LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2012) -- The Breeders' Cup announced today that the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series will consist of 73 automatic qualifying races into the Breeders' Cup World Championships. This year’s series has been expanded to 10 countries and will feature 13 new races to the schedule including 52 Grade or Group 1 events. Breeders’ Cup will pay entry fees and provide travel allowances for the connections of the Challenge winners into the Championships. Woodbine will host six races during the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Challenge season beginning on September 15 with the Natalma Stakes. (Complete 2012 schedule is available at https://members.breederscup.com/challenge/schedule.aspx
Horses around the globe will be qualifying for the 29th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on November 2-3, and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Network. The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be shown live in primetime on NBC from 8-9 p.m. ET on Nov. 3.
The expanded Challenge series, now in its sixth year, will be held at many of the world’s premier racetracks in the US, Canada, Argentina, Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan and South Africa. This year’s series began in January in South Africa, when the 4-year-old Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town and qualified for an automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The first North American race of the series will be the Metropolitan Handicap (GI) at Belmont Park on May 28, for an automatic berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI).
Woodbine will host the following Breeders’ Cup Challenge races:
DATE RACE BC QUALIFYING RACE
Sept. 15, 2012 Natalma Stakes (GII) Juvenile Fillies Turf
Sept. 15, 2012 Summer Stakes Presented by TVG (GII) Juvenile Turf
Sept. 16, 2012 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (GI) Mile
Oct. 14, 2012 E.P. Taylor Stakes (GI) Filly & Mare Turf
Oct. 14, 2012 Nearctic Stakes (GI) Turf Sprint
Oct. 14, 2012 Pattison Canadian International Stakes (GI) Turf