Aragorn First Horse of Racing Age to be Nominated to Breeders' Cup

Edited press release

Officials of Breeders' Cup have confirmed that Belinda Strudwick's 4-year-old colt Aragorn, who is entered in the April 29 $400,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. II) at Golden Gate Fields, has become the first horse of racing age to join the Breeders' Cup program.

Pam Blatz-Murff, senior vice president of Breeders' Cup operations, confirmed the $150,000 payment from Strudwick, of Ballygallon Stud in Ireland, earlier this week. This places Aragorn, who was not nominated to the Breeders' Cup program as a foal, into it for his entire racing career. Trained by Neil Drysdale, Aragorn, by Giant's Causeway , won last year's Oak Tree Derby (gr. II), and was recently second by a head in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.

The San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile is a part of the Breeders' Cup stakes program, a series of 135 added money races held at 43 racetracks across the United Stakes and Canada. Breeders' Cup is enhancing the program with $8 million in Breeders' Cup funds, which can be earned by Breeders' Cup nominated horses. Aragorn is now eligible to run for the full $400,000 purse of the San Francisco Breeders' Cup, which includes $100,000 in Breeders' Cup funds.

In addition, should Aragorn be entered in a Breeders' Cup World Championships race, the owner would pay standard pre-entry and entry fees, instead of paying a 9% supplemental fee to start.

"We are pleased that Mrs. Strudwick has taken advantage of our new nomination rules for horses of racing age, which puts Aragorn into the Breeders' Cup Program for his entire racing career," said Blatz-Murff. "We will continue to contact owners of non-nominated horses throughout the year to inform them of our expanded program benefits."

Breeders' Cup announced revised rules to its nomination program April 21 following approval by its board of directors. Under the revised system, after December 15 of the foal's first year, owners of a non-nominated horse, sired by a Breeders' Cup, European Breeders' Fund (EBF), or Common Fund stallion nominated in the year of conception, may now pay a one-time, $150,000 late nomination fee to place that horse into the Breeders' Cup program for its entire racing career. Owners of a Thoroughbred sired by a non-nominated Breeders' Cup, EBF, or Common Fund stallion in the year of conception may also secure nomination into the Breeders' Cup program with a one-time, $250,000 late nomination payment to Breeders' Cup.

In both late nomination scenarios, owners of these horses would pay standard pre-entry and entry fees to run in Breeders' Cup World Championships races and would be eligible for full purse and award monies in the Breeders' Cup stakes program.