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Breeders' Cup Challenge

Breeders Cup Home |  2017 |  BettingOddsHandicappingHistoryChallenge | Prep Races | Contenders | Winners | Results

The Breeders' Cup Challenge Races

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge was inaugurated in 2007 and 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 an automatic starting position 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 consists 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.

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.

Please click for a schedule of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races.

The Breeders' Cup Challenge Racing Schedule

January        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
7-Jan Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes Kenilworth Filly & Mare Turf Bela-Bela (SAF)
7-Jan L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Kenilworth Mile Legal Eagle (SAF)
February        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
19-Feb February Stakes Tokyo Racecourse Classic Gold Dream
April        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
1-Apr The Star Doncaster Mile Randwick Mile It's Somewhat
1-Apr Darley T. J. Smith Stakes Randwick Turf Sprint Chautauqua (AUS)
8-Apr Coolmore Legacy Queen of the Turf Stakes Randwick Filly & Mare Turf Foxplay (AUS)
May        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
1-May Gran Premio Criadores Palermo Longines Distaff N/A
25-May Gran Premio 25 de Mayo San Isidro Longines Turf N/A
28-May Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella Club Hípico de Santiago Mile N/A
June        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
3-Jun Shoemaker Mile Santa Anita Park Mile N/A
4-Jun Yasuda Kinen Tokyo Racecourse Mile N/A
10-Jun Ogden Phipps Stakes Belmont Park Longines Distaff N/A
10-Jun Metropolitan Handicap Belmont Park Las Vegas Dirt Mile N/A
11-Jun Gran Premio Brasil Hipódromo da Gávea Longines Turf N/A
17-Jun Stephen Foster H. Churchill Downs Classic N/A
17-Jun Fleur de Lis Handicap Churchill Downs Longines Distaff N/A
25-Jun Gran Premio Pamplona Hipódromo de Monterrico Filly & Mare Turf N/A
25-Jun Takarazuka Kinen Hanshin Racecourse Longines Turf N/A
July        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
1-Jul Princess Rooney Handicap Gulfstream Park Filly & Mare Sprint N/A
1-Jul Smile Sprint Handicap Gulfstream Park TwinSpires Sprint N/A
2-Jul Highlander Stakes Woodbine Racetrack Turf Sprint N/A
8-Jul Belmont Sprint Championship Belmont Park TwinSpires Sprint N/A
29-Jul Bing Crosby Stakes Del Mar TwinSpires Sprint N/A
29-Jul King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO Ascot Longines Turf N/A
30-Jul Haskell Invitational Monmouth Park Classic N/A
30-Jul Clement L. Hirsch Handicap Del Mar Longines Distaff N/A
August        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
2-Aug Qatar Sussex Stakes Goodwood Mile N/A
5-Aug The Whitney Saratoga Classic N/A
12-Aug Beverly D. Stakes Arlington Park Filly & Mare Turf N/A
12-Aug Arlington Million Arlington Park Longines Turf N/A
19-Aug Del Mar Handicap Presented by the Japan Racing Association Del Mar Longines Turf N/A
19-Aug TVG Pacific Classic Del Mar Classic N/A
20-Aug Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques le Marois Deauville Mile N/A
23-Aug Juddmonte International Stakes York Longines Turf N/A
24-Aug Darley Yorkshire Oaks York Filly & Mare Turf N/A
25-Aug Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes York Turf Sprint N/A
26-Aug Personal Ensign H. Saratoga Longines Distaff N/A
26-Aug Ballerina Stakes Saratoga Filly & Mare Sprint N/A
26-Aug Priority One Jets Forego Stakes Saratoga Las Vegas Dirt Mile N/A
26-Aug Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes Saratoga Longines Turf N/A
26-Aug Pat O'Brien Stakes Del Mar Las Vegas Dirt Mile N/A
September        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
2-Sep T. Von Zastrow Stutenpreis Baden Baden Filly & Mare Turf N/A
2-Sep Spinaway Stakes Saratoga 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies N/A
3-Sep Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden Baden Baden Longines Turf N/A
9-Sep Willis Towers Watson Champions Juvenile Stakes Leopardstown Juvenile Turf N/A
9-Sep The Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes Leopardstown Filly & Mare Turf N/A
9-Sep QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes Leopardstown Longines Turf N/A
10-Sep Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes Curragh Racecourse Turf Sprint N/A
10-Sep Moyglare Stud Stakes Curragh Racecourse Juvenile Fillies Turf N/A
16-Sep Iroquois Stakes Churchill Downs Sentient Jet Juvenile N/A
16-Sep Ricoh Woodbine Mile Woodbine Mile N/A
16-Sep Pocahontas Stakes Churchill Downs 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies N/A
17-Sep Natalma Stakes Woodbine Juvenile Fillies Turf N/A
17-Sep Summer Stakes Woodbine Juvenile Turf N/A
29-Sep Shadwell Rockfel Newmarket Juvenile Fillies Turf N/A
30-Sep Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes Newmarket Juvenile Turf N/A
30-Sep Vosburgh Invitational Stakes Belmont Park TwinSpires Sprint N/A
30-Sep FrontRunner Stakes Santa Anita Park Sentient Jet Juvenile N/A
30-Sep Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Belmont Park Longines Turf N/A
30-Sep Zenyatta Stakes Santa Anita Park Longines Distaff N/A
30-Sep Chandelier Stakes Santa Anita Park 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies N/A
30-Sep Rodeo Drive Stakes Santa Anita Park Filly & Mare Turf N/A
30-Sep Awesome Again Stakes Santa Anita Park Classic N/A
October        
Date Race Name Track Division Winner
1-Oct Sprinters Stakes Nakayama Turf Sprint N/A
1-Oct Total Prix Marcel Boussac Chantilly Juvenile Fillies Turf N/A
1-Oct Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Chantilly Juvenile Turf N/A
1-Oct Longines Prix de L'Opera Chantilly Filly & Mare Turf N/A
6-Oct Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes Keeneland TwinSpires Sprint N/A
6-Oct Darley Alcibiades Stakes Keeneland 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies N/A
7-Oct First Lady Stakes Keeneland Filly & Mare Turf N/A
7-Oct Frizette Stakes Belmont Park 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies N/A
7-Oct Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Belmont Park Classic N/A
7-Oct Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes Keeneland Filly & Mare Sprint N/A
7-Oct Claiborne Breeders' Futurity Keeneland Sentient Jet Juvenile N/A
7-Oct Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes Keeneland Mile N/A
7-Oct Santa Anita Sprint Championship Santa Anita Park TwinSpires Sprint N/A
8-Oct Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes Belmont Park Filly & Mare Turf N/A
8-Oct Foxwoods Champagne Stakes Belmont Park Sentient Jet Juvenile N/A
8-Oct Dixiana Bourbon Stakes Keeneland Juvenile Turf N/A
8-Oct Juddmonte Spinster Stakes Keeneland Longines Distaff N/A
11-Oct JP Morgan Chase Jessamine Stakes Keeneland Juvenile Fillies Turf N/A