Live On CNBC: Two Days Of Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series From Keeneland

Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., hosts two days of Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In live horse racing coverage this weekend, headlined by the $1 million Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) on Saturday and $600,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Sunday, at 5 p.m. ET both days on CNBC. Keeneland will also serve as host of the 39th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 4-5 presented across NBC Sports.

Saturday and Sunday’s coverage on CNBC mark the final two programs in this year’s “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” on NBC, Peacock, and CNBC from some of North America’s most iconic racetracks. The complete series TV schedule can be accessed here and the NBC Sports programming schedule can be found here.

NBC Sports’ coverage will be led by host Ahmed Fareed, analyst Randy Moss, handicapper Matt Bernier, and reporters Britney Eurton and Nick Luck.

Godolphin’s 4-year-old Santin leads the 12-horse field with four also-eligibles in the Coolmore Turf Mile, which gives the winner a free berth into the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). Trained by Brendan Walsh, Santin has won two Grade 1 stakes races this year, taking the Old Forester Turf Classic in May at Churchill Downs, and after a sixth-place finish in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in June, came back to win the Arlington Million at Churchill on Aug. 13. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount, breaking from post 7. The Bill Mott-trained Casa Creed has earned invitations into two World Championships races this year. Owned by LRE Racing LLC and JEH Racing Stable LLC, Casa Creed gained a free berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) when he captured the 6-furlong Jaipur Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in June and then won the 1-mile Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 13 and gained an automatic starting position into the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile. Casa Creed will be ridden by Luis Saez from post nine.

From California, Cannon Thoroughbreds’ 5-year-old Smooth Like Strait led last year’s FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar until the final furlong before being overtaken by Modern Games (IRE) and finished a half-length behind in second. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Smooth Like Strait was second to Santin in the Arlington Million. John Velazquez rides Smooth Like Straight from post two.

Returning from Ireland to the scene of his greatest win is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Order of Australia (IRE), who came off the also-eligible list before the 2020 FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland and won it by a neck at odds of 73-1. Owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Anne-Marie O’Brien, Order of Australia captured this year’s Romanised Minstrel Stakes (G2) at The Curragh in Ireland on July 17. Christophe Soumillon has the mount, breaking from post three.

One race prior to the Coolmore Turf Mile, a Win and You’re In berth in the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) will be up for grabs in the $600,000 Keeneland Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds. A full field of 14 plus two also-eligibles has been entered, led by 3-1 morning line favorite Forte. Owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, Forte won the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 5, splashing home in the mud to a 3-length victory under Irad Ortiz Jr., who retains the mount, breaking from post seven.

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox won the Breeders’ Futurity and the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2020 with Essential Quality, one of five horses to capture both races. On Saturday, Cox sends out impressive maiden winner Loggins for Spendthrift Farm LLC, Steve Landers Racing LLC, Martin Schwartz, Michael Dubb, Ten Strike Racing, Jim Bakke, Titletown Racing Stables, Kueber Racing, Big Easy Racing, and Winners Win. On Sept. 17 at Churchill Downs, Loggins won a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight by a widening 8 ½ lengths. Florent Geroux has the mount, breaking from post two.

Sunday’s $600,000 Juddmonte Spinster for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, gives the winner a free starting position into the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). St. George Stable’s Letruska won last year’s Spinster before finishing a disappointing 10th in the Distaff at Del Mar. Still, she had a marvelous season of six wins, four of them Grade 1 scores, which lifted her to the Older Dirt Female Eclipse Award. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, the 6-year-old Letruska has two wins in four starts this year, including the Grade 1 Apple Blossom in April at Oaklawn Park. Letruska will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from post 3.

Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat, trained by Todd Pletcher, won last year’s Central Bank Ashland at Keeneland (G1), the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), and the Alabama Stakes (G1) to propel her to the 3-year-old filly Championship. This year, the daughter of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Curlin has won the Baird Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) at Keeneland’s spring meeting, and most recently, the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 27. John Velazquez will ride Malathaat, breaking from post one.

The $350,000 Bourbon Stakes (G2), for 2-year-olds on the grass course, precedes the Spinster. The winner receives an invitation to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). The field of 12 and four also-eligibles is led by Breeze Easy and John Oxley’s Boppy O. Trained by Mark Casse, Boppy O started twice in dirt races before making his turf debut in the With Anticipation Stakes (G3) at Saratoga on Aug. 31, and won it by a neck at 23-1. The Florida-bred son of Bolt d’Oro will be ridden from post six by Dylan Davis.

Reckoning Force, owned by Fergus Galvin, Marc Detampel, and Magnolia Racing Syndicate, and trained by Brendan Walsh, broke his maiden in his fourth start, winning the listed Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile Stakes on Sept. 14. Joel Rosario will ride, breaking from post three. The Steve Asmussen-trained Gigante is also a stakes winner. Owned by Iapetus Racing and Diamond T Racing, Gigante won the black-type Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Colonial Downs on Sept. 6 by 6 ¾ lengths. Vincent Cheminaud has the mount on Gigante, starting from post nine.

As part of the benefits, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for all Challenge Series winners to start in the World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $10,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of Kentucky to compete in the World Championships.

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