Derby at Arlington on July 21 and Red Giant, who captured the $1 million Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs last month.
The Beverly D. for fillies and mares 3-year-olds old and up at 1 3/16 miles is led by Stronach Stables Citronnade, winner of the Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap and the Grade I Gamely Handicap at Hollywood Park, and from the East Coast, the Todd Pletcher-trained Honey Ryder, who was second against males in the Grade I United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park, and the winner of the Grade II Sheepshead Bay Handicap at Belmont Park. The Beverly D. winner earns an automatic qualifying position into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge, which will be televised on six live programs by ABC/ESPN as “Breeders’ Cup Challenge – Presented by Emirates Airline,” will continue on August 19 with qualifying races at Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, Calif., Belmont Park in New York on September 30; Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on October 6 and Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on October 7.
At Saratoga last Saturday, Hines Racing’s 4-year-old Lawyer Ron captured the 1 1/8 mile Whitney Handicap and earned an automatic qualifying berth into the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge; the 4-year-old filly Ginger Punch gained a starting position in the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff after winning the 1 1/8 mile Go for Wand Handicap; the speedy Diabolical won the A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs and punched his ticket into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint; and Live Oak Plantation’s My Typhoon (IRE) won the Diana Stakes on turf and earned a starting position into the $2 million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf.
“The Breeders’ Cup Challenge gives sports fans an easily understood ‘Win and You’re In’ playoff concept that has been successful in other sports,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Greg Avioli. ”We’re off to a tremendous start following our four “Win and You’re In” qualifying races at Saratoga. We have received widespread industry support from our participating racetracks and our horsemen for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge. Working in concert with our network partner ESPN, we are excited about expanding the Breeders’ Cup brand to our sport’s most prestigious races leading to the Championships.”
Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships; Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships consisting of 11 races and $23 million in purses. The organization also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, and the Breeders’ Cup Stakes Program. Breeders’ Cup Ltd. is located in Lexington, Ky. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com.
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