The Breeders’ Cup announced that four races have been added to the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, bringing the final total for this year’s schedule to 57, an increase from 24 races in 2007.
Winners of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races -- which this year will be held in U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Great Britain -- earn automatic qualifying berths into a corresponding race at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held on October 24 and 25 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Three of the four added Challenge races are automatic qualifiers for the new $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, which will be run at 1 ½ miles for 3-year-olds and up. They are: the Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park on July 19, the July 30 Cougar II at Del Mar and the Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) at Turfway Park on Sept. 6. The Sept. 20 one mile Tiznow Stakes at Louisiana Downs is a “Win and You’re In” qualifying race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
The 2008 Breeders’ Cup Challenge began in Hong Kong on April 27 at Sha Tin Race Course where Good Ba Ba won the Champions Mile (HK-I), and qualified for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) on turf. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge resumed on July 5 at Monmouth Park with the Salvator Mile (gr. IIII) and the United Nations Handicap (gr. I). A total of 17 tracks will host Breeders’ Cup Challenge races this year, including for the first time, Woodbine Race Course in Toronto and Ascot Racecourse in England. Breeders’ Cup Challenge races will be televised on ABC, ESPN, TVG and HRTV in more than 120 countries.