Obataye Ekes Out Grande Premio Brasil Score

June 24, 2024

Obataye forged to the front in a four-horse battle. (Screen grab)

Breeders’ Cup Release

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Haras Rio Iguassu’s 3-year-old Obataye (BRZ) forged to the front in a four-horse battle June 23 to win the 1 1/2-mile Grande Premio Brasil (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths at Hipodromo Da Gavea. The winner earned an automatic starting position, and fees paid, into the $5 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (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 82 stakes races in 12 countries, the winners of which receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 1-2 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, California.

Obataye, trained by Antonio Oldoni and ridden by Joao Moreira, won his sixth race in 10 starts and secured his first Group 1 triumph. A son of Courtier out of the Crimson Tide (IRE) mare Surfi’n Usa, Obataye completed 1 1/2 miles in 2:29.18 over a course listed as good to soft. 

A field of 16 went to the post in the 92nd Grande Premio Brasil, the most prestigious race in Brazil. Olympic Kremlin (BRZ) shot the front and set the early pace with Underpants (BRZ), the 5-1 second choice, in close pursuit. Obataye, away at odds of 6-1, was placed in a tight pack in ninth place along the backstretch until the far turn. Moreiera then found room five paths off the rail and engaged Olympic Kremlin, To Sir With Love (BRZ),and Underpants inside the final quarter mile.  

A determined Obataye surged to the front to prevail over To Sir With Love and Olympic Kremlin, with a fast closing Online (BRZ) finishing fourth. Kenlova, Brazil’s Champion 3-Year-Old Filly of 2023, finished 10th as the 3-1 favorite. 

Obataye came into the race off a second-place finish to Kenlova by a nose in the May 19 Sao Paulo (G1). He won three consecutive Group 3 races in Brazil prior to his defeat in the Sao Paulo. 

As a part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Obataye to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. 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 pre-entry deadline of Oct. 21 to receive the rewards.

Obataye joins El Encinal (ARG), winner of the Gran Premio Internacional Carlos Pellegrini (G1) and Auguste Rodin (IRE), who won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, as the first three horses to receive guaranteed berths into this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.

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