Breeders’ Cup Ltd issued a rundown of the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In schedule, which consists of 80 races in 11 countries. Each winner will receive automatic qualifying positions, with fees paid, into a corresponding race in the 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Horses from around the globe will qualify through the Win and You’re In program, now in its 16th year, for the 40th running of the World Championships. Consisting of 14 Grade I races and purses and awards totaling $31 million, this year’s Championships will be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park.
The first Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race of the year in the United States will be the May 29 GI Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita, a qualifying race for the GI FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Thirty-nine international races will complement the North American season as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is hosted at premier racetracks in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Peru and South Africa.
After a successful restructuring in 2022, the 2023 series in the U.S. will again feature a regional qualifying program to balance divisional competition across the country. In 10 of the 14 race divisions, there will be one Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race per region, identified as East, Midwest, and West. The exception to the regional format will be the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic division, which will have six domestic qualifying races. New this year, all North American Challenge races must be graded to be included in the series.
Breeders’ Cup has allocated $5,120,000 in free entry fees for this year’s Challenge Series and will pay the entry fees and guarantee a starting position in a corresponding Championships race for all Challenge Series race winners. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 23 to receive the rewards.
In addition, Breeders’ Cup will provide a $10,000 travel allowance for all starters within North America that are stabled outside of California, and a $40,000 travel allowance to the connections of all Championship starters based outside of North America.
There will be eight automatic berths awarded for the $6 million GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. Lemon Pop became the first horse to qualify for this year’s Classic when he won the Feb. 19 February S. at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan. The next automatic qualifier in the division will be the July 1 GI Stephen Foster S. at Churchill Downs.
The international portion of the series began Dec. 17 when the The Punisher (ARG) captured the G1 Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini at Hipodromo de San Isidro in Argentina to gain the first automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The complete 2023 schedule is available at www.BreedersCup.com/races/challenge-series