Victory Secures Position in US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
DEAUVILLE, FRANCE– Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Westerberg’s Blackbeard (IRE) showed his class to win the Darley Prix Morny (G1) for 2-year-olds at Deauville on Sunday. The victory secured Blackbeard a guaranteed start in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
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.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Blackbeard scored his first Group 1 success when powering to victory in the Darley Prix Morny. Settled on the inside rail under jockey Ryan Moore, Blackbeard was prominent throughout the race before knuckling down in the closing stages to hold off Persian Force (IRE) and win by a half-length. Aidan O’Brien’s other runner in the race, The Antarctic (IRE), finished 1½ lengths behind in third.
A bay son of No Nay Never out of the Born To Sea (IRE) mare Muirin (IRE), Blackbeard completed the 6 furlongs in 1:09:91 over a course listed as good. Blackbeard improved his record to five wins and seven starts, which includes a victory in the Group 2 Darley Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly in his previous start on July 17. Blackbeard also becomes the second horse to gain a Win and You’re In berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint this year, joining Norfolk Stakes (G2) The Ridler (GB), who finished last of the five runners in today’s race.
O’Brien celebrating his Prix Morny win, said: “We’re very happy with him. He always feels like he has a little bit more, but he [Ryan] was delighted with him. He’s a proper fast, early, mature 2-year-old; he jumps and takes loads of racing.”
Both the 7-furlong Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) at ParisLongchamp, a Win And You’re In for the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), and the 6-furlong Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (G1) at Newmarket are now under consideration for Blackbeard, with O’Brien adding: “Blackbeard’s obviously very speed orientated, he might get further but he has a lot of speed. He would have the option to come back [to France] for the Group 1 [Lagardere] or the Middle Park, so I think all those races are options for him.”
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Blackbeard to start in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland, which will be run at 5 ½ furlongs. 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 Oct. 24 to receive the rewards.
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
Photo: Blackbeard wins the Prix Morny at Deauville (Scoopdyga)