What to know about the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series

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The Breeders’ Cup World Championships brings top Thoroughbreds from around the world together for two days of racing with tens of millions of dollars on the line. The 2019 Breeders’ Cup will take place on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2, only on NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. The Breeders’ Cup changes locations every year, and the 2019 edition will remain at Santa Anita Park in California, despite 30 horse deaths during its last racing season.

Over the weekend, pre-qualified horses will run 14 races (on both the dirt and turf), culminating in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series offers a direct path to one of the most exciting weekends in horse racing. Claiming victory in any of the BCCS’ “Win and You’re In” races equals an automatic entry into that division’s corresponding race, all entry fees paid. With a maximum of 14 horses in each race, the rest are chosen via a points system and a panel of judges.

“Win and You’re In” races are held around the world, including in the U.S., England, Brazil and Japan, contributing to the global reach of the Breeders’ Cup.

NBC Sports broadcast schedule:

  • Jaipur Invitational Stakes (Turf Sprint)
    • June 8, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Belmont Park
    • Winner: World of Trouble | Replay
  • Runhappy Met Mile (Dirt Mile)
    • June 8, 4 p.m. ET (NBC), Belmont Park
    • Winner: Mitole | Replay
  • Stephen Foster (Classic)
    • June 15, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Churchill Downs
    • Winner: Seeking the Soul | Replay
  • Fleur de Lis (Longines Distaff)
    • June 15, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Churchill Downs
    • Winner: Elate | Replay
  • Queen Anne Stakes (TVG Mile)
    • June 18, 8:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN), Royal Ascot
    • Winner: Lord Glitters | Replay
  • Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Longines Turf) ⁠
    • June 19, 8:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN), Royal Ascot
    • Winner: Crystal Ocean | Replay
  • Norfolk Stakes (Juvenile Turf Sprint) ⁠
    • June 20, 8:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN), Royal Ascot
    • Winner: A’Ali | Replay
  • Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Turf Sprint) ⁠
    • June 22, 9 a.m. ET (NBC), Royal Ascot
    • Winner: Blue Point | Replay
  • John A. Nerud (Sprint)
    • July 6, 4 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Belmont Park
    • Winner: Promises Fulfilled | Replay
  • Haskell Invitational (Classic) ⁠
    • July 20, 5 p.m. ET (NBC), Monmouth Park
    • Winner: Maximum Security | Replay
  • Qatar Sussex Stakes (TVG Mile)
    • July 31, 9 a.m. ET (NBCSN), Goodwood Racecourse
    • Winner: Too Darn Hot | Replay
  • Whitney Stakes (Classic) ⁠
    • Aug. 3, 5 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Saratoga Race Course
    • Winner: McKinzie | Replay
  • Fourstardave Handicap (TVG Mile) ⁠
    • Aug. 10, 5 p.m. ET (NBC), Saratoga Race Course
    • Winner: Got Stormy | Replay
  • Jockey Club Derby (Longiness Turf) ⁠
    • Sept. 7, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC), Belmont Park
  • Cotillion Stakes (Longiness Distaff) ⁠
    • Sept. 21, 5 p.m. ET (NBC), Parx Racing
  • Awesome Again Stakes (Classic) ⁠
    • Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Santa Anita Park
  • Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (TVG Juvenile) ⁠
    • Oct. 5, 5:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Keeneland Race Course
  • Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (TVG Mile) ⁠
    • Oct. 5, 5:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN), Keeneland Race Course
  • Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (Longiness Distaff) ⁠
    • Oct. 6, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC), Keeneland Race Course
  • Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (Juvenile Turf) ⁠
    • Oct. 6, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC), Keeneland Race Course

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series continues on NBC Sports with the Jockey Club Derby from Belmont Park on September 7. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. on NBC.

Higher Power wins $1M Pacific Classic

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DEL MAR, Calif. — With his top two horses elsewhere, John Sadler took a chance with a couple others in his barn.

Higher Power paid off.

The 4-year-old colt took command turning into the stretch and won the $1 million Pacific Classic by 5 1/4 lengths at Del Mar on Saturday, making Sadler the first trainer to win the Grade 1 race in consecutive years with different horses.

