The richest race in South America—the $500,000 Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano (G1)—brings together 16 runners for a 1 1/2-mile test March 5 at Valparaiso Sporting Club in Vina del Mar, Chile.
Run on differing surfaces based on the location—the race is a movable feast around South America much like the Breeders’Cup—this year’s event will be run on turf.
First run in 1981, the Latino Americano will be held in Chile for the ninth time but it is a first outside of Santiago for the Valparaiso Sporting Club, owned by Carlo Rossi Soffia. Rossi was recently re-elected as chairman of the Organización Latinoamericana de Fomento del Pura Sangre de Carrera.
A crowd of some 50,000 is expected for a 22-race card. Post time for the main event is 7:30 p.m. local time and 5:30 p.m. EST.
The top players in the race looking to knock down the $300,000 first prize are Sixties Song from Argentina, Chile’s Full of Luck, and Paso Real from Peru.
Sixties Song (Sixties Icon—Blissful Song, by Unbridled’s Song) closed with authority from eighth to win the Carlos Pellegrini at San Isidoro (Argentina) in mid December. The Pellegrini, at the same 12-furlong trip, is considered the second top event on the continent.
Full of Luck is one of two runners in the field for shuttle stallion Lookin At Lucky . Out of Fusaichi, by Fusaichi Pegasus , Full of Luck has run in seven group 1 or 2 races in his eight starts and exits a one-length win in the El Derby over the Valparaiso turf.
Peru’s Paso Real has a 3-2-2 slate in eight starts, winning at Montevideo last out Dec. 11 in the Gran Premio Nacional Augusto B. Leguia (G1). Out of a Speightstown mare, Paso Real is a son of Man of Iron, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Marathon and a half brother to Belmont Stakes (G1) winners Rags to Riches and Jazil.
Another of the Latino Americano starters, Argentina’s Ordak Dan, by Hidden Truth (by Danzig), ventured to North America for the 2015 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T) at Keeneland and finished ninth behind Found.