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ABRV - EVENTS/TRAVEL

Fort Larned won the 2012 Whitney Handicap, a "Win and You're In" race on his way to a victory in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic.

To read part one of this Cracking the Cup blog, click here.

In my first piece, “Cracking the Cup - A Beginner’s Guide to the Breeders’ Cup,” I explained the 14 different races featured in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles on November 1-2. We looked at how sex, age, surface and distance play factors in the 14 different Breeders’ Cup divisions. Now we are going to take a look at just how horses get to the Breeders’ Cup.

The Breeders’ Cup is all about attracting the best of the best. There are a few ways a horse can qualify for a Breeders’ Cup race. The first is by winning a Breeders’ Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race. There are 67 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races throughout the year, spanning 10 different countries. So long as the winners of these races are Breeders’ Cup nominated by Oct. 21, their connections receive money to cover travel fees.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races (US & Canada):

Date:

Race:

Track:

Sex:

Age:

Surf:

Dist:

Division:

6/15

Stephen Foster H. (G1)

CD

Open

3yo+

Dirt

9F

Classic

6/29

Triple Bend H. (G1)

BHP

Open

3yo+

Syn

7F

Dirt Mile

6/29

Shoemaker Mile (G1)

BHP

Open

3yo+

Turf

8F

Mile

7/6

Smile Sprint H. (G2)

Crc

Open

3yo+

Dirt

6F

Sprint

 

United Nations (G1)

Mth

Open

3yo+

Turf

11F

Turf

7/13

A Gleam H. (G2)

BHP

Female

3yo+

Syn

7F

F/M Sprint

7/28

Bing Crosby H. (G1)

Dmr

Open

3yo+

Turf

6F

Turf Sprint

8/3

Whitney H. (G1)

Sar

Open

3yo+

Dirt

9F

Classic

 

Clemente L. Hirsch (G1)

Dmr

Female

3yo+

Syn

8.5F

Distaff

8/17

Arlington Million (G1)

AP

Open

3yo+

Turf

10F

Turf

 

Beverly D. (G1)

AP

Female

3yo+

Turf

9.5F

F/M Turf

8/23

Ballerina S. (G1)

Sar

Female

3yo+

Dirt

7F

F/M Sprint

8/24

Del Mar H. (G2)

Dmr

Open

3yo+

Turf

11F

Turf

8/25

Personal Ensign H. (G1)

Sar

Female

3yo+

Dirt

9F

Distaff

 

Pat O'Brien (G2)

Dmr

Open

3yo+

Syn

7F

Dirt Mile

 

Pacific Classic (G1)

Dmr

Open

3yo+

Syn

9F

Classic

9/7

Iroquois (G3)

CD

Open

2yo

Dirt

8F

Juvenile

 

Pochahontas (G2)

CD

Female

2yo

Dirt

8F

Juvenile Fillies

9/14

Natalma (G2)

WO

Female

2yo

Turf

8F

Juv. Fillies Turf

 

Summer (G2)

WO

Open

2yo

Syn

8F

Juvenile Turf

9/15

Woodbine Mile (G1)

WO

Open

3yo+

Turf

8F

Mile

 

Canadian (G2)

WO

Female

3yo+

Turf

9F

Turf

9/28

Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1)

Bel

Open

3yo+

Dirt

10F

Classic

 

Beldame Inv. (G1)

Bel

Female

3yo+

Dirt

9F

Distaff

 

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1)

Bel

Open

3yo+

Turf

12F

Turf

 

Flower Bowl Inv. (G1)

Bel

Female

3yo+

Turf

10F

Filly/Mare Turf

 

Vosburgh Inv. (G1)

Bel

Open

3yo+

Dirt

6F

Sprint

 

Kelso H. (G2)

Bel

Open

3yo+

Dirt

8F

Dirt Mile

 

Awesome Again (G1)

SA

Open

3yo+

Dirt

9F

Classic

 

Zenyatta (G1)

SA

Female

3yo+

Dirt

8.5F

Distaff

 

Rodeo Drive (G1)

SA

Female

3yo+

Turf

10F

Filly/Mare Turf

 

Frontrunner (G1)

SA

Open

2yo

Dirt

8.5F

Juvenile

 

Chandelier (G1)

SA

Female

2yo

Dirt

8.5F

Juvenile Fillies

10/4

Alcibades (G1)

Kee

Open

2yo

Syn

8.5F

Juvenile Fillies

 

Phoenix (G3)

Kee

Open

3yo+

Syn

6F

Sprint

10/5

Turf Mile (G1)

Kee

Open

3yo+

Turf

8F

Mile

 

Breeders' Futurity (G1)

Kee

Open

2yo

Syn

8.5F

Juvenile

 

T'bred Club of America (G2)