“The second time is just as sweet,” Sadler said.

In 2018, Accelerate ended Sadler’s 0-for-11 skid with a record 12 1/2-length victory in the West’s biggest race of the summer. Owner-brothers Kosta and Pete Hronis joined Sadler with consecutive victories.

“Winning it back to back is a tribute to John Sadler,” Kosta Hronis said.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Higher Power ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.43 at the seaside track north of San Diego. Sent off at 9-1 odds, the colt paid $21.20, $9.40 and $7.40.

“When we entered the backside he really grabbed the bit and I was travelling really well,” Prat said. “Once the leader fell apart he really jumped into the bridle and did everything on his own, so I thought that was the right move.”

Draft Pick returned $17.40 and $10 at 13-1 odds. Mongolian Groom was another neck back in third and paid $7.20 to show at 18-1 odds.

Higher Power earned an automatic berth in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita this fall.

Seeking the Soul, the 2-1 favorite, finished seventh.

“He didn’t try at all,” jockey John Velazquez said. “No effort. I don’t get it.”

Sadler’s top two handicap horses, Gift Box and Catalina Cruiser, weren’t in the picture. Gift Box won’t run again until this fall and Catalina Cruiser is tabbed to run next in a sprint race.

Not seeing a dominant horse in the race, Sadler entered Higher Power. The colt responded with the first stakes win of his career.

“It developed pretty much the way we thought,” he said. “We thought there would be some speed on the inside and the plan was to stalk. It came out the way we thought it would.”

Sadler’s other entry, Campaign, finished fifth.

The victory, worth $600,000, increased Higher Power’s career earnings to $800,648, with five wins in 13 starts.

Sadler didn’t get Higher Power in his barn until spring. The colt was with another trainer for the first six starts of his career and then transferred to a different trainer.

In other stakes:

– Acclimate won the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap by a length under Florent Geroux. The 5-year-old brown gelding earned an automatic berth in the BC Turf.

Trained by Phil D’Amato, Acclimate ran 1 3/8 miles on turf in 2:12.71 and paid $16.60 to win at 7-1 odds.

– Cambier Parc shipped in from New York and won the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks by 1 1/4 lengths for trainer Chad Brown.

Ridden by Velazquez, the 3-year-old filly ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.75. She paid $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite.

– Fighting Mad cruised to an eight-length victory in the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, the 3-year-old filly ran one mile in 1:38.61. Fighting Mad paid $6.60 as the 2-1 favorite trained by Bob Baffert. She’s owned by Gary and Mary West, owners of Maximum Security, disqualified after finishing first in the Kentucky Derby.

– Mr Vargas won the $100,000 Green Flash Handicap by 2 1/4 lengths.

The 5-year-old gelding ran five furlongs on turf in 56.15 seconds under Talamo. Mr Vargas paid $8.40 to win for trainer Brian Koriner.

Horologist upsets Jaywalk in Monmouth Oaks

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OCEANPORT, N.J. — Horologist upset Jaywalk, last year’s juvenile filly champion, in the $162,500 Monmouth Oaks on Saturday.

As expected, 1-5 favorite Jaywalk set the pace until Horologist made a strong run along the rail on the final turn. She slipped by to win by three quarters of a length in the stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Monmouth Park.

Horologist, bred in New Jersey, won for the fifth time in 10 starts for trainer John Mazza. Mazza said he was confident his horse would run a “bang-up race,” but he didn’t know it would be enough to beat a “champion like Jaywalk.”

Angel Suarez was aboard for the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.44.

Jaywalk was coming off a nine-length win in the Delaware Oaks last month. She closed out last season by winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to clinch the Eclipse Award.

Horologist – whose name refers to a maker or dealer of timepieces – paid 12.80, $3.40 and $2.10 as the 5-1 second choice in the five-horse field.

Jaywalk returned $2.10 and $2.10. Sweet Sami D paid $2.10 to show, and was followed by Lady Banba and Stay Smart.