Hopeful Kicks Off Bessemer Challenge

Saturday's Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga kicks off the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge, which offers bonus monies of up to $1.3 million.

The challenge, put on by The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), in conjunction with Bessemer Trust, is comprised of eight 2-year-old races that lead up to the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to be run Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.

The Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge will award $250,000 to the owner of any colt or gelding who wins one of the series' eight designated races plus the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile. If the horse has been sold at public auction, the consignor will receive a $50,000 bonus if he or she is a participant in the NTRA's voluntary program. If that horse goes on to win the Kentucky Derby the following year, the owner will earn an additional $1 million Bessemer Trust Super Bonus.

The complete series schedule is as follows:

8/31, Hopeful Stakes, Saratoga
9/11, Del Mar Futurity, Del Mar
9/15, Futurity Stakes, Belmont Park
9/28, Arlington-Washington Futurity, Arlington Park
10/5, Norfolk Stakes, Santa Anita (Oak Tree)
10/5, Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, Keeneland    
10/5, Champagne Stakes, Belmont Park    
10/6, Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes, Woodbine