Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, Shadwell Turf Mile & Juddmonte Spinster Headline “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series-Presented By Lane’s End Farm And America’s Best Racing” Coverage
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 6, 2016 – Final automatic qualifying positions for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be at stake this weekend in a pair of live NBC shows. Coverage begins Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on NBC from Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., with the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile and the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. The $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes highlights Sunday’s live 5 p.m. ET show on NBC.
This weekend’s one-hour broadcasts are the eighth and ninth programs, respectively, 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, and televised by NBC Sports Group. Both shows will 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.
Saturday’s show will also include coverage defending Breeders’ Cup Mile winner, Tepin, the sensational 5-year-old mare, in the one mile $400,000 Frist Lady Stakes at Keeneland; and the 1 ¼ mile, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup and the 1 ¼ mile, $500,000 Flower Bowl Stakes from Belmont Park in New York. The Jockey Club Gold Cup is the final “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the Flower Bowl Stakes is a qualifier for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Tom Hammond hosts NBC’s coverage this weekend, and will be joined by analyst Nick Luck and reporters Donna Brothers and Kenny Rice. Daily Racing Form’s Matt Bernier will serve as the Handicapper.
Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile, a “Win and You’re In” for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile, has an excellent 10-horse field led by Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s globe-trotting 6-year-old Mondialiste (IRE), who was second to Tepin in last year’s Mile and will cut back in distance after earning an automatic starting berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf in the “Win and You’re In” Arlington Million on August 13 for trainer David O’Meara. WinStar Farm, Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber’s 5-year-old Tourist, a son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow, won the one mile Fourstaredave Handicap at Saratoga on August 20, and was a close third in last year’s Shadwell. Susan and Jim Hill’s 7-year-old gelding Grand Arch, who is the defending Shadwell winner, will be making his first start since finishing third behind Tourist in the Fourstardave.
The $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity is a 1 1/16-mile test for an automatic berth into the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and will offer a slew of lightly raced 2-year-olds their first chance at racing around two turns on the main track. John Oxley’s Classic Empire, who won his first two starts for trainer Mark Casse, including Churchill Downs’ Bashford Manor in July, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the 12-horse field. However, in this last start in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on September 5, the son of Poineerof the Nile, wheeled at the start and threw his jockey. Peacock Racing Stable’s Gunnevera closed from far back to win the Saratoga Special on August 14 for trainer Antonio Sano, and has a running style that should appreciate some added distance.
‘Chatter’ leads Sunday’s Spinster
Sunday’s Juddmonte Spinster Stakes, the final “Win and You’re In” for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, will be led by Grayson Farm’s 4-year-old filly I’m a Chatterbox, who won the Delaware Handicap (GI) in July for trainer Larry Jones, and was a close fourth in another Distaff qualifier, Saratoga’s August 27 “Win and You’re In” Personal Ensign (GI). The 4-year-old daughter of Munnings, who was eighth in last year’s Distaff over the track and distance, is 7-for-15 lifetime. Klaravich Stable and Bill Lawrence’s Paid Up Subscriber has chased I’m a Chatterbox home in her last two races, running second in the Delaware Handicap Cap and fifth in the Personal Ensign. The 4-year-old daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) qualified for Distaff when she won Churchill Downs’ Fleur de Lis in June for trainer Al Stall.
Sunday’s co-featured $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon, run at 1 1/16 miles, a “Win and You’re In” for is $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, and is expected to draw an overflow field, with Carolyn Wilson’s Wellabled leading the way for trainer Larry Rivelli. The 2-year-old son of Shackleford is 2-for-3 lifetime and enters off a 7 ¾-length win in Arlington Park’s Arlington-Washington Futurity on September 10.
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.