Breeders Cup Challenge

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The Breeders’ Cup Challenge

| BC Challenge Race Schedule |

Our page of Breeders’ Cup prep-races will describe the Challenge series by divisional offerings.

Win and You’re In!

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge was inaugurated in 2007 and originally launched a series of 24 officially sanctioned races at six tracks that would automatically qualify the winners for Breeders’ Cup berths under a “Win and You’re In” format.

Each Breeders’ Cup Challenge winner gains a reserved entry position for the barrier draw, into a corresponding divisional race of the Breeders’ Cup. In 2011, Breeders’ Cup began paying the entry fees and subsidizing travel costs to the locale of the races for all Challenge winners who are Breeders’ Cup eligible. Breeders’ Cup also began paying a $10,000 award to the nominator of any North American foal who won a Challenge race.

In its first year, the Breeders’ Cup Challenge had 14 winners who competed in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup. Of those 14, four horses won – War Pass in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Ginger Punch in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, English Channel in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Curlin in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

The program expanded to 57 races and 17 tracks in 2008. That year, 34 Challenge race winners competed in the Breeders’ Cup and five won – Raven’s Pass in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, Forever Together in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Stardom Bound in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Maram in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

For 2016, the Challenge consisted of 77 automatic qualifying races, with 28 scheduled outside of North America. There were four new races added to the schedule for 2016 — the Queen of the Turf (Filly & Mare Turf) at Royal Randwick, Australia; Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (Mile) at Santiago, Chile; Gran Premio Pamplona at Hipodromo Monterrico (Filly & Mare Turf) in Lima, Peru; and Flying Five Stakes (Turf Sprint) at The Curragh, Ireland.

2018 saw a new race added to the official World Championship lineup, the Juvenile Turf Sprint and movement of the 2-year-old races to Friday for a ‘Friday Future Stars’ theme. This has been an interesting change for betting, as the Distaff, Dirt Mile and other 3-year-olds and up condition races moved to Saturday.

2020 produced some unique obstacles for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series organizers, mainly due to global uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The final schedule for the critical last two months of the series was not finalized until late August. Among the highlights of the end of season qualifications for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup is the inclusion of the 145th Preakness Stakes as a “win and you’re in” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Another very different aspect for 2020 is that most qualifying races and the eventual Breeders’ Cup Championship races themselves have been or will be run without fans.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge has continued to evolve and change with the core principal remaining the same – providing a list of events for fans to follow and get to know the horses likely to run in each year’s Breeders’ Cup.


Search for a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race in the sortable chart below!

