The Breeders' Cup and NBC Sports Group announced April 10 the 2018 "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In, presented by America's Best Racing" television schedule, consisting of 11 live programs featuring a lineup of more than 20 automatic qualifying races, and other major stakes, from seven premier racetracks on the road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Now in its fifth year on NBC and NBCSN, the series showcases the top horses as they vie for a spot in the 2018 Breeders' Cup to be run at Churchill Downs Nov. 2-3, which will also be televised live by the NBC Sports Group.
The 2018 "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In, presented by America's Best Racing" begins on Belmont Stakes Day, June 9, with the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1), the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) and the Jaipur Invitational (G2T) live from Belmont Park, and continues with live telecasts of American fixtures throughout the summer, including the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs, which is the first of five televised qualifying races for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). Following the Foster, NBC and NBCSN will provide live coverage of the betfair.com Haskell Invitational (G1) from Monmouth Park; the Arlington Million XXXV1 (G1T) from Arlington International Racecourse; the Whitney Handicap (G1), the Travers Stakes (G1), and The Woodward (G1) from Saratoga Race Course; and the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) from Santa Anita Park. The televised series will conclude in October with the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1T) and Juddmonte Spinster (G1) from Keeneland Race Course. The 2017 Horse of the Year, Gun Runner , captured the Stephen Foster, Whitney and Woodward prior to winning the Breeders' Cup Classic.
New this year, Breeders' Cup is providing an "Add to Calendar" feature that allows fans to easily add the complete Breeders' Cup Challenge and Championships NBC Sports television schedule to their calendar. The calendar will automatically provide broadcast reminders including tune-in information and NBC and NBCSN channel numbers specific to fans' locations and cable providers. Fans can click here for more information and to add to their calendar now.
Breeders' Cup Challenge Series coverage on NBC and NBCSN will be live streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
"We are proud to work with NBC Sports to provide our fans with outstanding racing action and in depth analysis of the best Thoroughbreds competing for automatic berths into the World Championships," said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup president and CEO. "We also greatly appreciate the cooperation and support from the tracks hosting our Challenge races and the commitment from our presenting sponsor America's Best Racing."
"The Breeders' Cup Challenge Series gives our viewers the crucial opportunity to see the world's top horses throughout the summer before they meet at the Breeders' Cup World Championships in November," said Jon Miller, president of programming for the NBC Sports Group. "We're excited to once again bring the series to viewers nationwide."
As announced April 9, four Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" races from the Royal Ascot meeting in Great Britain on June 19-23 will also be televised live and streamed by NBC Sports Group.