BC Challenge Series ‘Win and You’re In’ in Japan, Brazil & Peru

June 25, 2022

Winners Of Sunday’s Takarazuka Kinen Grande Premio Brasil, and Gran Premio Pamplona to earn automatic berths into World Championships

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In features three Group 1 automatic qualifiers on Sunday, June 26 into this year’s World Championships, with the Takarazuka Kinen in Japan, the Grande Premio Brasil in Brazil, and the Gran Premio Pamplona in Peru.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Sunday’s winners start in the World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also 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 Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 24 to receive the rewards.

The 1 3/8-mile Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse will give the winner an invitation to the US$4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). The race will be televised live on TVG at 10:40 p.m. PT on Saturday, June 25.  

The first 10 starters in the Takarazuka Kinen are determined by votes from racing fans, and this year’s top vote-getter was Hiroshi Yamada’s Titleholder (JPN), leading the 18 runners entered. A 4-year-old son of Duramante (JPN), Titleholder exhibited great stamina in winning three of his last four races at distances greater than 1 ½ miles. Trained by Toru Kurita, Titleholder won last October’s 1 7/8-mile Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1) wire to wire at Hanshin. After closing the year with a fifth-place finish in the Arima Kinen (G1) on Dec. 26, Titleholder opened 2022 with a front-running score in the 1 9/16-mile Nikkei Sho (G2) at Nakayama on March 26. He won his third race at Hanshin in his most recent outing, taking the 2-mile Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1) by 7 lengths over Deep Bond (JPN).  

Carrot Farm Co. Ltd.’s Efforia (JPN), trained by Yuichi Shikato, is the most consistent runner in the field, winning six times in eight starts, which included four consecutive wins to start his career. That victory streak culminated last April with a 3-length win over Titleholder in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1). After finishing second to Shahryar (JPN) in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1), Efforia won two more Group 1 races, first taking the 1 ¼-mile Tenno Sho Autumn over Contrail (JPN) and then capturing the 1 9/16-mile Arima Kinen. A 4-year-old son of Epiphaneia (JPN), Efforia had an uncharacteristically poor performance to open the season, finishing ninth in the 1 ¼-mile Osaka Hai (G1) at Hanshin on April 3. 

Trainer Yoshito Yahagi saddled Japan’s first two winners in Breeders’ Cup history last year at Del Mar when Loves Only You (JPN) captured the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and Marche Lorraine (JPN) triumphed in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). On Sunday, he starts Shadai Race Horse Co. Ltd.’s 7-year-old Stay Foolish (JPN) and Hiroo Race Co. Ltd.’s 5-year-old Panthalassa (JPN). Both runners enjoyed great success in the Middle East earlier this year, beginning with Stay Foolish, a son of Stay Gold (JPN), who won the 1 7/8-mile Longines Red Sea Cup (G3) by 4 ¼ lengths at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Saudi Arabia on Feb. 26 and then captured the 2-mile Dubai Gold Cup (G2) at Meydan on March 26.  Panthalassa, by Lord Kanaloa (JPN), also won at Meydan on World Cup Night, finishing in a dead heat with Lord North in the 1 1/8-mile Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World (G1). That win was Panthalassa’s fourth in his last five starts, which includes a season-opening triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Nakayama Kinen (G2) on Feb 27. 

Another horse who had a successful Middle East tour is Silk Racing Co. Ltd.’s 5-year-old Authority (JPN). Trained by Tetsuya Kimura, Authority won the 1 5/16-mile Neom Turf Cup (G3) at King Abdulaziz, and one month later, held the lead in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at Meydan until the final yards, before being overtaken by Shahryar and last year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Yibir (GB) at the wire. A son of Orfevre (JPN) out of the Symboli Kris S mare Rosalind (JPN), Authority closed out last year with two starts at Tokyo Racecourse, winning the Copa Republica Argentina (G2) on Nov. 7 and finishing second in the Japan Cup (G1) on Nov. 28, 2 lengths behind Contrail.   

Before his second-place finish behind Titleholder in the Tenno Sho, Shinji Maeda’s Deep Bond began 2021 with a victory in the 1 7/8-mile Hanshin Daishoten on March 20. Campaigning in France at ParisLongchamp last fall, the 5-year-old Deep Bond, trained by Ryuji Okubo, won the 1 ½-mile Prix Foy (G2) wire to wire but finished 14th in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) on Oct. 3. He returned home and finished second in the Arima Kinen to Efforia.

Also of interest is Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd.’s Potager (JPN), by Deep Impact (JPN), who won the 1 ¼-mile Osaka Hai (G1) by a neck over Lei Papele (JPN) at 58-1 over the Hanshin course on April 3 for trainer Yasuo Tomomichi.  

Brazilian Derby Winner Sugar Daddy Headlines Gran Premio Brasil

The second Breeders’ Cup Challenge race in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf Division on Sunday is the 1 ½-mile Grande Premio Brasil (G1). Haras Doce Vale’s Sugar Daddy (BRZ) leads the field of 18 starters. Sugar Daddy, trained by Venancio Nahid, has four wins in seven starts, which includes his first Group 1 win last time out in the 1 ½-mile Cruzeiro do Sul at Gavea (Brazilian Derby) on April 22. A 3-year-old son of Wild Event, Sugar Daddy stalked the leaders while sitting in third until the top of the stretch, and then took over at the quarter-pole and extended to a 1 ¾-length victory over Don Cambay (BRZ).   

