South America’s Biggest Race Kicks Off 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series

 Led by multiple Group 1-winning 3-year-old Mirinaque (ARG),  and the talented 3-year-old filly Joy Canela (ARG), an accomplished field of 24 runners has been entered for Saturday’s 1 ½-mile Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini (G1) — South America’s most prestigious race —  at San Isidro Racecourse. The race winner will receive an automatic berth into the 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held on Nov. 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.

As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini to start in the 1 ½-mile Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.  Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. If not Breeders’ Cup eligible, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 26 of next year to receive the rewards.

The Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini is the first Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race of 2020. The early date allows the race winner more preparation time for the 2020 World Championships.

This year’s race features nine Group 1 winners, and includes starters from Brazil, Uruguay as well as the home country, Argentina.

Mirinaque, owned and trained by Maria Christina Munoz, has won four of his last five starts, including  a 1 ½-length victory in the  1 ½-mile Nacional (G1) (Argentine Derby) on Nov. 9 on the dirt track at Palermo.  Two starts back, Mirinaque, a gray/roan son of Hurricane Cat out of Langostura (ARG) by Honour and Glory, won his first Group 1, taking the about one-mile Polla de Potrillos by a half-length. Following that score, he went off as the favorite in 1 ¼-mile Gran Premio Jockey Club (G1) at San Isidro on Oct. 12, but finished fourth, beaten 3 ½ lengths over a heavy course in his second start on turf. Mirinaque will be ridden by Francisco Concalves.

Joy Canela, owned by Stud Puey and trained by Nicolás Martín Ferro, also has two Group 1 wins to her credit. On Sept. 9 at Palermo, the bay daughter of Fortify out of the Bernstein mare Stormy Catlike (ARG), captured the one-mile Polla de Protrancas.  In her next start at Palermo, the 1 ¼-mile Gran Premio Selecion on dirt on Oct. 5, she finished second, four lengths behind Nastia (ARG). However, Joy Canela rebounded in her last race. Making her first career start at San Isidrio, she captured the Nov. 2 Enrique Acebal (G1) on turf, coming from off the pace and sweeping to a six-length victory. Joy Canela will be ridden by Eduardo Ortega Pavon.

Two other Argentinian starters are formidable for Saturday’s race.  Marovi Sa’s 3-year-old  Tetaze (ARG), ridden by Gustavo Calvente, has stood tall in Group stakes company, finishing second to Mirinaque in the Nacional as the 2-1 favorite, and winning the about 1 3/8-mile Eduardo Casey (G2) at Palermo by five lengths in his previous start for trainer Juan Saldivia.  In his lone turf effort, Tetaze, a dark by son of Equal Stripes (ARG), finished fifth in the one-mile Gran Premio Dos Mil. Guineas (G1) at San Isidro on Aug. 3. 

Milanese Mauricio’s Emiterio (ARG) leads the local contingent of older horses based on his half-length win in the 1 ½-mile Copa de Oro (G1) on turf at San Isidro on Oct. 26. Trained by Pablo Guerrero and ridden by Christian Velazquez, Emiterio, a dark bay son of Treasure Beach (GB), finished second by 2 ½ lengths in Gran Premio General San Martin (G1) at Palermo prior to winning the Copa de Oro.

A top star from Brazil, who will be making his first star in Argentina, is Stud Happy Again’s 4-year-old George Washington (BRZ), who won the Gran Premio Brazil at Gavea in Rio de Janeiro (G1) by 3 ½ lengths back in June, and earned a “Win and You’re In” berth into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf.  Trained by Luiz Esteves and ridden by Marcelo Concalves, George Washington won his next start, capturing the 1 ¼ mile Gran Premio Dezesseis de Juhlo (G2) by a neck on July 14. However, the bay of Redattore (BRZ) was defeated at odd-on in his last two starts, finishing second by a neck in the Joao Borges Fiho and fifth to Agassi (BRZ)  in the 1 ½- mile Antonia Joaquim Peixoto de Castro Jr. (G2) on Oct. 27.

Stud Verde’s 4-year-old Agassi, ridden by Altair Domingos, has four wins in 11 starts, including the Group 2 Grande Premio Doutor Frontin at Gavea for trainer Luiz Esteves.

Haras Phillipson’s 3-year-old Nao Da Mais (BRZ) is another Group 1 winner entered in the Carlos Pellegrini. Trained by Alfonso Barbosa and ridden by Carlos Lavor, the bay son of T.H. Approval won the 1 ½ -mile Gran Premio Derby Paulista at Cidade Jardim in Sao Paulo on Nov. 9 by 3 ¾ lengths.

Saturday’s race will take on added significance for Uruguayan jockey Pablo Falero, who will be riding in his final Carlos Pellegrini aboard Haras Vacacion S.A.’s 4-year-old Fromm (ARG). The 53-year-old Falero, one of Argentina’s most popular and successful jockeys with more than 8,500 wins, will retire after riding on the Jan. 6, 2020 program at Hipodromo Nacional de Maroñas in Uruguay.

The post South America’s Biggest Race Kicks Off 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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