Tuesday, April 20th, 2021   ( 2 months ago )

2021 Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Features 84 Races in 10 Countries, Awarding Automatic Starting Positions into World Championships at Del Mar

 Record Nine “Win and You’re In” Berths into Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic

Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Logo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2021) - The Breeders' Cup announced its 2021 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series schedule consisting of 84 automatic qualifying stakes races into the Breeders' Cup World Championships. This year’s series, which includes a record nine “Win and You’re In” races for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic division, will take place in 10 countries. 

The complete 2021 schedule is available here

Horses from around the globe will be qualifying through the Challenge Series for the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 5-6, and will be televised live on NBC and NBCSN.

The Challenge Series, now in its 15th year, will be hosted at many of the world’s premier racetracks in Argentina, Canada, Chile, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Peru, South Africa and the United States. 

There are two new Challenge Series races in 2021: The Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 3, which grants a berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), and the Calumet Kentucky Cup (G2) at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 11, which offers a spot in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

The first North American Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race of the year will be the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park on May 31. The Shoemaker Mile winner will gain a free starting position into the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

As part of the benefits to horsemen, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees and guarantee a starting position in a corresponding Championships race for all Challenge Series race winners. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 25 to receive the rewards.

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

In support of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), which was signed into law in the U.S. last December, all Breeders’ Cup Challenge races this year will not permit medications to be administered within 24 hours of race day.

“We look forward to the return of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series with horsemen from around the world participating in and taking advantage of the many incentives, such as automatic starting positions and paid entry fees, to qualify for the World Championships,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Drew Fleming. “We also thank our international and domestic racetrack partners for their important work and dedication to support the Challenge Series.”

Some of the highlights of this year’s Challenge Series are as follows:

  • Providing fans with a path to the World Championships, NBC Sports will televise the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In Series presented by America’s Best Racing,” featuring 12 live programs in the U.S. this summer and fall. The full 2021 television schedule will be announced Wednesday, April 21.
  • There will be a record nine automatic berths awarded for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. The 4-year-old Cafe Pharoah became the first horse to qualify for this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic when he won the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan on Feb. 16. The next automatic qualifier in the division will be the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26; followed by the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 3; the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 17; the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 7; the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York in England on Aug. 18; the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Aug. 21; The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 4; and the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 2.   
  • In the U.S., there will be six “Win and You’re In” races for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), starting with the Ogden Phipps (G1) on June 5 as part of the Belmont Stakes (G1) day program at Belmont Park. The Ogden Phipps will be followed by the Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26; the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar on Aug. 1; The Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 28; the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 3; and the Zenyatta Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 3.    
  • The European leg of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series will begin with four races at the Royal Ascot meeting in England: The Queen Anne Stakes (G1) on June 15 with an invitation to the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1); the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) on June 16 with an invitation to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1); the Norfolk Stakes (G2) on June 17 with an invitation to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2); and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) on June 19 with an invitation to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
  • Three other prestigious European automatic qualifiers for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) are also back: The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) at Ascot on July 24; the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) at Leopardstown on Sept. 11; and the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at ParisLongchamp on Oct. 3, one of five Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on the Arc day program.    
  • Canada will be represented by three Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races at Woodbine, led by the Ricoh Woodbine Mile on Sept. 18 with an invitation to the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), and Natalma Stakes with an invitation to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and the Summer Stakes with an invitation to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), both on Sept. 19.

The international portion of the series began on Dec. 19 when the 3-year-old Cool Day (ARG) captured the Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini (G1) at Hipodromo de San Isidro in Argentina to gain the first automatic starting berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Three more South American races will be part of the 2021 Challenge Series: the Gran Premio Criadores (G1) from Palermo in Argentina on May 1 with an invitation to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1); the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) at Club Hipico in Chile on May 2 with an invitation to the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1); and the Gran Premio Pamplona (G1) at Hipodromo de Monterrico in Peru on June 26 with an invitation to the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).    

On Jan. 9 at Kenilworth Racecourse in South Africa, two horses gained “Win and You’re In” berths. The 3-year-old Jet Dark (SAF) won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) for a free spot in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), and the 5-year-old mare Queen Supreme (IRE) earned an automatic qualifying position into the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) by winning the Cartier Paddock Stakes (G1). On March 21, Mike de Kock, trainer of Queen Supreme, indicated that she will be pointed to the World Championships this fall.

