LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2021) – The Breeders’ Cup and NBC Sports today announced the 2021 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” television schedule, consisting of 12 live programs featuring more than 20 automatic qualifying races and other major stakes from six of the nation’s premier racetracks on the road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Now in its eighth year on NBC Sports, the series showcases the top horses as they vie for a coveted automatic berth, and free entry, into the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled for Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, Calif. The World Championships will be televised live on NBC and NBCSN.
Breeders’ Cup is providing an “Add to Calendar” feature that allows fans to easily add the complete Breeders’ Cup Challenge and World Championships NBC Sports television schedule to their calendar. The calendar will automatically provide broadcast reminders including tune-in information. Fans can click here for more information and to add to their calendar now.
Television coverage of the 2021 Challenge Series begins on NBC at 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 5 during NBC Sports’ Belmont Stakes Day programming. The first show will feature the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) and the Ogden Phipps (G1) live from Belmont Park, for automatic berths into the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), respectively.
The televised series continues on NBC July 3 at 5:00 p.m. ET with the Suburban Stakes (G2), which will award the winner an automatic berth into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The following day, July 4, a “Win and You’re In” for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) will be on the line in the John A. Nerud Stakes (G2), with coverage starting at 5:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Three-year-olds competing for an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) will be in the spotlight in the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., on July 17 on NBC. Last year, Authentic earned a free berth into the Classic when he won the Haskell, went on to win the Classic in November at Keeneland and was voted Horse of the Year. In 2015, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah earned an automatic berth into the Classic when he won the Haskell and later closed out his Horse of the Year campaign by winning the Classic.
Two Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races which had previously been held at Belmont Park ― The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and The Flower Bowl (G1) ― will run this year at historic Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sept. 4, and will be shown live on NBCSN. The Jockey Club Gold Cup is a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), while the Flower Bowl will provide the winner a free starting position into the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).
One week later, Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky., is the scene for two “Win and You’re In” qualifiers on NBCSN headlined by a new race to the Challenge Series, the Calumet Kentucky Cup (G2), with a free starting position into the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). The second televised race at Kentucky Downs will be the Turf Sprint (G3), which gives the winner a free entry into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
Woodbine Racecourse outside Toronto will be the site of three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races on turf over the Sept. 18-19 weekend on NBCSN. On Sept. 18, Woodbine will host the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1), which will guarantee the winner a “Win and You’re In” spot into the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). On Sept. 19, 2-year-olds take center stage in the Summer Stakes (G1) for an automatic berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), and Natalma Stakes (G1) for a free entry in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., will host four programs from Oct. 2-6 to close out the 2021 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” schedule. On Friday, Oct. 2 on NBCSN, there will be two races televised: the Darley Alcibiades (G1) for 2-year-old fillies, for a “Win and You’re In” slot into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2), with the winner securing an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
The centerpiece of the Saturday, Oct. 3, program at Keeneland on CNBC will be the Keeneland Turf Mile (G1), which is a “Win and You’re In” for the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). Juvenile males also will be vying for a free berth into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
On Sunday, Oct. 4, NBCSN will present a 90-minute program featuring the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) and the Bourbon Stakes (G2). The Spinster will offer an automatic starting position in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and the Bourbon Stakes will give the winner a free spot into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). The Oct. 4 program will also feature highlights of Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races from ParisLongchamp in France, headlined by the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1).
“The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” concludes on Wednesday, Oct. 6, with the Jessamine Stakes (G2) at Keeneland for a free qualifying spot into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
“The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing continues to be an excellent way for fans to stay connected to the top horses and races throughout the summer and fall leading up to the World Championships,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Drew Fleming. “We thank NBC Sports for their continued commitment to our sport and are grateful for the broadcasting excellence they deliver in their domestic and international Thoroughbred racing coverage. We also thank our Challenge Series partner racetracks around the world along with America’s Best Racing for their presenting sponsorship and promotion of the series.”
“We are excited to showcase the world’s top horses in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series from Belmont Stakes Day throughout the summer and all the way to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in November,” said Justin Byczek, NBC Sports Senior Vice President of Programming and Rights Management.
The complete Challenge Series television schedule can be viewed here.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series coverage on NBC and NBCSN will be live streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In presented by America’s Best Racing
Schedule subject to change
|Date||Network||Time (ET)||Event||Track||Challenge Division|
|Saturday, June 5||NBC||5:00 – 7:15 PM||Runhappy Metropolitan H.||Belmont Park||Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile|
|Saturday, July 3||NBC||5:00 – 6:00 PM||The Suburban||Belmont Park||Longines Classic|
|Sunday, July 4||NBCSN||5:00 – 6:00 PM||John A. Nerud S.||Belmont Park||Sprint|
|Saturday, July 17||NBC||5:00 – 6:00 PM||TVG.com Haskell Stakes||Monmouth Park||Longines Classic|
|Saturday, Sept. 4||NBCSN||6:00 – 7:00 PM||Jockey Club Gold Cup||Saratoga||Longines Classic|
|Flower Bowl||Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf|
|Saturday, Sept. 11||NBCSN||5:00 – 6:00 PM||Turf Sprint||Kentucky Downs||Turf Sprint|
|Calumet Kentucky Cup||Longines Turf|
|Saturday, Sept. 18||NBCSN||5:30- 6:30 PM||Woodbine Mile||Woodbine||FanDuel Mile|
|Sunday, Sept. 19||NBCSN||4:30 – 6:00 PM||Summer S.||Woodbine||Juvenile Turf|
|Natalma S.||Juvenile Fillies Turf|
|Friday, Oct. 1||NBCSN||5:00 – 6:00 PM||Alcibiades S.||Keeneland Race Course||Juvenile Fillies|
|Saturday, Oct. 2||CNBC||4:00 – 6:00 PM||Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity||Keeneland Race Course||TVG Juvenile|
|Keeneland Turf Mile||FanDuel Mile|
|Sunday, Oct. 3||NBCSN||4:30 – 6:00 PM||Bourbon S.||Keeneland Race Course||Juvenile Turf|
|Juddmonte Spinster S.||Longines Distaff|
|Highlights: Qatar Prix de l’Arc Triomphe Day||ParisLongchamp||Various|
|Wednesday, Oct. 6||NBCSN||4:00 – 5:00 PM||Jessamine S.||Keeneland Race Course||Juvenile Fillies Turf|
Breeders’ Cup Press Release