The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series has extended its catchment, and will run three races in Japan to further its global outreach. They don’t call it the World Championships of Thoroughbred Racing for nothing, right? This is a great development for the sport in general and will certainly do much to raise the profile of American racing in Japan.
“Working in concert with the Japan Racing Association, we are very pleased and proud to strengthen the international reach of the Challenge series by adding the February Stakes, Yasuda Kinen, and the Sprinters Stakes to our schedule,” noted Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Craig Fravel.
The February Stakes were run in the month you’d expect at Tokyo Racecourse, with Moanin winning the race. He will now be booked for the Classic. Moanin is an extremely interesting challenger who is undefeated in two races in 2016 after beginning his career late last year with a third place show at the Musashino Stakes (GR3). He was the first to gain entry to the Breeders’ Cup Classic through the Challenge Series and has since been joined by Bradester and Melatnonin.
The Yasuda Kinen just ran earlier in June with Logotype earning the win and a berth in to the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The six-year old is 4-3-2 in 20 tries and wasn’t really considered a contender for the Challenge Series qualifier. But he shocked the Tokyo crowd with a rousing victory. It was his first win since he opened his career with three triumphs back in 2013.
The final BC Challenge Series in Japan is the Sprinters Stakes, which will go off on October 2nd at Nakayama. It provides a berth in to the Turf Sprint for the winner.
International qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup who gain entry through the Challenge Series will also be provided with waived entry fees and a $40K stipend by the race organizers.
Feel free to check out the official page for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series by clicking here !