The big disappointment in the Cruzeiro do Sol was Stud Verde’s Online (BRZ), who finished third, 2 ¾ lengths behind Sugar Daddy as the 3-5 favorite. Trained by Luiz Esteves, Online came into the Cruzeiro do Sol off an impressive 2 ½-length win over Jorel (BRZ) in the Francisco Eduardo de Paula Machado (G1) on April 10 for his fourth career win. A son of Agnes Gold (BRZ), Online captured two Group 3 races last year, taking the Mario de Azevedo Ribeiro in his third start in April and the Frederico Lundgren Stakes in December. 

Esteves is also starting the lightly raced 3-year-old Cromwell (BR) for Haras Niju and Stud Enternamente Rio, and Stud Red Rafa’s Osprey (BRZ). Unraced as a juvenile, Cromwell won his first race in his third start, taking a 1 ¼-mile maiden special weight at Gavea by 4 ¾ lengths. He stepped into Group stakes competition in his most recent start, the 1 ½-mile Grande Premio Doutor Frontin (G2) on May 29, and finished fourth, defeated by 6 ½ lengths. 

Osprey has six wins in 12 starts. A son of Gober (BRZ) out of Intimidating (BRZ) by Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Siphon (BRZ), Osprey scored back-to-back victories in Group stakes races at Gavea. Last December, he won the 1 ½-mile Grande Premio Almirante Tamandare (G2) by 3 ¾ lengths and began 2022 by taking the Grande Premio Escorial (G1) on March 13. 

Stud Pedudu’s 3-year-old Jorel won the Doutor Frontin, by 4 ½ lengths, and avenged his defeat to Online in the Francisco Eduardo de Paul Machado. Trained by Lucio de Fatima Vaz, Jorel’s win was his second career triumph. He broke his maiden by 6 lengths at Gavea last September at a mile.

Vaz has also entered Haras Cambay’s 3-year-old Don Cambay, who has three wins in nine turf starts. Following his runner-up placing in the Cruzeiro do Sol, Don Cambay finished fourth in the 1 ½ mile Grande Premio Sao Paulo (G1), which was won by Roxoterra (BRZ).

Haras Fazenda Boa Vista’s 4-year-old Roxoterra (BRZ)is a seven-time winner on turf, but Sunday’s race will be his first start at Gavea, as all his previous starts took place at Hipodromo Cidade Jardim in Sao Paulo. Trained by Emerson Garcia, Roxoterra has been in the money in all three of his starts this year, including his first Group 1 win on May 15 when he triumphed in the Grande Premio Sao Paulo.

Undefeated Samay Headlines Gran Premio Pamplona in Peru

Stud Wall Street’s Samay (PER), undefeated in four starts, leads the Gran Premio Pamplona for a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series berth into the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). A field of 13 fillies and mares has been entered in the 1 ¼-mile race at Hipodromo Monterrico, near the capital city of Lima, Peru.

Trained by Juan Suarez Villarroel, Samay has won from 5 furlongs to 1 ¼ miles in his quartet of starts, all at Monterrico. She has taken two listed stakes this year, capturing the 1 1/8-mile Clasico Kimba on Feb. 27 and then rallying from sixth place and storming down the center of the course to take the 1 ¼-mile Clasico Ernesto Ayulo Pardo by 1 ¼ lengths on April 3.     

Villarroel is also saddling Dos Stud G’s 3-year-old Raika (PER), adaughter of Minister’s Joy, who has won her last two races at Monterrico since finishing fifth in the Clasico Kimba. Raika won a 1 1/8-mile allowance race by 6 ¾ lengths on March 6 and then scored a 2-length victory over Ola Perfecta (PER) in the 1 ¼-mile Clasico Republica Argentina (G3).

Stud H. Santa Maria’s Africa (PER) has finished third in her last three races, which included the Clasico Republica Argentina, where she finished 4 ¾ lengths behind Raika after leading the field by three lengths at the top of the stretch. Trained by Juan Arriagada, Africa, a daughter of Muwaary (GB), will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle since she won a local stakes race at 1 ¼ miles on Dec. 12, and a 2-length victory in the listed 1-mile Clasico Batalla de Ayacucho on Jan. 29.

Stud Patriots’ Ola Perfecta has won eight of 19 starts on turf. She made a bold move passing Africa for the lead inside the final furlong of the Clasico Republica Argentina but could not hold off Raika. Trained by Alfredo Chamy, Ola Perfecta has one win in four starts this year, taking a 1-mile stakes race at Monterrico on Feb. 12.

Stud Augusta’s Mediapunta, bred in Kentucky by R.S. Evans, could be an emerging star following her 9 ¼-length allowance race win over the course on June 11. A daughter of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tonalist out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Akron Gold, Mediapunta began racing last September and broke her maiden in her third start, winning a 7-furlong race by 3 ½ lengths. Prior to her recent allowance score, she finished sixth in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race on Feb. 26 at Monterrico.     

Breeder’s Cup Press Release
Main Photo: Titleholder winning the Tenno Sho Spring (Gr. 1) at Hanshin May 1, 2022. Photo by Japan Racing Association

@jonathanstettin Your article re reading when a horse dead on board made me some $ just now. Untapable was, IMO, odds-on, but dead. TY!

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