For Automatic Berth Into Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic
OCEANPORT, N.J. — Led by undefeated Jack Christopher, eight 3-year- olds have been entered in Saturday’s $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park for a free berth into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), live on CNBC and Peacock beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
The TVG.com Haskell Stakes headlines the third 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 complete series TV schedule can be accessed here.
Saturday’s telecast will also include the 1 3/8-mile, $600,000 United Nations Stakes (G1) on turf.
CNBC’s coverage will feature commentary and discussion from host Ahmed Fareed, analysts Randy Moss, and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, winner of 15 Breeders’ Cup races including five victories in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic; and on-site reporters Britney Eurton and Matt Bernier.
Among the Haskell contenders, Jack Christopher, owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud and Peter Brant, has won all four of his starts, including two dominant wins this year in one-turn races. Trained by Chad Brown, Jack Christopher captured the Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs on May 7 by 3 3⁄4 lengths and followed up that performance with a stunning 10-length victory in the 7-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 11.
Zedan Racing Stables, Inc’s Taiba, the 7-5 morning line favorite, has raced just three times. After breaking his maiden by 7 1⁄2 lengths in March, he defeated highly regarded stablemate Messier in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). A son of 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Gun Runner, Taiba will look to rebound from his 12th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). Trainer Bob Baffert has saddled eight winners of the Haskell, including Authentic in 2020, who also won the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Horse of the Year title.
C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC’s White Abarrio, trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., also had a disappointing Kentucky Derby, finishing 16th. However, he comes into the Haskell off a second-place finish in the Ohio Derby (Gr. 3) at Thistledown on June 25. White Abarrio was the top 3-year-old in Florida this winter, winning both the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and the Florida Derby (G1).
Gold Square LLC’s Cyberknife defeated Howling Time by a nose in the 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn Stakes (G3) on June 12 at Churchill Downs. Trained by Brad Cox, Cyberknife has won three of five races this year, including the Arkansas Derby (G1). Cox also trained last year’s Haskell Stakes winner, Mandaloun, who was elevated from second place to first following the disqualification of Hot Rod Charlie.
The Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s Howling Time, trained by Dale Romans, won an optional allowance claiming race at Churchill Downs on May 21 prior to his second-place finish in the Matt Winn.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Haskell Stakes winner 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.
In the United Nations Stakes, Chad Brown has entered Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder Stables, and Michael J. Caruso’s defending champion Tribhuvan (FR) and Madaket Stables, LLC, Michael Dubb and Louis Lazzinnaro LLC’s Adhamo (IRE). Tribhuvan defeated Adhamo by 3 1⁄2 lengths in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1) on June 11 at Belmont Park. The main challenge to the Brown duo should come from Otter Bend Stables, LLC’s Gufo, who has won eight races for trainer Christophe Clement, and finished third in the Manhattan Stakes as the 2-1 favorite.
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
Photo: Jack Christopher in a June 4 work at Belmont Park. (Susie Raisher)