Kee

Open

3yo+

Syn

6F

Filly/Mare Sprint

 

Champagne (G1)

Bel

Open

2yo

Dirt

8F

Juvenile

 

Frizette (G1)

Bel

Female

2yo

Dirt

8F

Juvenile Fillies

 

SA Sprint Champ. (G1)

SA

Open

3yo+

Dirt

6F

Sprint

10/6

Spinster (G1)

Kee

Female

3yo+

Syn

9F

Distaff

 

Bourbon (G3)

Kee

Open

2yo

Turf

8.5F

Juvenile Turf

 

Pilgrim (G3)

Bel

Open

2yo

Turf

8.5F

Juvenile Turf

 

Miss Grillo (G3)

Bel

Female

2yo

Turf

8.5F

Juv. Fillies Turf

10/10

Jessamine (G3)

Kee

Female

2yo

Turf

8.5F

Juv. Fillies Turf

10/13

Nearctic (G1)

WO

Open

3yo+

Turf

6F

Turf Sprint


ABBREVIATIONS:

Surf: Surface

Crc: Calder Race Course

WO: Woodbine

Dist: Distance

Mth: Monmouth Park

Bel: Belmont Park

Syn: Synthetic (Artificial) Surface

Dmr: Del Mar

SA: Santa Anita Park

CD: Churchill Downs

Sar: Saratoga

Kee: Keeneland

BHP: Betfair Hollywood Park

AP: Arlington Park

F: Furlong(s), 1 furlong = 1/8 mile

As you will see, there are plenty of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races going on in North America throughout the second half of the year. There are a total of 47 Challenge Races in the US and Canada at 11 tracks in six states and one Canadian province. Here are the winners of the first five North American races:

Date:

Race:

Track:

Division:

Winner:

15-June

Stephen Foster H. (G1)

Churchill

Classic

Fort Larned

29-June

Triple Bend H. (G1)

Hollywood

Dirt Mile

Centralintelligence

29-June

Shoemaker Mile (G1)

Hollywood

Mile

Obviously (IRE)

6-July

Smile Sprint H. (G2)

Calder

Sprint

Bahamian Squall

 6-July

United Nations (G1)

Monmouth

Turf

Big Blue Kitten

13-July

A Gleam H. (G2)

Hollywood

Filly/Mare Sprint

Book Review

28-July

Bing Crosby H. (G1)

Del Mar

Turf Sprint

Points Offthebench

3-Aug

Whitney H. (G1)

Saratoga

Classic

Cross Traffic

3-Aug Clement L. Hirsch (G1) Del Mar Distaff Lady of Fifty
17-Aug Arlington Million (G1) Arlington Park Turf Real Solution
17-Aug Beverly D. Stakes (G1) Arlington Park Filly/Mare Turf Dank
23-Aug Ballerina S. (G1) Saratoga Filly/Mare Sprint Dance to Bristol
24-Aug Del Mar H. (G2) Del Mar Turf Vagabond Shoes
25-Aug Pacific Classic S. (G1) Del Mar Classic Game On Dude
25-Aug Personal Ensign S. (G1) Saratoga Distaff Royal Delta
25-Aug Pat O'Brien S. (G2) Del Mar Dirt Mile Fed Biz

 

DEFENDING BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC WINNER FORT LARNED ALREADY HAS A FREE RIDE TO THIS YEAR’S CLASSIC

Fort Larned Hero

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

The Breeders’ Cup Points System:

The second way to gain entry into a Breeders’ Cup race is through a points system, where horses earn points based on their performances in graded stakes races throughout the year. The chart below outlines how horses are awarded points:

Race Quality:

WIN:

PLACE:

SHOW:

Grade 1:

10 pts.

6 pts.

4 pts.

Grade 2:

6 pts.

4 pts.

2 pts.

Grade 3:

4 pts.

2 pts.

1 pt.

The Breeders’ Cup Panel Selection:

The third way to gain entry is to be selected by a panel of experts. For each race, there are a maximum of 14 horses selected for each Breeders’ Cup Championship race. Seven come from the Challenge races and points system and seven are selected by the experts. This ensures the highest quality of competition.

Now that you know how horses get to the Breeders’ Cup, you can get excited about the big racing events throughout the next three months. You have also learned that the contenders are all working towards a greater goal: the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita. Giddy up!

Image Description

John Cox

A graduate of University of Kentucky, John has varied marketing experience in the Thoroughbred industry—from Keeneland to a private firm marketing specifically to Thoroughbred Farms, his knowledge of the industry is a great addition to the ABRV team.

Image Description

John Cox

A graduate of University of Kentucky, John has varied marketing experience in the Thoroughbred industry—from Keeneland to a private firm marketing specifically to Thoroughbred Farms, his knowledge of the industry is a great addition to the ABRV team.

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