Two-Hour Broadcast to Feature Four Races, Including the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In Champagne (G1) and Miss Grillo (G2)
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 29, 2022 – Two-year-olds take center stage in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In $500,000 Champagne (G1) and $200,000 Miss Grillo (G2) this Saturday headlining NBC Sports’ live horse racing coverage from Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, N.Y., live on NBC and Peacock at 4 p.m. ET.
The two-hour broadcast, also featuring the $500,000 Woodward (G1) and $200,000 Belmont Turf Sprint (G3), is the seventh program this year in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” on NBC, Peacock, and CNBC from some of North America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 39th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5. The complete series TV schedule can be accessed here and the NBC Sports programming schedule can be found here.
NBC Sports’ coverage will be led by host Ahmed Fareed, analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, winner of 15 Breeders’ Cup races, including five victories in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and reporters Britney Eurton and Nick Luck.
Breeders’ Cup champion Life Is Good, owned by CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm, and trained by seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, will be the prohibitive favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Woodward on the strength of his previous Grade 1 victories this year in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park, and in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga, in which he earned an automatic berth into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). An eight-time winner in 10 starts, the four-year-old son of Tapit captured last year’s Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Del Mar. Pletcher is also starting Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith, and Spendthrift Farm’s 4-year-old Keepmeinmind, who finished fifth in The Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga on Sept. 3.
Informative, a five-year-old owned and trained by Uriah St. Lewis, comes into the race after a hard-fought 1 ½-length win in the Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park (G3) on Aug. 30. Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC’s Law Professor also comes into the Woodward off a victory. Trained by Rob Atras, the four-year-old Law Professor won the listed FanDuel Tapit Stakes at Kentucky Downs on turf on Sept. 1.
The 1-mile Champagne Stakes for two-year-olds will give the winner a free berth into the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). The Brad Cox-trained Verifying figures to draw great interest after an impressive, frontrunning 6-furlong maiden special weight victory at Saratoga on Aug. 27 for owners Jonathan Poulin, Westerberg, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor. Mr. Amore Stables’ Andiamo a Firenze has won two of three starts for trainer Kelly Breen. In his previous race, Andiamo a Firenze captured the black type, 6 ½-furlong Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 26 by 5 ½ lengths over a muddy track.
William and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Jackpot Farm, Whispering Oaks Farm LLC, and Coolmore Stud’s Gulfport finished second in the 7-furlong Hopeful Stakes (G1) over a sloppy track at Saratoga on Sept. 5 as the even-money favorite. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Gulfport, a son of 2010 Champagne Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Uncle Mo, has won two of his four starts including the listed Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs in July.
Michael J. Ryan’s Be Your Best (IRE) leads the field of two-year-old fillies in the Miss Grillo Stakes on turf, which gives the winner an invitation to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Unbeaten in two starts at Saratoga, Be Your Best, trained by Horacio De Paz, captured the listed, 1 1/16-mile P.G. Johnson Stakes on Sept. 1 by a widening 3 ¾ lengths as the 7-5 favorite. Trainer Chad Brown has saddled seven winners of the Miss Grillo, and three of those winners — Maram, New Money Honey, and Newspaperofrecord (IRE) — went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. This year, Brown has entered Klaravich Stables’ Free Look, who finished third behind Be Your Best on debut in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Saratoga on July 31. Free Look broke her maiden at 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga in her next start on Sept. 4.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winners of the Champagne and the Miss Grillo to start in the World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $10,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of Kentucky to compete in the World Championships.
Trainer David Donk has entered two runners for the 6-furlong Belmont Turf Sprint in Thin White Duke and Yes and Yes. Owned by Phil Gleaves, Steven Crist, Ken deRegt, and Bryan Hilliard, Thin White Duke won the listed 5 ½-furlong Lucky Coin Stakes by a nose on Sept. 2 at Saratoga. Gleaves, Joseph R. Strauss, and Hugh Fitzsimmons’ Yes and Yes finished third, but was moved up to second due to interference by the runner-up in the black type 5 ½-furlong Woodford Reserve Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs on Sept. 6.
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ABOUT AMERICA’S BEST RACING
America’s Best Racing is a multimedia fan development and awareness-building platform, initiated by The Jockey Club, designed to increase the profile and visibility of North America’s best Thoroughbred racing events with a primary focus on the sport’s lifestyle and competition. You can follow America’s Best Racing at AmericasBestRacing.net as well as on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 4-5 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. The Championships will be televised live by NBC Sports. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.