Natan (photo courtesy of Hipodromo de San Isidro)
Natan And Happy Happy Day Headline Saturday’s Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional
Winner Gains first Automatic Berth into 2024 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ― Led by the powerful Group 1-winning entry of Natan (ARG), Happy Happy Day (ARG), and Jazz Seiver (ARG), a 14-horse field has been entered for Saturday’s 1 1/2-mile Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional (G1) at Hipodromo de San Isidro outside Buenos Aires. The winner of South America’s most prestigious race will earn an automatic starting position in next year’s $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the 2024 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which are scheduled to be held on Nov. 1-2 at Del Mar in Del Mar, California.
The Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional is the first Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race of the 2024 season.
Natan, trained by Juan Manuel Etchechoury, is the likely top-rated runner of the Stud Las Monjitas-owned trio based on his two Group 1 victories over the course. A 4-year-old son of Senor Candy (ARG), he won last year’s Jockey Club by 25 lengths. This year, Natan has won once in three starts, taking the 1 1/4-mile Estrellas Classico (G1) by 1 1/2 lengths over Jazz Seiver. In his most recent start, he was third in the Oct. 7 Gran Premio Latino Americano (G1) at San Isidro, making a strong rush from far back to finish 3 lengths behind the winner.
On the same Oct. 7 card at San Isidro, Happy Happy Day, also trained by Etchechoury, made a bold statement in just his fourth start, winning the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club (G1) for 3-year-olds. A son of Hi Happy (ARG), who won the Carlos Pellegrini in 2015, Happy Happy Day finished third in the Dos Mil Guineas (G1) in the race before his Jockey Club win.
The 4-year-old Jazz Seiver finished sixth in last year’s race. Trained by Daniel Bordon, Jazz Seiver, a son of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver, won the 2022 Dos Mil Guineas (G1) and opened this year winning the listed Regimiento de Granaderos a Caballo and the 1 1/2-mile Porteno (G3), both at San Isidro. However, he has lost his last four races, including his most recent start, a fourth-place finish behind Treasure Island (ARG) and Pepe Joy (ARG) in the 1 1/2-mile Copa de Oro-Alfredo Lalor (G1) at San Isidro.
Treasure Island, owned by Stud Bien de Abajo and trained by Nicolas Martin Ferro, has been a mark of consistency during the past year, finishing first or second in his last nine races. A son of Treasure Beach, Treasure Island won six races during that streak, including a last-out, 4-length win in the Nov. 4 Copa de Oro-Alfredo Lalor (G1).
The 6-year-old Pepe Joy won his first Group 1 at nearby Hipodromo Argentino de Palermo, taking the Sept. 2 Gran Premio General San Martin by 1 1/2 lengths over Treasure Island. Owned by Stud El Chuchi and trained by Gustavo Romero, the late-running son of Fortify was second to Treasure Island in the Copa de Oro in his last start.
Also of interest is Stud RDI’s 3-year-old filly No Fear (BRZ), trained by Alfredo Gaitan Dassie, who has saddled the winner of the Carlos Pellegrini a record-tying six times. A daughter of Agnes Gold (JPN), No Fear won the Group 1 De Potrancas at 1 mile in May and ran third against males in the Jockey Club last time out, 1 3/4 lengths behind Happy Happy Day. The last filly to win the Carlos Pellegrini was Porti Pe (ARG) in 1992.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional to start in the 1 1/2-mile Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 21, 2024, to receive the rewards.