A pair of group races in South America June 21 offer automatic berths to the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) this fall at Keeneland.
The international Breeders' Cup Challenge continues with the Grande Premio Brasil (Brz-I) at the Hipódromo da Gávea in Rio de Janeiro, for an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf Oct. 31, and the Clasico Cesar del Rio (Per-III) at the Hipodromo de Monterrico in Peru, for a berth into the Breeders' Cup Distaff Oct. 30
The 17-horse field in the Grande Premio Brasil at 1 1/2 miles, for 3-year-olds and up, is led by Stud Blue Mountain's 3-year-old chestnut colt Quinhao, a late closer who won the Grande Prix Sao Paulo (Brz-I) May 3 at the same distance over rival Famous Acteon. Jockey Acedenir Gulart will be aboard Quinhao, breaking from the outside post positon.
Quinhao, trained by Marcos Ferreira, reversed a decision in the Sao Paulo over Famous Acteon, who won the Grande Premio Cruzeiro do Sul (Brz-I) also going 1 1/2 miles at Gavea on March 29 by three-quarters of a length.
Famous Acteon, a 3-year-old son of Acteon Man, is trained by Dulcino Guignoni, who handled last year's Grande Premio winner Bal a Bali . Famous Acteon will start from post 2 under jockey Angelo Souza.
Another highly rated 3 year-old is Stud San Francesco de Serra's Paint Naif, who won five starts last year, including the Grande Premio Jockey Club (Brz-I). Overcoming some foot problems at the start of the season, the bay son of Crimson Tide trained by Julio Sampaio was fourth in the Grande Premio Cruzeiro do Sul (Brz-I) March 29 and was most recently fifth of eight in the Doutor Frontin (Brz-II) May 24 at Gávea.
At Monterrico Sunday, Stud Santa Maria's Salama, a 5-year-old daughter of Desert Party , headlines the nine horse field for the Clasico Cesar del Rio at 1 1/4 miles on the dirt for a bid into the Distaff.
Ridden by Edwin Talaverano out of post 1, Salama won three consecutive races to close out 2014, before losing to Shakita by 2 1/2 lengths May 10 in the 1 1/16-mile Clasico Portadora at Monterrico. Shakita, a 4-year-old Argentine-bred, coupled as part of an entry with Golden Woman for Stud Nautica, will be ridden by Victor Fernandez.
Another formidable opponent is the consistent Broken Game, for Stud Los 900, who has won four of her last five starts and is six of eight lifetime. An Ontario-bred daughter of Broken Vow , trained by Alfsonso Rodriguez, Broken Game won the 1 1/4 mile Felipe Pardo y Barreda March 8.
Kentucky-bred Azarenka, third in last year's Cesar del Rio, is coming off a second-place finish to Broken Games in the Felipe Pardo y Barreda. The daughter of Street Hero was Peru's Horse of the Year of 2013.