Automatic Berths on the Line for Breeders’ Cup World Championships
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Sept. 2, 2021) ― The “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” returns this Saturday, Sept. 4 on NBCSN from 6-7 p.m. ET from Saratoga Race Course with live coverage of the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and the $600,000 Flower Bowl (G1).
Saturday’s program marks the fifth telecast this year in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” on NBC and NBCSN from some of North America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, to be held Nov. 5-6 on NBC and NBCSN. The complete series TV schedule can be accessed here.
NBC Sports’ coverage will feature commentary and discussion from its International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., led by host Britney Eurton, and analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who won 15 Breeders’ Cup races including five victories in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Reporter Laffit Pincay and handicapper Matt Bernier will be on-site at Saratoga.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup, which had been run at Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack since 1919, and the Flower Bowl, which had been held at Belmont since 1978, will be run at historic Saratoga Race Course for the first time. The Jockey Club Gold Cup winner will gain an automatic berth into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the winner of the Flower Bowl will earn a free berth into the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Run at 1 ¼ miles, the Jockey Club Gold Cup drew a six-horse field and is led by Wertheimer and Frere’s Happy Saver, who won his first five races before finishing third in the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park in his last start on July 3. The 4-year-old son of Super Saver concluded a 4-for-4 first season of racing when he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont last year for trainer Todd Pletcher, who opted to bypass the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland and point to a 2021 campaign.
George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbred Corp.’s Max Player upset Happy Saver in the Suburban and received a free berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the 4-year-old Max Player, who ended a six-race losing streak in the Suburban, is 3-for-10 lifetime.
Don Alberto Stable’s Forza Di Oro, a winner four times in six starts, easily captured his lone start of the year in a local allowance optional claiming race on July 21 for trainer Bill Mott. A son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Speightstown, Forza Di Oro won Aqueduct’s Discovery Stakes (G3) in November before going on an extended layoff. The Estate of James J. Coleman Jr.’s Chess Chief won the New Orleans Classic Stakes (G2) at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans in March for trainer Dallas Stewart.
The Flower Bowl, run at the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf distance of 1 3/8 miles, is headlined by George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess. The 4-year-old daughter of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner English Channel has won two straight graded stakes at 1 ½ miles for trainer Bill Mott, and also won the Orchid Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park in March at 1 3/8 miles. War Like Goddess is 5-for-6 lifetime and enters off an easy win in the Aug. 7 Glens Falls Stakes (G2) at Saratoga, in which she unleashed a devastating turn of foot that saw her go from last-to-first while looping the field through the far turn.
Trainer Chad Brown has won the Flower Bowl six times and will look to add to that mark with Peter Brant’s My Sister Nat (FR) and Alpha Delta Stables Great Island. My Sister Nat finished second, defeated by a head, in the Flower Bowl last year before running ninth in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland. Seeking her first win this year, My Sister Nat finished second in the Glens Falls. Great Island is two for three this year, winning the Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park in her most recent start on July 17. Brant also has an international starter in the race with American Bridge (GB). Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, American Bridge won the 1 1 /4-mile Premio del Giubileo (G3) by 2 ¼ lengths at Milan on June 27.
Breeders Cup Press Release