DateRace & CountryDivisionWinner
12/14/19Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini Stakes | ArgentinaTurfNao Da Mais (BRZ)
1/11/20Cartier Paddock S. | South AfricaFilly & Mare TurfQueen Supreme (IRE)
1/11/20L'Ormarins Queen's Plate | South AfricaMileVardy (SAF)
2/23/20February S. | JapanClassicMozu Ascot
5/17/20Victoria Mile | JapanFilly & Mare TurfAlmond Eye (JPN)
5/25/20Shoemaker Mile | United StatesMileRaging Bull (FR)
6/6/20Runhappy Carter Handicap | United StatesSprintVekoma
6/7/20Yasuda Kinen | JapanMileGran Alegria (JPN)
6/13/20Ogden Phipps Stakes | United StatesDistaffShe's a Julie
6/16/20Queen Anne Stakes | United KingdomMileCircus Maximus (IRE)
6/17/20Prince of Wales's Stakes | United KingdomTurfLord North (IRE)
6/19/20Norfolk Stakes | United KingdomJuvenile Turf SprintThe Lir Jet
6/20/20Diamond Jubilee Stakes | United KingdomTurf SprintHello Youmzain (FR)
6/20/20Jaipur Invitational Stakes | United StatesTurf SprintOleksandra (AUS)
6/27/20Fleur de Lis Handicap | United StatesDistaffMidnight Bisou
6/27/20Stephen Foster Handicap | United StatesClassicTom's d'Etat
6/28/20Takarazuka Kinen | JapanTurfChrono Genesis (JPN)
7/4/20Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap | United StatesDirt MileVekoma
7/18/20Haskell Invitational | United StatesClassicAuthentic
7/25/20King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO | United KingdomLongines TurfEnable
7/31/20Qatar Sussex Stakes | United KingdomMileMohaather
8/1/20Bing Crosby Stakes | United StatesSprintCollusion Illusion
8/1/20Personal Ensign Handicap | United StatesDistaffVexatious
8/1/20The Whitney | United StatesClassicImprobable
8/2/20Clement L. Hirsch Stakes | United StatesDistaffFighting Mad
8/8/20The Ballerina Stakes | United StatesFilly & Mare SprintSerengeti Empress
8/15/20The Alabama | United StatesDistaffSwiss Skydiver
8/16/20Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques le Marois | FranceMilePalace Pier
8/19/20Juddmonte International Stakes | United KingdomClassicGhaiyyath
8/20/20Darley Yorkshire Oaks | United KingdomFilly & Mare TurfLove
8/21/20Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes | United KingdomTurf SprintBattaash
8/22/20Del Mar Handicap Presented by the Japan Racing Association | United StatesTurfRed King
8/22/20TVG Pacific Classic | United StatesClassicMaximum Security
8/22/20Fourstardave Handicap | United StatesMileHalladay
8/23/20Darley Prix Morny | FranceJuvenile Turf SprintCampanelle
8/29/20Pat O'Brien Stakes | United StatesDirt MileC Z Rocket
8/29/20Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes | United StatesTurfChannel Maker
9/3/20The Pocahontas | United StatesJuvenile FilliesGirl Daddy
9/5/20The Iroquois | United StatesJuvenileSittin On Go
9/12/20Irish Champion Stakes | IrelandTurfMagical
9/12/20Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes | IrelandFilly & Mare TurfChampers Elysees
9/12/20Runhappy Turf Sprint | United StatesTurf SprintImprimis
9/12/20KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes | IrelandJuvenile TurfCadillac
9/13/20Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes | IrelandTurf SprintGlass Slippers
9/13/20Moyglare Stud Stakes | IrelandJuvenile Fillies TurfShale
9/19/20Ricoh Woodbine Mile | CanadaMileStarship Jubilee
9/20/20Natalma Stakes | CanadaJuvenile Fillies TurfLady Speightspeare
9/20/20Summer Stakes | CanadaJuvenile TurfGretzky the Great
9/25/20Shadwell Rockfel Stakes | United KingdomJuvenile Fillies TurfIsabella Giles
9/26/20Speakeasy Stakes | United StatesJuvenile Turf SprintAmanzi Yimpilo
9/26/20Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes | United KingdomJuvenile TurfNew Mandate
9/26/20The Vosburgh | United StatesSprintFirenze Fire
9/26/20Rodeo Drive Stakes | United StatesFilly & Mare TurfMucho Unusual
9/26/20American Pharoah Stakes | United StatesJuvenileGet Her Number
9/26/20Chandelier Stakes | United StatesJuvenile FilliesPrincess Noor
9/26/20Awesome Again Stakes | United StatesClassicImprobable
9/27/20Grande Premio Brasil | BrazilTurfPimper's Paradise
9/27/20Santa Anita Sprint Championship | United StatesSprintC Z Rocket
9/27/20Zenyatta Stakes | United StatesDistaffHarvest Moon
10/2/20Alcibiades S. | United StatesJuvenile FilliesSimply Ravishing
10/2/20Phoenix S. | United StatesSprintDiamond Oops
10/3/20Belmont Derby | United StatesTurfGufo
10/3/20Claiborne Breeders' Futurity | United StatesJuvenileEssential Quality
10/3/20Shadwell Turf Mile | United StatesMileIvar
10/3/20First Lady S. | United StatesFilly & Mare TurfUni
10/3/20TCA S. | United StatesFilly & Mare SprintInthemidstofbiz
10/3/20Preakness Stakes | United StatesClassicSwiss Skydiver
10/4/20Dixiana Bourbon S. | United StatesJuvenile TurfMutasaabeq
10/4/20Juddmonte Spinster S. | United StatesDistaffValiance
10/4/20Indian Summer S. | United StatesJuvenile Turf SprintBodenheimer
10/6/20Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe | FranceTurfSottsass
10/6/20Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp | FranceTurf SprintWooded
10/6/20Prix de l'Opera | FranceFilly & Mare TurfTarnawa
10/6/20Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere | FranceJuvenile TurfSealiway
10/6/20Prix Marcel Boussac | FranceJuvenile Fillies TurfTiger Tanaka
10/7/20Jessamine S. | United StatesJuvenile Fillies TurfAunt Pearl
10/10/20Jockey Club Gold Cup | United StatesClassicHappy Saver
10/10/20Champagne S. | United StatesJuvenileJackie's Warrior
10/10/20Frizette S. | United StatesJuvenile FilliesDayoutoftheoffice
10/10/20Flower Bowl Inv. S. | United StatesFilly & Mare TurfCivil Union
10/10/20The Futurity S. | United StatesJuvenile Turf SprintSecond of July