FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 29th, 2016
CHAMPIONS CALIFORNIA CHROME AND BEHOLDER HEADLINE ALL-STAR PROGRAM AT SANTA ANITA PARK THIS SATURDAY, OCT. 1 LIVE AT 5:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
“Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In – Presented By Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing” Telecast Leads Into Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 4-5 on NBC and NBCSN
NEW YORK (September 29, 2016) – Two of Thoroughbred racing’s biggest stars, the 5-year-old California Chrome in the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes, and the 6-year-old mare Beholder in the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes, will be on display this Saturday, October 1 at Santa Anita Park at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN in their final prep races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Saturday’s 2½-hour program is the seventh of nine telecasts in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing,” on NBC and NBCSN, featuring 16 “Win And You’re In” races plus other major stakes on the road to the Breeders’ Cup, November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park. Saturday’s show will also be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Winners of these Challenge races, which combined offer more than $10 million in purses, automatically qualify for a spot in the Breeders’ Cup, which will be televised on NBC and NBCSN.
Saturday’s telecast will also feature the $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes for 2-year-olds, which earns the winner a free berth in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and the $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes for an automatic berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. In addition, the show will include a Breeders’ Cup Challenge report from Belmont Park in New York on the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf) and the Vosburgh Stakes (TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint).
Tom Hammond will host the telecast, and will be joined by analysts Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey, and Randy Moss, and reporters Laffit Pincay III, Jay Privman and Nick Luck.
The Awesome Again, at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and up, and a “Win and You’re In” for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, figures to be another showcase California Chrome, who is owned in partnership by Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farm. The 5-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit has been scintillating while winning all five starts this year, which includes earning a Classic berth in a romp over Beholder in Del Mar’s “Win and You’re In” TVG Pacific Classic on August 20 for trainer Art Sherman. California Chrome also won the Dubai World Cup (GI) at Meydan Racecourse in March, which added to a resume that already counted victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2014. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome has a North American record of over $13.2 million in career earnings.
Among the challengers in the six-horse field drawn Wednesday is Kaleem Shah’s Dortmund, a 4-year-old son of Big Brown has taken on California Chrome in his last two starts for trainer Bob Baffert, and was second, beaten just a half-length in Del Mar’s San Diego Handicap in July though he was a modest third, beaten a decisive 7 ¼ lengths in the Pacific Classic. Dortmund, who won the Santa Anita Derby (GI) in 2015, is 8-for-12 lifetime.
Beholder-Stellar Wind Rematch Highlights Zenyatta Stakes
While California Chrome and the Awesome Again will garner the majority of the attention at Santa Anita, the Zenyatta Stakes features a budding rivalry between Spendthrift Farm’s two-time Breeders’ Cup winner Beholder and Hronis Racing’s champion 3-year-old filly Stellar Wind. Run at 1 1/16 miles, the Zenyatta, a “Win and You’re In” for the$2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, has a match race feel to it, as dual Breeders’ Cup champion Beholder, a 6-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes who won the Juvenile Fillies over the track in 2012 and Distaff there in 2013 for trainer Richard Mandella, and Stellar Wind, a 4-year-old daughter of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin, who was second in the Distaff last year at Keeneland for trainer John Sadler, cast a big shadow over the rest of their rivals. The pair have met twice this year, with Beholder winning the Vanity (GI) at Santa Anita in June, and Stellar Wind turning the tables to take the “Win and You’re In” Clement Hirsch and earning a bid into the Distaff July 30 at Del Mar. Combined, Beholder, who is 17-for-24 lifetime, and Stellar Wind, who is 6-for-10 lifetime, are remarkable 16-for-18 at Santa Anita.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 (grade I) races and purses totalling $28 million, will be held Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, InstaGram and YouTube
About NBC Sports Group
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, Royal & Ancient, Churchill Downs, NYRA, Breeders’ Cup, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.