Last year, five Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series winners also won a World Championships race:  Authentic (TVG.com Haskell Stakes, G1) winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1); Tarnawa (IRE) (Prix de l’Opera Longines, G1) winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1); Glass Slippers (GB) (Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, G1) winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1); Essential Quality (Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, G1) winner of the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Aunt Pearl (IRE) (JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes, G2) winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

Date Trk. Race Name Gr. Dist. Age/Sex Division
12/19/20 SIS Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini Stakes I 1 1/2 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP Turf
1/9/21 KEN Cartier Paddock Stakes I 1 1/8 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
1/9/21 KEN L'Ormarins Queen's Plate I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
2/21/21 TOK February Stakes I 1 Mile 4 YO & UP Classic
5/1/21 PAL Gran Premio Criadores I 1 1/4 Miles 3 YO & UP, F&M Distaff
5/2/21 CHS Gran Premio Club Hípico Falabella I 1 1/4 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
5/16/21 TOK Victoria Mile I 1 Mile (T) 4 YO & UP Filly & Mare Turf
5/31/21 SA Shoemaker Mile I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
6/5/21 BEL Jaipur I 6 Furlongs (T) 3 YO & UP Turf Sprint
6/5/21 BEL Metropolitan I 1 Mile 3 YO & UP Dirt Mile
6/5/21 BEL Ogden Phipps I 1 1/16 Miles 4 YO & UP, F&M Distaff
6/6/21 TOK Yasuda Kinen I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
6/15/21 ASC Queen Anne Stakes I 1 Mile (T) 4 YO & UP Mile
6/16/21 ASC Prince of Wales's Stakes I 1 1/4 Miles (T) 4 YO & UP Turf
6/17/21 ASC Norfolk Stakes II 5 Furlongs (T) 2 YO Juv. Turf Sprint
6/19/21 ASC Diamond Jubilee Stakes I 6 Furlongs (T) 4 YO & UP Turf Sprint
6/26/21 CD Fleur de Lis Stakes II 1 1/8 Miles 4 YO & UP, F&M Distaff
6/26/21 CD Stephen Foster Stakes II 1 1/8 Miles 4 YO & UP Classic
6/26/21 MON Gran Premio Pamplona I 1 1/4 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
6/27/21 HSN Takarazuka Kinen I 1 3/8 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Turf
7/3/21 BEL Suburban Stakes II 1 1/4 Miles 4 YO & UP Classic
7/3/21 GP Princess Rooney II 7 Furlongs 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Sprint
7/4/21 BEL John A. Nerud II 7 Furlongs 4 YO & UP Sprint
7/17/21 MTH TVG.com Haskell Stakes I 1 1/8 Miles 3 YO Classic
7/24/21 ASC King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes I 1 1/2 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP Turf
7/28/21 GOO Qatar Sussex Stakes I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
7/31/21 DMR Bing Crosby Stakes I 6 Furlongs 3 YO & UP Sprint
8/1/21 DMR Clement L. Hirsch Stakes I 1 1/16 Miles 3 YO & UP, F&M Distaff
8/7/21 SAR The Whitney I 1 1/8 Miles 4 YO & UP Classic
8/14/21 SAR The Fourstardave I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
8/15/21 DEA Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
8/18/21 YOR Juddmonte International Stakes I 1 1/4 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP Classic
8/19/21 YOR Darley Yorkshire Oaks I 1 1/2 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
8/20/21 YOR Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes I 5 Furlongs (T) 2 YO & UP Turf Sprint
8/21/21 DMR Del Mar Handicap presented by the Japan Racing Association II 1 3/8 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Turf
8/21/21 DMR TVG Pacific Classic I 1 1/4 Miles 3 YO & UP Classic
8/22/21 DEA Darley Prix Morny I 6 Furlongs (T) 2 YO Juv. Turf Sprint
