Olympic Impact and Defending Champion George Washington Lead Sunday’s Grande Premio Brasil

September 26, 2020

RIO DE JANEIRO (Sept. 25, 2020) – Led by Stud Habeas Corpus’s multiple Group-stakes winner Olympic Impact (BRZ), Haras Doce Vale’s Pimper’s Paradise (BRZ) and defending champion George Washington (BRZ), nine horses have been entered for Sunday’s 1 ½- mile Grande Premio Brasil (G1) at Hipodromo da Gavea in Rio De Janeiro. The winner of the Grande Premio Brasil will earn an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is comprised of more than 80 international stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into corresponding races of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on Nov. 6-7.

The race will be streamed on a special edition of Breeders’ Cup Live: Grande Premio Brasil, Presented in Partnership with DRF en Espanol, beginning at 2 p.m. ET. The program, hosted by Emanuel Aguilar, Claudia Spadaro, Roberto Rodriguez and Darwin Vizcaya, will be streamed on  ABR Facebook, ABR YouTube, Breeders’ Cup Facebook, Breeders’ Cup YouTube, and DRF en Español.

First run in 1933, the Grande Premio Brasil is the main attraction of the racing season at Gavea. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race was postponed from its normal early-June date. But as usual, this year’s field is still packed with stars, beginning with the 5-year-old Olympic Impact. Following a third-place finish in the 1 1/4-mile Matias Machline (G1) over a heavy course at Hipodromo de Cidade Jardim in Sao Paulo on June 27, Olympic Impact, trained by Luis Esteves, found his form back at Gavea, winning consecutive Group 2 races. A bay son of Redattore (BRZ), Olympic Impact won the 1 ½-mile Joao Borges Filho on Aug. 2 by a neck and returned on Aug. 30 to dominate the 1 ½-mile Antonio Joaquim Peixoto de Castro Junior, winning by 3 lengths over Hard Boiled (BRZ).

Pimper’s Paradise, a 5-year-old by Put it Back, has won five races in 10 starts for trainer Venancio Nahid. He comes into the race off a third-place finish, beaten a half-length, in the Joao Borges Filho as the 2-5 favorite. Pimper’s Paradise was at his best one race prior, when he won the 1 ¼-mile Matias Machline (G1) by 5 ¾ lengths. That victory was his second of the year. In February, he captured the 1 ¼-mile Escorial (G3) by 6 ¾ lengths in preparation for the 1 ¼-mile Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano (G1) on March 14 at San Isidro in Buenos Aires. Over a heavy course, Pimper’s Paradise closed from 15th to third in the late stages of the Latinoamericano, beaten 3 lengths. 

George Washington, the Champion Brazilian 3-year-old colt of 2019, is owned by Stud Happy Again and trained by Esteves. A 5-year-old bay son of Redattore, George Washington won last year’s Gran Premio Brasil by 3 ½ lengths at 10-1. He followed that score with a neck victory at Gavea in the Dezesseis de Julho (G2). This year, George Washington has won one race in three starts, taking the 1 ½-mile Doutor Frontin (G2) on July 5. He was fourth last time out in the Joao Borges Fiho, 1 ¼ lengths behind Olympic Impact.

Stud Monte Parnaso/Quintella’s 4-year-old Hard Boiled has finished either first or second in his five starts. Trained by Roberto Solanes, Hard Boiled, a bay son of Wild Event, hit the jackpot in his second race, capturing the 2019 Linneo de Paula Machado (G1) by 2 ¾ lengths over Abu Dhabi (BRZ). He made his 2020 debut in June, winning an allowance race at Gavea by 3 ¾ lengths, and followed that performance with the runner-up effort to Olympic Impact as the 2-1 favorite.    

Haras Das Estrelas’s 4-year-old Abu Dhabi also has a Group 1 win on his resume. Trained by Ronaldo Marins Lima, Abu Dhabi, a bay colt by Anges Gold (JPN), won the 1 ½-mile Grande Premio Cruzeiro do Sol by three-quarters of a length over He’s Gold (BRZ) on June 7 at Gavea. Following a runner-up finish to George Washington in the Doutor Frontin, Abu Dhabi was sixth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths, in the Joao Borges Filho. 

Stud Pedudu’s 4-year-old He’s Gold is seeking his second career win. In his most recent start, the bay colt by Anges Gold finished fourth in the Antonio Joaquim Peixoto de Castro Junior. 

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Grande Premio Brasil to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be run at 1 ½ miles over the Keeneland turf course. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a travel allowance of $40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must already be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 26 to receive the rewards.

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