FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 20th, 2023
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MAGE HEADLINES BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE SERIES TVG.COM HASKELL STAKES FROM MONMOUTH PARK THIS SATURDAY AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBC AND PEACOCK
Live Coverage to Also Feature the United Nations Stakes (G1)
STAMFORD, Conn. – July 20, 2023 – Kentucky Derby winner Mage headlines NBC Sports’ live coverage of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) this Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. The winner of the eight-horse field will earn an automatic berth into this year’s $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
The TVG.com Haskell Stakes begins NBC Sports’ 10th year presenting the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” on NBC, Peacock, and CNBC from some of North America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 40th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Nov. 3-4. The complete series TV schedule can be accessed here and the NBC Sports programming schedule can be found here.
Saturday’s live coverage will also include the 1 3/8-mile, $600,000 United Nations Stakes (G1) on turf.
NBC Sports’ coverage will feature commentary and discussion led by host Britney Eurton, analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, winner of 15 Breeders’ Cup races including five victories in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, reporter Nick Luck, handicapper Michelle Yu, and race caller Larry Collmus.
Mage, owned by OGMA Investments, LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing, LLC, and CMNWLTH, and trained by Gustavo Delgado, surged to the front in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the Kentucky Derby by a length. Two weeks later, he finished third in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 20. Listed as the 3-1 co-second choice, Mage will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post four.
“I believe the horse’s entire body of work and his entire career is what defines him. It’s not just one race,” said co-owner Restrepo. “It’s (the Haskell) the start of the second half of his 3-year-old year. We feel he’s good enough to compete and put forth a quality effort. Hopefully, that’s good enough to get the job done and put forth a great performance and keep it moving.”
Despite having made just one start this year, Zedan Racing Stable’s Arabian Knight is the 5-2 morning line favorite off a 5 ½-length win in the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 28. A victory by Arabian Knight would give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a record-extending 10th Haskell Stakes win. Undefeated in two starts, Arabian Knight will break from post eight under John Velazquez.
Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable’s Tapit Trice, also listed at 3-1, comes into the Haskell off a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden from post five by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice has won three races this year, including the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1), which he won prior to his seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
Coming in from the West Coast and making just his fourth career start is Pin Oak Stud’s Geaux Rocket Ride (9-2) for trainer Richard Mandella. Winner of the 1 1/16-mile Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita Park on June 4, Geaux Rocket Ride will be ridden by Mike Smith from post one.
Another runner making just his fourth start is Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Extra Anejo. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Extra Anejo won a 1-mile allowance race by 6 ¼ lengths at Ellis Park in his last race on June 10. Tyler Gaffalione rides, breaking from post seven.
In the United Nations Stakes, Trinity Farm’s veteran Red Knight has won two of four starts this year including the Grade 1 Man o’War Stakes at Belmont Park on May 13 for trainer Mike Maker. Red Knight will look to improve on his fourth-place finish last time out in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1), also at Belmont. Richard Mandella has brought in California shipper Planetario (BRZ), who won the 1 ¾-mile San Juan Capistrano Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita on June 18.
NBC SPORTS AND HORSE RACING
NBC Sports is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Royal Ascot, and Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races through an 80-race series hosted by 11 countries, and the U.S.-based Dirt Dozen Bonus Series. The Breeders’ Cup supports and operates under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), which, for the first time, establishes a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack. HISA seeks to enhance the safety of both horse and rider and to protect the integrity of the sport to the benefit of all racing participants, fans, and bettors.
The 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Grade 1 Championship races, and $31 million in purses and awards, is scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The Championships will return to the West Coast in 2024 with Del Mar in Del Mar, California, set to host Nov. 1-2. The Championships will be televised live by NBC Sports. Press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, BreedersCup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.