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BREEDERS' CUP 2011: Challenge Schedule

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LOUISVILLE KY - NOVEMBER 06:  Lanfranco Dettori aboard Dangerous Midge celebrates after winning the Turf during the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on November 6 2010 in Louisville Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE KY - NOVEMBER 06: Lanfranco Dettori aboard Dangerous Midge celebrates after winning the Turf during the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on November 6 2010 in Louisville Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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The Breeders' Cup is trying something a little different with the Win and You're In program this year in an effort to entice winners of a challenge race to actually run at the Breeders' Cup in the fall.  In previous years, a win in a Breeders' Cup Challenge race secured a spot for that horse in the starting gate at the Breeders' Cup but it didn't pay any of the entry fees associated with that position, making the situation more of a "Win and You're Kind Of In" scenario.  As a result, several of the Challenge races had little to no impact on the final fields at the Breeders' Cup and in fact some Challenge races have never had a winner actually go on to the Breeders' Cup.In order to change the importance of the Challenge series the Breeders' Cup made a few changes. 

From the Breeders' Cup:

In 2011, any nominated horse that wins a Challenge race will receive:

  • An automatic starting position in the corresponding Championship race.
  • Pre-entry and entry fees paid.
  • A travel allowance of $10,000 for North American runners and $20,000 for International runners when they start in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
  • A nominator award of $10,000 to the person nominating the foal or racehorse.

You'll notice that the horse must still be Breeders' Cup eligible (which occurs through the nomination process and can be quite expensive, if done during the later supplemental period*), but if they are eligible, much of the incidental costs are paid by the Breeders' Cup.  

*The nomination process is a bit complicated with a variety of different situations where a stallion and a foal can become Breeders' Cup eligible.  An overview of the nomination process can be found at the Breeders' Cup Limited website.

Pre-entry and entry fees are typically 1% and 2% of the purse, respectively.  To run a Breeders' Cup eligible horse in the Classic (a $5 million race) would cost $50,000 for the pre-entry and $100,000 for the entry.

The $20,000 in travel allowance also sounds nice but I have no idea what it costs to ship a horses from Europe or Australia to the United States.

At a minimum, these changes by the Breeders' Cup close one of the big gaps in the Challenge program. Whether that will entice more horses from Australia, Europe, Asia and North America to the Breeders' Cup remains to be seen.  But it certainly can't hurt.

Below is a list of this year's Breeders' Cup Challenge races (along with the winners, if any):

Date Track Race Division Location Winner
04/09/11 RAN Darley T.J. Smith Stakes Turf Sprint AUS Black Caviar
04/16/11 RAN Emirates Doncaster Mile Mile AUS SacredChoice
05/30/11 BEL Metropolitan Handicap Dirt Mile NY Tizway
06/20/11 PAL Clasico Belgrano Marathon ARG Mr. Nedawi
06/25/11 CUR Pretty Polly Stakes F&M Turf IRE Misty For Me
06/26/11 STC Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud Turf FR Sarafina
06/26/11 HSN Takarazuka Kinen Turf JPN Earnestly
07/02/11 HOL Shoemaker Mile Mile CAL
07/02/11 MTH United Nations Stakes Turf NJ
07/09/11 HOL Hollywood Gold Cup Classic CAL
07/09/11 CRC Smile Sprint Handicap Sprint FLA
07/16/11 HOL A Gleam Handicap F&M Sprint CAL
07/16/11 DEL Delaware Handicap LadiesClassic DEL
07/16/11 PRX Greenwood Cup Handicap Marathon PA
07/23/11 ASC KG VI & QE Stakes Turf ENG
07/29/11 DMR Cougar II Handicap Marathon CAL
07/30/11 DMR San Diego Handicap Dirt Mile CAL
07/31/11 MTH Haskell Handicap Classic NJ
07/31/11 SAR Ruffian Handicap LadiesClassic NY
08/06/11 DMR Clement L. Hirsch Hcp. LadiesClassic CAL
08/06/11 SAR Whitney Handicap Classic NY
08/13/11 AP Beverly D. Stakes F&M Turf ILL
08/13/11 AP Arlington Million Turf ILL 
08/15/11 DEA Prix Jacques le Marois Mile FR
08/19/11 YOR Nunthorpe Stakes Turf Sprint ENG
08/27/11 SAR Ballerina S. F&M Sprint NY
08/28/11 DMR Pacific Classic Classic CAL
08/28/11 DMR Del Mar Handicap Turf CAL
08/28/11 CUR Moyglare Stud Stakes JuvFillies Turf IRE
09/02/11 SAR With Anticipation Stakes Juvenile Turf NY
09/03/11 LEO Irish Champion Stakes Turf IRE
09/03/11 PRX Turf Monster Handicap Turf Sprint PA
09/05/11 SAR Hopeful Stakes Juvenile NY
09/07/11 DMR Del Mar Futurity Juvenile CAL
09/10/11 CUR Goffs National Stakes Juvenile Turf IRE
09/11/11 LCH Qatar Prix Niel Turf FR
09/17/11 WO Natalma Stakes JuvFillies Turf CAN
09/17/11 WO Summer Stakes Juvenile Turf CAN
09/18/11 WO Ricoh Woodbine Mile Mile CAN
09/23/11 NEW Fillies' Mile JuvFillies Turf ENG
10/01/11 SA Goodwood Handicap Classic CAL
10/01/11 SA Yellow Ribbon Stakes F&M Turf CAL
10/01/11 SA Norfolk Stakes Juvenile CAL
10/01/11 SA Lady's Secret Stakes LadiesClassic CAL
10/01/11 BEL Jockey Club Gold Cup Classic NY
10/01/11 BEL Kelso Handicap Dirt Mile NY
10/01/11 BEL Flower Bowl F&M Turf NY
10/01/11 BEL Beldame Stakes LadiesClassic NY
10/01/11 BEL Vosburgh Stakes Sprint NY
10/01/11 BEL Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Turf NY
10/02/11 SA Oak Leaf Stakes Juv. Fillies CAL
10/02/11 LCH Prix de L'Opera F&M Turf FR
10/02/11 LCH Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Juvenile Turf FR
10/07/11 KEE Darley AlcibiadeS Juv. Fillies KY
10/07/11 KEE Phoenix Stakes Sprint KY
10/08/11 SA Ancient Title Stakes Sprint CAL
10/08/11 NEW Dewhurst Stakes Juvenile Turf ENG
10/08/11 KEE Tbred Club of Amer. Stakes F&M Sprint KY
10/08/11 KEE Dixiana Breeders Futurity Juvenile KY
10/08/11 KEE Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes Mile KY
10/08/11 BEL Champagne Stakes Juvenile NY
10/08/11 BEL Frizette Stakes Juv. Fillies NY
10/09/11 KEE Juddmonte Spinster Stakes LadiesClassic KY
10/13/11 KEE Jessamine Stakes JuvFillies Turf KY
10/15/11 ASC Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Mile ENG
10/16/11 WO E.P. Taylor Stakes F&M Turf CAN
10/16/11 WO Canadian International Turf CAN
10/16/11 WO Nearctic Stakes Turf Sprint CAN