FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE SERIES FEATURES WOODWARD FROM SARATOGA SATURDAY AT 6 PM ET ON NBCSN
NEW YORK (August 28, 2014) – The speedy 4-year-old Moreno, upset winner of the Whitney four weeks ago, will be the one to catch in the “Summer at Saratoga: Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series’” $600,000 Woodward for Classic Division horses live this Saturday at 6p.m. ET on the NBCSN from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The Woodward will be the eighth of 11 telecasts in the Challenge Series leading to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on NBC and NBCSN, October 31-November 1 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. Saturday’ show will be hosted by Laffit Pincay III, who will be joined by analyst Jerry Bailey, analyst/handicapper Bob Neumeier and reporter Carolyn Manno.
In addition, Saturday’s “Summer at Saratoga” program will include the $500,000 Forego, a “Win and You’re In” for the Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint for 3-years-old and up at 7 furlongs, and an update on Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year and two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner, who will be competing in the Bernard Baruch Handicap earlier in the day.
Moreno, a 4-year-old son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper, finally put things all together in the 1 ⅛ mile Whitney and earned an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic when he went wire-to-wire in an upset victory on August 2 on NBC. Trained by Eric Guillot, Moreno entered the $1.5 million Whitney winless in four 2014 starts, but ran well when he placed second in Belmont’s Suburban July 5, and used his speed and stamina to upset a star-studded Whitney field. Moreno, who is 3-for-20 lifetime, has also shown an affinity for the Saratoga main track, as he was third in last year’s Jim Dandy before running second in the Travers, beaten by champion 3-year-old Will Take Charge by just a nose.
Moreno, ridden by Junior Alvarado, will face nine challengers in the Woodward as the 2-1 morning line favorite.
Second choice in the Woodward will be 5-2 Trilogy Stable’s Itsmyluckday, who was second in the Whitney for trainer Eddie Plesa and figures to offer stiff competition. The 4-year-old son of Lawyer Ron, ridden by Paco Lopez, was second in the 2013 Preakness and has risen up the class ladder this year. Itsmyluckyday won a pair of stakes then took Monmouth’s Salvator Mile prior to the Whitney, and will look to build on his 8-for-18 lifetime record.
Thomas Coleman’s homebred Zivo at 5-1, ridden by Jose Lezcano, made it six in a row when he upset the Suburban in his last start for trainer Chad Brown. The 5-year-old son of True Direction was thought to be simply a New York-bred star but closed stoutly in the Suburban to win his first career graded stakes. Zivo is 9-for-15 lifetime and looms a major stretch danger in the Whitney.
The field for the Grade 1, $600,000 Woodward:
|1||Itsmyluckyday (KY)||P Lopez||120||E Plesa, Jr.||2-May|
|2a||Long River (KY)||I Ortiz, Jr.||120||K P. McLaughlin||1-Aug|
|3||Micromanage (KY)||R Maragh||120||T A. Pletcher||1-Aug|
|4||Moreno (KY)||J Alvarado||122||E J. Guillot||1-Feb|
|5||Prayer for Relief (KY)||J R. Velazquez||118||D L. Romans||1-Dec|
|6a||Romansh (KY)||J L. Ortiz||120||T Albertrani||1-Aug|
|7||Zivo (NY)||J Lezcano||120||C C. Brown||1-May|
|8||Norumbega (KY)||J Castellano||120||C R. McGaughey III||1-Oct|
|9||Last Gunfighter (KY)||J Bravo||120||C C. Brown||15-1|
|10||Stephanoatsee (KY)||J Rosario||118||N P. Zito||30-1|
While Clearly Now is an unknown over Saratoga’s main track, Palace has an affinity for it, based on his win in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt in his last start August 2. The 5-year-old son of City Zip ascended to new heights in his grade I debut and put a cap on a remarkable job by Rice, who claimed Palace for $20,000 out of his maiden-claiming win at Belmont in October 2012. Palace, who passed $1 million in career earnings in the Vanderbilt and is 10-for-20 lifetime, also won the True North at Belmont in June and a Forego win would surely put him atop the sprint division.Clearly Now, a 4-year-old son of Horse Greeley, leads the 10 horse field in the Forego, which will provide the first automatic starting position into the $1 million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. Clearly Now put several troubled and frustrating runs behind him when he blitzed the field by 6 ¼ lengths in the Belmont Sprint Championship July 5, while racing the seven furlongs in 1:19.96. The win broke a four-race losing streak and was his first stakes score since he won Belmont’s Bold Ruler in October.
The field for the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego:
|1||Capo Bastone (KY)||J R. Velazquez||124||T A. Pletcher|
|2||Big Business (NY)||J Alvarado||124||D Jacobson|
|3||Vyjack (KY)||I Ortiz, Jr.||124||R R. Rodriguez|
|4||Zee Bros (KY)||J Rosario||124||S Benzel|
|5||Sensational Slam (ON)||J L. Ortiz||124||P J. Quick|
|6||Palace (NY)||C H. Velasquez||124||L Rice|
|7||Falling Sky (PA)||E S. Prado||124||G Weaver|
|8||Clearly Now (KY)||J Lezcano||124||B A. Lynch|
|9||Weekend Hideaway (NY)||J Castellano||124||P M. Serpe|
|10||Confrontation (KY)||R Maragh||124||B Tagg|
NBC Sports Live Extra —NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will stream this Saturday’s “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” coverage including the Woodward on NBCSN.“Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” on NBC Sports Live Extra
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play and on Windows 8 and Windows mobile devices.
The complete “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In” television schedule may be found at the following link: http://challenge.breederscup.com/schedule
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 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 races and purses totaling $26 million will be held October 31-Nov. 1 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 and YouTube
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC, featuring California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, averaged 20.4 million viewers – the second-highest Belmont Stakes viewership on record, trailing only the 21.9 million viewers for NBC’s telecast of Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (People Meter viewership dates to 1988). In addition, the 2014 Kentucky Derby marked the fourth time in six years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers, and the 2014 Preakness Stakes registered a 6.0 household rating, ranking as the highest-rated Preakness Stakes since 2009 (6.8 for Rachel Alexandra’s victory).
— NBC Sports Group —