Stud Don Alberto's 4-year-old homebred Nuevo Maestro was declared the winner of the $82,596 Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) at Club Hipico May 21, following a successful claim of foul by jockey Jorge Luis Vergara against rider Jeremy Laprida aboard stablemate Penn Rose for interference in the stretch.
It was the ninth consecutive victory for Nuevo Maestro, and earned him an automatic berth into the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T) at Churchill Downs through the international Breeders' Cup Challenge.
John Fulton, South American representative for Breeders' Cup, confirmed that the connections of Stud Don Alberto plan to ship Nuevo Maestro to the United States to compete in the Breeders' Cup Mile.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for Nuevo Maestro to start in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Breeders' Cup also provides a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of Oct. 22 to receive the rewards.
Nuevo Maestro, trained by Guillermo Aguirre, broke from post 5 as the favorite in an 11-horse field for the Falabella and stayed well off the relaxed pace set by Gran Mati, who took the field through the first six furlongs in 1:12 1/5. Vergara began his drive to the front aboard Nuevo Maestro on the far outside with about 300 yards remaining, and engaged with group 1-winning 3-year-old filly Penn Rose, as the two stablemates battled furiously to the wire. Penn Rose crossed the wire first by a head but the order of finish was reversed by the stewards, who upheld Vergara's claim that the filly had interfered with his mount in the stretch.
Defending champion Top Casablanca finished third, followed by Gran Mati in fourth. The final time for 1 1/4 miles was 1:57.73.
Nuevo Maestro improved his career record to 11 wins in 24 starts. He began his victory streak Oct. 1, 2017, a stretch that includes a 3 1/4-length victory in the 1 1/4-mile Clasico Ontono Garcia (G2) April 20 at Club Hipico.
The Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella was the second Breeders' Cup Challenge race to be run in South America this year. The 5-year-old mare Sinfonia Fantastica won the May 1 Gran Premio Criadores (G1) at Palermo in Buenos Aires and earned an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1).