Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in Brazil, Peru and Japan this Sunday – Horse Racing News

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The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In features three automatic Group 1 qualifiers on Sunday June 26 for this year’s World Championships, with Takarazuka Kinen in Japan, Grande Premio Brasil in Brazil and the Gran Premio Pamplona in Peru.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and paid fees in a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be held at the racecourse of Keeneland at Lexington, Kentucky on Nov. 4-5.

As part of the Challenge Series benefits, the Breeders’ Cup will pay entry fees for Sunday winners who start at the World Championships. The Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance to all starters based outside of North America to attend the World Championships. The challenge winner must be named to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships pre-registration deadline of October 24 to receive the rewards.

The 1 3/8 mile Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse will award the winner an invitation to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) worth $4 million. The race will be televised live on TVG at 10:40 p.m. PT on Saturday, June 25.

The top 10 starters in the Takarazuka Kinen are determined by votes from racing fans, and this year’s top voter was title holder (JPN) Hiroshi Yamada, leading the 18 riders entered. The 4-year-old son of Duramante (JPN), the defending champion has shown great endurance by winning three of his last four races over distances over 1 ½ miles. Trained by Toru Kurita, the defending champion won the 1 7/8 mile wire-to-wire Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1) in Hanshin last October. After closing the year with a fifth-place finish in the Arima Kinen (G1) on December 26, the defending champion opened 2022 with a lead score in the Nikkei Sho (G2) of 1 9/16 miles at Nakayama on March 26. He won his third race at Hanshin on his last outing, taking the 2 mile Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1) by 7 lengths over Deep Bond (JPN).

Eforia (JPN) of Carrot Farm Co. Ltd., trained by Yuichi Shikato, is the most consistent rider in the field, winning six in eight starts, including four straight wins to start his career. This winning streak culminated last April with a 3-length victory over the defending champion in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1). After finishing second to Shahryar (JPN) in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1), Efforia won two more Group 1 races, first winning the 1¼ mile Tenno Sho Autumn on Contrail (JPN), then winning the 1 9/16 miles Arima Kinen. A 4-year-old son of Epiphaneia (JPN), Efforia had an unusually poor performance to open the season, finishing ninth in the 1¼ mile Osaka Hai (G1) at Hanshin on April 3.

Trainer Yoshito Yahagi saddled Japan’s first two winners in Breeders’ Cup history last year at Del Mar when Loves Only You (JPN) won the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1 ) and Marche Lorraine (JPN) triumphed in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Quenouille (G1). On Sunday, he starts Shadai Race Horse Co. Ltd’s 7-year-old Stay Foolish (JPN). and 5-year-old Panthalassa (JPN) from Hiroo Race Co. Ltd. Both racers enjoyed great success in the Middle East earlier this year, starting with Stay Foolish, a son of Stay Gold (JPN), who won the 1 7/8 mile Longines Red Sea Cup (G3) by 4 ¼ lengths to King Abdulaziz. Racetrack in Saudi Arabia on February 26, then won the 2-mile Dubai Gold Cup (G2) at Meydan on March 26. with Lord North in the 1 1/8 mile Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1). The win was Panthalassa’s fourth in his last five starts, which includes a season-opening triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Nakayama Kinen (G2) on February 27.

Another horse that has had a successful tour of the Middle East is the 5-year-old Authority (JPN) from Silk Racing Co. Ltd. Coached by Tetsuya Kimura, Authority won the 1 5/16 mile Neom Turf Cup (G3) at King Abdulaziz, and a month later held the lead in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at Meydan until the final meters, before being overtaken by Shahryar and Yibir (GB), winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf last year, on the wire. Son of Orfevre (JPN) and mare Symboli Kris S Rosalind (JPN), Authority finished last year with two starts at Tokyo Racecourse, winning the Copa Republica Argentina (G2) on November 7 and finishing second of the Japan Cup (G1) on November 28, 2 lengths from Contrail.

Ahead of his runner-up finish behind the titleholder in the Tenno Sho, Shinji Maeda’s Deep Bond started 2021 with a victory in the 1 7/8 mile Hanshin Daishoten on March 20. Campaigning in France at ParisLongchamp last fall, 5-year-old Deep Bond, trained by Ryuji Okubo, won the 1 ½ mile Prix Foy (G2) wire-to-wire but finished 14th in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triumph (G1) on October 3. He returned home and finished second in the Arima Kinen at Eforia.

Also interesting is the Potager (JPN) of Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd., by Deep Impact (JPN), which won the 1 ¼ mile Osaka Hai (G1) by a neckline over Lei Papele (JPN) at 58-1. on the Hanshin course on April 3 for coach Yasuo Tomomichi.

Brazilian derby winner Sugar Daddy headlines Gran Premio Brasil

The second Breeders’ Cup Challenge race in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf Division on Sunday is the 1½ mile Grande Premio Brasil (G1). Sugar Daddy (BRZ) from Haras Doce Vale leads the field of 18 starters. Sugar Daddy, coached by Venancio Nahid, has four wins from seven starts, including his first Group 1 win last time out at the 1½-mile Cruzeiro do Sul in Gavea (Brazilian Derby) on April 22. A 3-year-old son of Wild Event, Sugar Daddy trailed the leaders while staying third all the way to the top of the straight, then took over at quarter pole and extended to a 1 ¾ win. length on Don Cambay (BRZ).

