FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
FINAL AUTOMATIC QUALIFYING POSITIONS AT STAKE FOR BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY LIVE AT 4:30 PM ET ON NBC
Shadwell Turf Mile and Juddmonte Spinster Headline This Weekend’s “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win And You’re In – Presented By America’s Best Racing”
NEW YORK (October 3, 2018) – Final automatic qualifying positions for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be at stake at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., during two live “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” broadcasts this weekend. Coverage begins this Saturday, October 6, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC with the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile and the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. The $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes and the $200,000 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes highlight live programming this Sunday, October 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET, also on NBC.
This weekend’s 90-minute programs are the 10th and 11th telecasts, respectively, concluding the 2018 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on NBC and NBCSN, featuring 17 “Win And You’re In” races plus other major stakes from the nation’s most iconic racetracks leading to the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 2-3 on NBC and NBCSN. Complete series TV schedule can be accessed here: http://www.breederscup.com/challenge-series
Laffit Pincay III host both Saturday and Sunday broadcast and will be joined for this weekend’s shows by analyst Randy Moss, reporters Donna Brothers, Britney Eurton and Nick Luck, and Daily Racing Form Handicapper Matt Bernier.
Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) also will broadcast Breeders’ Cup Challenge action at Keeneland this weekend: Saturday’s show will be from 4-6 p.m. ET on Sirius 219 / XM 201; and Sunday’s program will be from 5-6 p.m. ET on Sirius 93, and streaming at www.horseracingradio.net.
The $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile on Saturday has long been an important springboard to the Breeders’ Cup Mile and this year figures no different, as a deep and competitive field is lining up for a “Win and You’re In” berth, with Terry Hamilton’s Heart to Heart looking to improve on his second-place finish in last year’s race. The 7-year-old son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner English Channel won the Gulfstream Park Turf Championship in February and the course and distance Maker’s 46 Mile in April for trainer Brian Lynch, but will need to rebound from a last place finish in Saratoga’s Fourstardave on August 11. Heart to Heart is 15-for-37 lifetime, which includes a 10th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year at Del Mar.
Owner-trainer Wesley Ward’s Bound for Nowhere won the local Shakertown, sprinting in April and stretched out to win the Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs September 1. The 4-year-old son of The Factor is 5-for-8 lifetime and showed he’s Grade I caliber when he came in third in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot in June. Shadwell Stable’s Almanaar (GB) will be a big threat cutting back in distance for trainer Chad Brown, as he was second in the “Win and You’re In” 1 ¼- mile Arlington Million (GI), an automatic qualifier for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity offers an important prep for the Sentient Jet Juvenile and it’s no surprise the 1 1/16-mile test has drawn a full field of 14, with Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable’s Mind Control figuring to be a major player. Trained by Greg Sacco, Mind Control was the upset winner in the Saratoga’s seven-furlong Hopeful Stakes on Sept. 3. The son of Stay Thirsty is 2-for-3 lifetime and has improved as the distances have increased, suggesting he will be up to what is his stiffest test to date. Trainer Chad Brown will ship in a pair of impressive New York debut winners in Looking at Bikinis and Standard Deviation, while Sombejay is also expected in for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Blue Prize Stands Out in Sunday’s Juddmonte Spinster
Sunday’s featured $500,000 “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte Spinster will offer an automatic starting berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and the 1 1/8-mile race is expected to draw a compact field with Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG) leading the way. The 5-year-old daughter of Pure Prize already qualified for the Distaff when she won Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Fleur de Lis in June for trainer Ignacio Correas and confirmed her affinity for the surface when she won the Locust Grove on Sept. 15. Blue Prize is 6-for-15 lifetime and seems a better mare than the one who was third in the Spinster last year. Gainesway Stable, Harold Lerner, Andrew Rosen and Magdalena Racing’s Eskimo Kisses rates as the “now” horse for trainer Kenny McPeek, as the 3-year-old daughter of To Honor and Serve was a 6 ½ length winner in Saratoga’s Alabama on Aug. 18, but will take on older fillies and mares for the first time. Talk Veuve to Me, fourth at 2-1 in the Alabama, figures to like the cutback in distance, while Furiously Kissed, Pacific Wind and Skeptic are also pointing to the Spinster.
The $200,000 “Win and You’re In” Dixiana Bourbon will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Run at 1 1/16 miles, the Bourbon will likely draw an overflow field, with Bloom Racing Stable’s Henly’s Joy leading the way for trainer Mike Maker. The 2-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy is 2-for-2, including a win in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile on Sept. 1. Godolphin’s Art Du Val (GB), a debut winner at Sandown in England on Aug. 1 for trainer Charlie Appleby, is expected to invade from Europe, while Calumet Farm’s Tracksmith was second, just beaten a head, behind Henley’s Joy at Kentucky Downs for trainer Joe Sharp.
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 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, 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 NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital, which includes NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, GolfChannel.com, the digital assets of the NBC Sports Regional Networks, Rotoworld, the NBC Sports Talk franchise, multiple apps, and two transactional sports businesses, GolfNow and SportsEngine. 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, The R&A, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, NYRA, Breeders’ Cup, Premier League, INDYCAR, Rugby World Cup, Six Nations Championship, Tour de France, French Open, and many more.