May 17 Race at Tokyo Racecourse will give Winner Automatic Starting Position into Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Breeders’ Cup Ltd., in conjunction with the Japan Racing Association, today announced that the US$2.1 million Victoria Mile, a Group 1 race for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up, to be held May 17 at Tokyo Race Course, will be a new race in the 2020 international Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge 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 will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 6-7.
The Victoria Mile, a 1-mile race on turf, will give the winner an automatic starting position into the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Victoria Mile winner to start in the Filly & Mare Turf, which will be run at 1 3/16 miles over the Keeneland turf course. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a minimum travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. If not Breeders’ Cup eligible, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 26 to receive the rewards.
“We greatly thank the JRA for their partnership as we look to strengthen the roster of automatic qualifiers in Japan this year,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders’ Cup Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer. “Adding the Victoria Mile into the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series provides a new opportunity to participate on racing’s greatest stage for owners and trainers in Japan.”
“We are quite honored to have one of our Grade 1 races to be added to the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. Also, we greatly appreciate that Breeders’ Cup highly values the quality of our races and horses,” said Mr. Masayuki Goto, the President and CEO of the Japan Racing Association. “I firmly believe the renewed format of the series will encourage more participation from our horses in one of the most prestigious events of the entire global racing calendar.”
Six Group 1 winners are among the nominees in the 2020 Victoria Mile, including 5-year-old mare and defending champion Normcore (JPN); 4-year-old filly Loves Only You (JPN), who captured the 2019 Yushun Himba (G1) (Japanese Oaks); and 5-year-old mare Almond Eye (JPN), who won last year’s Dubai Turf (G1) at Meydan, and the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1) at Tokyo last October.
The Victoria Mile will be the second of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races to be held in Japan this year. On February 23, Capital System’s 6-year-old Mozu Ascot won the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo and earned this year’s first automatic berth into the $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The two other Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races to be run in Japan in 2020 will be the Yasuda Kinen (G1) at Tokyo on June 7, for an automatic berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), and the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse on June 28, with the winner gaining a free berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). (The grid for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races in Japan appears below).
The Victoria Mile replaces the Sprinters Stakes (G1) at Nakayama, which had been an automatic qualifying race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint since 2016, for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
Breeder’s Cup Press Release
Photo: Jour Polaire (second from left) comes home to win the 2018 Victoria Mile at Tokyo Racecourse. Credit: KYODO