Breeders Cup Challenge Series

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The 2021 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series

| Dec. to May Races | Jun. to Jul. Races | August Races| September Races | October Races | Win & You’re In History

Our page of Breeders’ Cup prep-races organizes the Challenge series by divisional offerings. Find a month-by-month schedule of the races in the tables below:

December to May Challenge Series Events

12/19/2020Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini / BrazilTurfCool Day (ARG)
1/9/2021L'Ormarins Queen's Plate / South AfricaMileJet Dark (SAF)
1/9/2021Cartier Paddock Stakes / South AfricaFilly & Mare TurfQueen Supreme (IRE)
2/21/2021February Stakes / JapanClassicCafe Pharoah
5/1/2021Gran Premio Criadores / ArgentinaDistaffBlue Stripe (ARG)
5/2/2021Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella / ChileMileSucceso (CHI)
5/16/2021Victoria Mile / JapanFilly & Mare TurfGran Alegria (JPN)
5/31/2021Shoemaker Mile / USAMileSmooth Like Strait

June & July Challenge Series Events

6/5/2021Metropolitan Handicap / USADirt MileSilver State
6/5/2021Jaipur Invitational / USATurf SprintCasa Creed
6/5/2021Ogden Phipps Stakes / USADistaffLetruska
6/6/2021Yasuda Kinen / JapanMileDanon Kingly (JPN)
6/15/2021Queen Anne Stakes / UKMilePalace Pier (GB)
6/16/2021Prince of Wales's Stakes / UKTurfLove (IRE)
6/17/2021Norfolk Stakes / UKJuvenile Turf SprintPerfect Power (IRE)
6/19/2021Diamond Jubilee Stakes / UKTurf SprintDream Of Dreams (IRE)
6/26/2021Gran Premio Pamplona / PeruFilly & Mare TurfReina de Mollendo
6/26/2021Fleur de Lis Stakes / USADistaffLetruska
6/26/2021Stephen Foster Stakes / USAClassicMaxfield
6/27/2021Takarazuka Kinen / JapanTurfChrono Genesis (JPN)
7/3/2021Princess Rooney / USAFilly & Mare SprintCe Ce
7/3/2021The Suburban / USAClassicMax Player
7/4/2021John A. Nerud Stakes / USASprintMind Control
7/17/2021Haskell Invitational Stakes / USAClassicMandaloun
7/24/2021King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes / UKTurfAdayar
7/28/2021Qatar Sussex Stakes / UKMileAlcohol Free (IRE)
7/31/2021Bing Crosby Stakes / USASprintDr. Schivel

August Challenge Series Events

8/1/2021Clement L. Hirsch Stakes / USADistaffShedaresthedevil
8/7/2021The Whitney / USAClassicKnicks Go
8/14/2021The Fourstardave / USAMileGot Stormy
8/15/2021Prix Jacques Le Marois / FranceMilePalace Pier
8/18/2021Juddmonte International Stakes / UKClassicMishriff
8/19/2021Darley Yorkshire Oaks / UKFilly & Mare TurfSnowfall
8/20/2021Nunthorpe Stakes / UKTurf SprintWinter Power
8/21/2021Del Mar Handicap / USATurfAstronaut
8/21/2021Pacific Classic / USAClassicTripoli
8/22/2021Darley Prix Morny / FranceJuvenile Turf SprintPerfect Power
8/28/2021The Sword Dancer / USATurfGufo
8/28/2021The Ballerina / USAFilly & Mare SprintGamine
8/28/2021The Personal Ensign / USADistaffLetruska
8/28/2021Pat O'Brien Stakes / USADirt MileGinobili

September Challenge Series Events

9/4/2021Flower Bowl / USATurfWar Like Goddess
9/4/2021Jockey Club Gold Cup / USAClassicMax Player
9/11/2021Turf Sprint / USATurf SprintGear Jockey
9/11/2021Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes / USATurfImperador (ARG)
9/11/2021Irish Champion Stakes / IrelandTurfSt Mark's Basilica (FR)
9/11/2021Justify Matron Stakes / IrelandFilly & Mare TurfNo Speak Alexander (IRE)
9/11/2021Champions Juvenile Stakes / IrelandJuvenile TurfAtomic Jones (FR)
9/12/2021Flying Five Stakes / IrelandTurf SprintRomantic Proposal (IRE)
9/12/2021Moyglare Stud Stakes / IrelandJuvenile Fillies TurfDiscoveries (IRE)
9/18/2021Pocahontas / USAJuvenile FilliesHidden Connection
9/18/2021Iroquois / USAJuvenileMajor General
9/18/2021Jockey Club Derby Invitational / USATurfYibir (GB)
9/18/2021Woodbine Mile / CanadaMileTown Cruise
9/19/2021Natalma Stakes / CanadaJuvenile Fillies TurfWild Beauty (GB)
9/19/2021Summer Stakes / CanadaJuvenile TurfAlbahr (GB)
9/24/2021Shadwell Rockfel Stakes / UKJuvenile Fillies TurfHello You
9/25/2021Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes / UKJuvenile TurfRoyal Patronage

October Challenge Series Events

10/1/2021American Pharoah Stakes / USAJuvenileCorniche
10/1/2021Chandelier Stakes / USAJuvenile FilliesAin't Easy
10/1/2021Speakeasy Stakes / USAJuvenile Turf SprintOne Timer
10/2/2021The Champagne / USAJuvenileJack Christopher
10/2/2021Rodeo Drive Stakes / USAFilly & Mare TurfGoing to Vegas
10/2/2021Awesome Again Stakes / USAClassicMedina Spirit
10/2/2021Santa Anita Sprint Championship / USASprintDr. Schivel
10/3/2021Prix de L'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines / FranceTurf SprintA Case of You (IRE)
10/3/2021Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe / FranceTurfTorquator Tasso
10/3/2021Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere / FranceJuvenile TurfAngel Bleu
10/3/2021Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac / FranceJuvenile Fillies TurfZellie
10/3/2021Prix de L'Opera Longines / FranceFilly & Mare TurfRougir
10/3/2021Frizette Stakes / USAJuvenile FilliesEcho Zulu
10/3/2021Zenyatta Stakes / USADistaffPrivate Mission
10/8/2021Darley Alcibiades Stakes / USAJuvenile FilliesJuju's Map
10/8/2021Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes / USASprintSpecial Reserve
10/9/2021Keeneland Turf Mile Stakes / USAMileIn Love (BRZ)
10/9/2021First Lady Stakes / USAFilly & Mare TurfBlowout (GB)
10/9/2021Breeders' Futurity / USAJuvenileRattle N Roll
10/9/2021Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes / USAFilly & Mare SprintBell's the One
10/9/2021 Vosburgh Stakes / USASprintFollowing Sea
10/10/2021Indian Summer Stakes / USAJuvenile Turf SprintAverly Jane
10/10/2021Bourbon Stakes / USAJuvenile TurfTiz The Bomb
10/10/2021Spinster Stakes / USADistaffLetruska
10/10/2021Futurity Stakes / USAJuvenile Turf SprintSlipstream
10/13/2021Jessamine Stakes / USAJuvenile Fillies TurfCalifornia Angel

“Win and You’re In” – Challenge Series History

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.