Village King Gets BC Turf Spot With Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional Victory

Haras El Angel De Venecia’s 7-year-old Village King (ARG) took the lead with two furlongs remaining and cruised to a nine-length victory Saturday in the 1 ½-mile Group 1 Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional at Hipódromo de San Isidro in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With this victory, Village King, ridden by Martin Valle, earned an automatic starting position into the 2022 Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held on Nov. 4-5 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional, South America’s most prestigious race, was the first Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race of the 2022 season.

Village King (ARG), trained by Carlos Etchechoury, finished third in the 2017 and 2020 editions of the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini. Today, the bay son of Campanologist out of the Pleasant Tap mare Villard, won his ninth race in 21 starts, and his fourth G1 triumph. He completed the 1½ miles in 2:23.42.

Sent off at the 9-1 third choice in the 19-horse field, Village King broke sharply and settled in behind the pace set by Sandino Ruler (ARG) and Encarrilado (ARG) through the first 1600 meters in 1:37.15. On the turn for home, Village King ranged up and easily passed a fading Encarrilado and set his sights on Sandino Ruler, catching the pacesetter in midstretch and extending his margin to nine lengths at the wire. Mirinaque (ARG), the 5-1 second choice, closed well to finish second, with Sandino Ruler holding on for third. Cool Day (ARG), the defending champion and 2-1 favorite, finished ninth.

Village King began his career in Argentina with five starts and was then sent to the U.S. following a third-place finish in the 2017 Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini. Under the care of trainer Todd Pletcher, Village King made eight starts, highlighted by a win in the 2018 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct. After an eighth-place finish in the G1 Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.,  in May 2019, Village King was returned to Argentina and won his first race on more familiar ground, taking the 1 ½-mile G2 Progreso at San Isidro.

Following a second-place finish in the G1 Copa De Oro-Alfredo Lalor, Village King finished third in last year’s Carlos Pellegrini, just slightly more than a half-length behind Cool Day. He continued his solid form into 2021, reeling off three consecutive turf victories at San Isidro, taking the G1 Miguel Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, the G3 Porteno, and the G1 25 de May – Copa Dr. Enrique de Hoz. The streak ended Oct. 24 in the G1 Longines Gran Premio Latino Americano on dirt at Maronas Nacional Racecourse in Uruguay, where he finished fourth, 6 ¼ lengths behind Aero Trem (BRZ).

As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Village King to start in the 1 ½-mile Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24, 2022, to receive the rewards.

The post Village King Gets BC Turf Spot With Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini Internacional Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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