8/28/21 DMR Pat O'Brien Stakes II 7 Furlongs 3 YO & UP Dirt Mile
8/28/21 SAR The Ballerina I 7 Furlongs 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Sprint
8/28/21 SAR The Personal Ensign I 1 1/8 Miles 4 YO & UP, F&M Distaff
8/28/21 SAR The Sword Dancer I 1 1/2 Miles (T) 4 YO & UP Turf
9/4/21 SAR Jockey Club Gold Cup I 1 1/4 Miles 3 YO & UP Classic
9/4/21 SAR The Flower Bowl I 1 3/8 Miles (T) 4 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
9/11/21 KD Turf Sprint III 6 Furlongs (T) 3 YO & UP Turf Sprint
9/11/21 KD Calumet Kentucky Cup II 1 1/2 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP Turf
9/11/21 LEO Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
9/11/21 LEO Irish Champion Stakes I 1 1/4 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP Turf
9/11/21 LEO KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes II 1 Mile (T) 2 YO Juvenile Turf
9/12/21 CUR Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes I 5 Furlongs (T) 3 YO & UP Turf Sprint
9/12/21 CUR Moyglare Stud Stakes I 7 Furlongs (T) 2 YO, F Juv. Fillies Turf
9/18/21 BEL Jockey Club Derby Invitational   1 1/2 Miles (T) 3 YO Turf
9/18/21 CD Iroquois III 1 1/16 Miles 2 YO Juvenile
9/18/21 CD Pocahontas III 1 1/16 Miles 2 YO, F Juvenile Fillies
9/18/21 WO Ricoh Woodbine Mile I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
9/19/21 WO Natalma Stakes I 1 Mile (T) 2 YO, F Juv. Fillies Turf
9/19/21 WO Summer Stakes I 1 Mile (T) 2 YO Juvenile Turf
9/24/21 NEW Shadwell Rockfel Stakes II 7 Furlongs (T) 2 YO, F Juv. Fillies Turf
9/25/21 NEW Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes II 1 Mile (T) 2 YO, C & G Juvenile Turf
10/1/21 KEE Darley Alcibiades I 1 1/16 Miles 2 YO, F Juvenile Fillies
10/1/21 KEE Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix II 6 Furlongs 3 YO & UP Sprint
10/1/21 SA American Pharoah Stakes I 1 1/16 Miles 2 YO Juvenile
10/1/21 SA Chandelier Stakes II 1 1/16 Miles 2 YO, F Juvenile Fillies
10/1/21 SA Speakeasy Stakes   5 Furlongs (T) 2 YO Juv. Turf Sprint
10/2/21 BEL The Champagne I 1 Mile 2 YO Juvenile
10/2/21 KEE Claiborne Breeders' Futurity I 1 1/16 Miles 2 YO Juvenile
10/2/21 KEE First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
10/2/21 KEE Keeneland Turf Mile I 1 Mile (T) 3 YO & UP Mile
10/2/21 KEE Thoroughbred Club of America II 6 Furlongs 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Sprint
10/2/21 SA Awesome Again Stakes I 1 1/8 Miles 3 YO & UP Classic
10/2/21 SA Rodeo Drive Stakes I 1 1/4 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
10/2/21 SA Santa Anita Sprint Championship II 6 Furlongs 3 YO & UP Sprint
10/3/21 BEL The Frizette I 1 Mile 2 YO, F Juvenile Fillies
10/3/21 KEE Bourbon Stakes II 1 1/16 Miles (T) 2 YO Juvenile Turf
10/3/21 KEE Indian Summer Stakes   5 1/2 Furlongs (T) 2 YO Juv. Turf Sprint
10/3/21 KEE Juddmonte Spinster I 1 1/8 Miles 3 YO & UP, F&M Distaff
10/3/21 LCH Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines I 5 Furlongs (T) 2 YO & UP Turf Sprint
10/3/21 LCH Prix de l'Opera Longines I 1 1/4 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP, F&M Filly & Mare Turf
10/3/21 LCH Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe I 1 1/2 Miles (T) 3 YO & UP Turf
10/3/21 LCH Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere I 7 Furlongs (T) 2 YO Juvenile Turf
10/3/21 LCH Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac I 1 Mile (T) 2 YO, F Juv. Fillies Turf
10/3/21 SA Zenyatta Stakes II 1 1/16 Miles 3 YO & UP, F&M Distaff
10/6/21 KEE JPMorgan Chase Jessamine II 1 1/16 Miles (T) 2 YO, F Juv. Fillies Turf
10/9/21 BEL The Vosburgh II 6 Furlongs 3 YO & UP Sprint
10/10/21 BEL The Futurity III 6 Furlongs (T) 2 YO, C & G Juv. Turf Sprint

 


ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 5-6 at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.