Brazilian-bred Mr. Nedawi became the first horse to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. II) this year following his two-length victory in the 1 9/16-mile Clasico Belgrano (Arg-I) at the Hipodromo Argentino Palermo June 20.
Mr. Nedawi completed the race in 2:36.38 over a sloppy track in the 11-horse field. It was the second win of the year for Mr. Nedawi, who captured the group I Gran Premio Jose Pedro Ramirez at Maronas in Uruguay in January.
A son of Nedawi out of the Cryptoclearance mare Cryptic Crucial, Mr. Nedawi won his 14th career race for owners Stud Hole in One and trainer Joao G. da Costa in capturing the Clasico Belgrano. Mr. Nedawi was bred in Brazil by Hara Old Friends Ltda.
The Clasico Belgrano was the first-ever Breeders’ Cup Challenge race held in South America. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a global series of 68 stakes. The winners receive automatic starting positions into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Churchill Downs Nov. 4-5
As part of the enhanced benefits program for Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners introduced this year, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees of $15,000 and a travel allowance of $20,000 to the owners of Mr. Nedawi if the horse is nominated to the Breeders’ Cup by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24 to receive the rewards.
“We were very confident on Mr. Nedawi because this is his distance,” said da Costa. “He was running over 2,000 meters and you have some very fast milers, so the rhythm is different. This is a very nice horse, easy to train; he always runs his race.”
About the possibility to get the trip to Churchill Downs, da Costa explained: "We will talk with the owners, but it (the Marathon) can be a good spot.”
The Clasico Belgrano was the fourth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race this year.