The Breeders' Cup and NBC Sports Group announced April 11 the 2017 "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In, presented by Lane's End Farm and America's Best Racing" television schedule of 11 live programs featuring 17 qualifying races and other major stakes on the road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
This year's Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, now in its fourth year on NBC and NBCSN, is enhanced by the addition of the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) from Churchill Downs on June 17, the first U.S. "Win and You're In" for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1); the Arlington Million (G1T) from Arlington International Racecourse (G1T) Aug. 12, and the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1) from Del Mar on Aug. 19. Del Mar is the home of this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships, Nov. 3-4, which also will be televised live by NBC Sports Group.
The TVG Pacific Classic is expected to be the much anticipated return of defending Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Arrogate, rated No. 1 in the Longines World's Best Racehorse rankings, who is currently being rested following spectacular wins this year in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) in January and the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) last month.
"In conjunction with our partners at NBC Sports, we look forward once again to showcasing the biggest stars in our sport competing in the highest quality of races throughout the summer and fall leading to the World Championships," said Breeders' Cup president Craig Fravel. "We greatly appreciate NBC's expanded commitment and expertise in covering Thoroughbred racing, and express our gratitude for the support of our presenting sponsors of the Challenge series in Lane's End Farm and America's Best Racing."
"We are excited to present Breeders' Cup Challenge Series coverage from Belmont Stakes Day all the way through to the Breeders' Cup World Championships," said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports Group. "As the home of horse racing, the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series is integral to our live racing coverage in 10 of 12 months this year."
In addition, several NBC Sports Regional Networks will present replays of select races after their initial telecasts on NBC and NBCSN.
Below is the 2017 "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win And You're In" schedule on NBC and NBCSN. Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races are listed in bold. (All Times Eastern)
|June 10, 3-5 p.m.||NBCSN||Ogden Phipps H.||Belmont Park||Longines Distaff|
|June 10, 5-7 p.m.||NBC||Metropolitan Mile||Belmont Park||Las Vegas Dirt Mile|
|Jun. 17||NBCSN||Stephen Foster||Churchill Downs||Classic|
|8:30-10 p.m.||Fleur De Lis||Longines Distaff|
|Breeders' Cup Challenge at Churchill Downs|
|Jul. 8||NBC||Belmont Sprint Championship||Belmont Park||TwinSpires Sprint|
|4:30-6 p.m.||Belmont Oaks||F/M Turf|
|Jul. 30||NBC||Haskell Invitational||Monmouth Park||Classic|
|Aug. 5||NBC||Whitney H.||Saratoga||Classic|
|5-6 p.m.||Test S.||Racecourse||F/M Sprint Division|
|Summer at Saratoga|
|Aug. 12||NBCSN||Arlington Million||Arlington Park||Longines Turf|
|6:30-7:30 p.m.||Beverly D.||F/M Turf|
|Aug. 19||NBCSN||TVG Pacific Classic||Del Mar||Classic|
|Aug. 26||NBC||Travers S.||Saratoga||Classic Division|
|4:30-6 p.m.||Sword Dancer S.||Racecourse||Longines Turf|
|Summer at Saratoga|
|Sep. 2||NBCSN||Woodward S.||Saratoga||Classic Division|
|6-7 p.m.||Spinaway S.||Racecourse||14 Hands Winery Juvenile|
|Summer at Saratoga||Fillies|
|Oct. 7||NBC||Claiborne Breeders' Futurity||Keeneland||Sentient Jet Juvenile|
|5-6 p.m.||Shadwell Mile||Mile|
|Jockey Club Gold Cup||Belmont Park||Classic|
|Oct. 8||NBCSN||Dixiana Bourbon S.||Keeneland||Juvenile Turf|
|5-6 p.m.||Juddmonte Spinster S.||Longines Distaff|