Breeders' Cup will offer 67 automatic qualifying races for its 2013 World Championships, including 48 grade or group I races around the world.
The schedule, announced April 8, features races in Argentina, Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and South Africa, as well as the United States and Canada. The first automatic qualifier in the U.S. is the June 15 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs; the race offers the winner a guaranteed spot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
This year's World Championships will be held Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in California.
This year's Breeders' Cup Challenge series began in January in South Africa, when the 5-year-old Variety Club won the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (SaF-I)) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town and qualified for an automatic starting position in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). The series continues April 13 at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Australia with the T.J. Smith Stakes (Aus-I) for an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT).
Breeders' Cup will provide travel allowances to all starters outside of California for this year's Championships including Challenge race winners. As announced earlier, Breeders' Cup will provide a $40,000 travel stipend to the connections of each Challenge winner from outside of North America--up $20,000 from the 2012 overseas travel allowance--and in North America, a $10,000 travel allowance for winners stabled outside of California.
A Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of Oct. 21 to receive the rewards.
"We are very encouraged that horsemen from around the world continue to take advantage of the benefits provided in the Breeders' Cup Challenge series by awarding a guaranteed starting berth, paid entry fees, and travel allowances as the best way to secure a place into the Championships," Breeders' Cup president and chief executive officer Craig Fravel said in a release.
Breeders' Cup has scheduled 14 Challenge races in California for a total value of $610,000 in paid entry fees for race winners.
Breeders' Cup again will pay foal nominators of Challenge winners a $10,000 award.