Hawaiian Love, Super Bijou Top Gran Premio Criadores 

April 29, 2024

Argentina Winner Gains Automatic Berth into Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar 

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Led by group stakes winners Hawaiian Love (ARG) and Super Bijou (ARG), a field of 16 fillies and mares has been entered for the 1 1/4-mile Gran Premio Criadores (G1) on dirt May 1 at Hipodromo de Palermo. The winner will earn an automatic starting position, and fees paid, into the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In. 

Now in its 18th season, 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 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held Nov. 1-2 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, California. 

Making her dirt track debut, the front-running 4-year-old Hawaiian Love, owned by Stud Montiel and trained by Pablo Sahagian, has been a top turf star the past two years, highlighted by consecutive wins at San Isidro start her 2023-2024 campaign in October. The daughter of Hurricane Cat went gate-to wire in the Nov. 12 Carlos P. Rodgriguez Stakes (G2), taking the 1-mile race by 2 1/2 lengths. She then finished second in two Grade 1 stakes. In her most recent start, the April 6 Gilberto Lerena (G1) at 1 3/8 miles, she maintained the lead until the final 100 yards but was passed by Ballados Beach (ARG), finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner. 

Stud Firmamento’s 5-year-old Super Bijou will be making her first start of the year after an unsuccessful beginning to her broodmare career. Trained by Juan Miguel Etchechoury, the daughter of Super Saver finished third, six lengths behind Belleza de Arteaga (ARG), in last year’s Criadores. Two races later, she won the 1 1/2-mile Clasico Ignacio e Ignacio F. Correas (G2) on dirt in July by 6 lengths as the 8-5 favorite and was retired with four wins in 16 starts. However, she was found to be barren and was returned to training for the 2023-2024 racing season. 

Another star returning from a long layoff is Juan Antonio’s 5-year-old Garota Love (ARG). Trained by Juan Saldivia, Garota Love, by Cosmic Trigger (ARG), won five of her six races from last April through September, including four straight at Palermo. After a 6-length win in the Ines Victoria Roca (G3) in July and a 7-length score in the Ricardo P. Suaze (G3), both at 1 mile, Garota Love captured the Sept. 17, 1 1/4-mile Clasico Italia (G3) by a half-length in her final race of the year. 

Felipe Camilo’s Olimpica Hit (ARG), trained by Juan Etchechoury, also favors the main track at Palermo, registering two wins there this year at 1 1/4 miles. A daughter of 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hit it a Bomb, Olympica Hit rolled to a 6-length allowance win in February and followed up with a front-running victory by a nose in the March 2 Clasico Arturo R. y Arturo Bullrich (G2) outdueling Cyboogie (ARG) in furious stretch drive. 

An intriguing starter is Stud F.F.C.’s undefeated Abogada Brava (ARG), who is saddled by Roberto Pellegatta, Argentina’s 2023 Trainer of the Year. A 3-year-old daughter of Cosmic Trigger (ARG), Abogada Brava broke her maiden on debut at 1 mile on the turf at San Isidro last November, winning by 9 lengths. Pellegatta switched her to the main track for her next start, a mile allowance on Dec. 9, and she won by 6 lengths. She returned this year on April 6 for another allowance going a mile at Palermo and scored a 3-length victory. 

Also of interest is Stud Buenos Muchachos’ La Validada (ARG), who won the Gran Premio Criadores in 2021 and finished fourth last year for trainer Hector Calvente. 

As a part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Gran Premio Criadores winner to start in the 1 1/8-mile Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a US$40,000 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 to receive the rewards. 

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