Turf Cup and Turf Sprint Headline Challenge Series Races at Kentucky Downs

September 9, 2022

FRANKLIN, Ky.— Led by veterans Arklow and Gufo in the $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G2) and Arrest Me Red in the $1 million FanDuel Turf Sprint Stakes (G2), two Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In races take center stage on Saturday from Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Kentucky, live on CNBC beginning at 5 p.m. ET.

The 1-hour telecast is the sixth program this year in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” on NBC, CNBC, and Peacock from some of North America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 39th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5. The series TV schedule can be accessed here.

NBC Sports’ coverage will be led by host Ahmed Fareed, analyst and handicapper Matt Bernier, and reporter Nick Luck.

Arklow wins the 2019 edition of the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (Chelsea Durand)

The remarkable 8-year-old Arklow, who has earned more than $3 million in career earnings, will be running in his fifth consecutive Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes, which gives the winner an automatic starting position into the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Owned by Donegal Racing and Joseph Bulger, and trained by Brad Cox, Arklow won the 1 ½-mile Turf Cup in 2018 and in 2020 and finished second in 2019 and in 2021. Arklow has run in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf three times, with his best finish being a fourth-place effort in 2018. He made his 2022 debut in the Bowling Green Stakes (G2) at Saratoga on July 31, finishing second, a half-length behind Rockemperor (IRE).

Gufo wins the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga on August 27th, 2022 (Chelsea Durand)

Otter Bend Stable’s Gufo, the 7-5 morning line favorite, earned a free berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf when he captured the Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, coming from seventh place at the top of the stretch to win by a half-length. Trained by Christophe Clement, Gufo has won nine races in 19 starts, including this year’s Pan American Stakes presented by Rood & Riddle (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Another veteran in the field is Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s 6-year-old gelding Temple. Trained by Mike Maker, Temple finished third, less than a length behind the winner, in the 1 3/8-mile United Nations Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 23. In March, Temple won his seventh career race, taking the Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Maker is also starting Trinity Farm’s 6-year-old New York-bred gelding Red Knight, who won his 2022 debut after an 11-month layoff, capturing the black type 1 ½-mile Colonial Downs Stakes on July 27.

The 6-furlong FanDuel Turf Sprint Stakes, which will be run prior to the Turf Cup, drew a full field of 12 starters and three also-eligibles. The race winner will receive an invitation into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). Trainer Wesley Ward, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Golden Pal, is saddling Lael Stables’ 4-year-old Arrest Me Red, the 9-5 morning line favorite. A winner six times in 10 starts, Arrest Me Red took the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes (G2) in May at Churchill Downs and finished second by a half-length to Casa Creed in the Jaipur Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 11, which was also a Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Arzak sets a new track record in the Thorncliffe Stakes at Woodbine on April 17th, 2022 (Michael Burns)

The well-traveled Sonata Stable’s 4-year-old Arzak, who has raced at 11 tracks, will be making his Kentucky Downs debut on Saturday. Trained by Michael Trombetta, Arzak has won two of four starts this year, both at Woodbine in Canada, taking the black type Thornhill Stakes and the Grade 3 Jacques Cartier Stakes. He comes into the race off a fourth-place finish in the Troy Stakes (G3) at Saratoga on Aug. 5, less than a length behind winner Golden Pal.

Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Jerry Zaro’s 7-year-old gelding Chewing Gum started the year off right with a victory on Jan. 1 in the Joe Hernandez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park for trainer Bill Mott. He did not race again until July 23 in the Connaught Cup Stakes (G2) at Woodbine, where he finished fourth.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winners of the Kentucky Turf Cup and the FanDuel Turf Sprint to start in the World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $10,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of Kentucky to compete in the World Championships.

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

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