Cruzeiro do Sol’s big disappointment was Stud Verde’s Online (BRZ), which finished third, 2 ¾ lengths behind Sugar Daddy as the 3-5 favorite. Coached by Luiz Esteves, Online entered the Cruzeiro do Sol after an impressive 2 ½ length victory over Jorel (BRZ) in the Francisco Eduardo de Paula Machado (G1) on April 10 for his fourth career victory. Son of Agnes Gold (BRZ), Online won two Group 3 races last year, winning Mario de Azevedo Ribeiro on his third start in April and the Frederico Lundgren Stakes in December.

Esteves also starts the lightly run 3-year-old Cromwell (BR) for Haras Niju and Stud Enternamente Rio, and Stud Red Rafa’s Osprey (BRZ). Unheard of as a juvenile, Cromwell won her first race on her third start, taking a special 1¼ mile first weight at Gavea by 4¾ lengths. He entered the group stakes competition on his last start, the 1½ mile Grande Premio Doutor Frontin (G2) on May 29, and finished fourth, beaten by 6½ lengths.

Osprey has six wins in 12 starts. Son of Gober (BRZ) and Intimidating (BRZ) by Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Siphon (BRZ), Osprey has had back-to-back victories in group stakes races at Gavea. Last December he won the 1 ½ mile Grande Premio Almirante Tamandare (G2) by 3 ¾ lengths and started 2022 by winning the Grande Premio Escorial (G1) on March 13.

Jorel, 3 years old from Stud Pedudu, won the Doutor Frontin, by 4 ½ lengths, and avenged his loss against Online in the Francisco Eduardo of Paul Machado. Coached by Lucio de Fatima Vaz, Jorel’s victory was his second career triumph. He beat his maiden by 6 lengths at Gavea last September over a mile.

Vaz has also entered Don Cambay, a 3-year-old from Haras Cambay, who has three wins from nine grass starts. After his second place in the Cruzeiro do Sol, Don Cambay finished fourth in the 1 ½ mile Grande Premio Sao Paulo (G1), won by Roxoterra (BRZ).

Roxoterra (BRZ), a 4-year-old from Haras Fazenda Boa Vista, is a seven-time winner on grass, but Sunday’s race will be his first start in Gavea, as all his previous starts have been at Hipodromo Cidade Jardim in Sao Paulo. Coached by Emerson Garcia, Roxoterra have cashed in all three of their starts this year, including their first Group 1 win on 15 May when they won the Grande Premio Sao Paulo.

Undefeated Samay to headline Gran Premio Pamplona in Peru

Stud Wall Street’s Samay (PER), unbeaten in four starts, leads the Gran Premio Pamplona for a place in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). A field of 13 fillies and mares has been entered in the 1¼ mile race at Hipodromo Monterrico, near the capital Lima, Peru.

Coached by Juan Suarez Villarroel, Samay won by 5 furlongs to 1 ¼ miles in his quartet of starts, all at Monterrico. She has won two rated appearances this year, capturing the 1 1/8 mile Clasico Kimba on February 27, then rallying from sixth place and storming down the center of the course to take the 1 mile Clasico Ernesto Ayulo Pardo. ¼ mile by 1 ¼ lengths on April 3.

Villarroel also rides Raika (PER), 3-year-old Dos Stud G, a daughter of Minister’s Joy, who has won her last two races at Monterrico since finishing fifth in Clasico Kimba. Raika won a 1 1/8 mile allowance run by 6 ¾ lengths on March 6, then took a 2 length victory over Ola Perfecta (PER) in the 1 ¼ mile Clasico Republica Argentina (G3).

Stud H. Santa Maria’s Africa (PER) finished third in their last three races, including the Clasico Republica Argentina, where they finished 4 ¾ lengths behind Raika after leading the field by three lengths at the top of the straight. Trained by Juan Arriagada, Africa, a daughter of Muwaary (GB), will be looking to get back into the winner’s circle as she won a 1¼ mile local stakes race on December 12 and a 2 length win in List 1 mile Clasico Batalla de Ayacucho on January 29.

Ola Perfecta of the Stud Patriots has won eight of 19 grass starts. She made a bold move by passing Africa for the lead in the final furrow of the Clasico Republica Argentina but couldn’t hold off Raika. Trained by Alfredo Chamy, Ola Perfecta took one victory out of four starts this year, taking a 1-mile race at Monterrico on February 12.

Mediapunta of Augusta Stud, bred in Kentucky by RS Evans, could be an emerging star after winning a 9 ¼ length run at the course on June 11. A daughter of Belmont Stakes winner (G1) Tonalist out of Medaglia d’Oro Akron Gold mare, Mediapunta started racing last September and beat her maiden on her third start, winning a 7 furlong race by 3½ lengths. Prior to her recent allowance score, she finished sixth in an 1 1/8 mile allowance race on Feb. 26 in Monterrico.

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