Nuevo Maestro Earns Breeders’ Cup Mile Berth
When Justify won the Preakness Saturday, he positioned himself to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in horse racing history should he win the Belmont Stakes on June 9. Justify would also create even more interest for the Breeders’ Cup over the summer and into the fall leading into the Nov. 2-3 World Championships at Churchill Downs. But late May is also when the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races start to kick in with three races leading into 15 “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series races in June.
The Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) at Club Hipico was won by Nuevo Maestro on May 21, and he earned an automatic entry to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1T) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3. The 4-year-old homebred won his 9th straight race following a successful claim of foul by jockey Jorge Luis Vergara against rider Jeremy Laprida aboard stablemate Penn Rose for interference in the stretch.
Along with a fees-paid entry to the BC Mile, the Breeders’ Cup also provides a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside North America to compete in the World Championships.
Nuevo Maestro was the favorite in an 11-horse field for the Gran Premio, and a furious finish to the wire with stablemate filly Penn Rose saw the filly cross the wire first by a head. But the order of finish was reversed by the stewards following jockey 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, and will be one of the favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Mile later this year.
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).