04/10/2015 12:50PM

Eight new stakes in Breeders’ Cup Challenge series


The Breeders’ Cup has designated eight new stakes as Win and You’re In races for the 2015 event, the organization announced on Friday, bringing the total number of 2015 stakes races guaranteeing a berth in the event’s 13 races to 78.

The new races in the series are the Gran Premio Criadores at Palermo in Argentina, guaranteeing a spot in the Distaff; the Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs (Distaff); the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in England (Mile); the Sword Dancer (Turf) and Spinaway Stakes (Juvenile Fillies) at Saratoga; the Princess Rooney (Filly and Mare Sprint) and Smile Sprint Handicap (Sprint) at Gulfstream Park; and the T. Von Zastrow Stutenpreis at Baden Baden in Germany (Filly and Mare Turf).

One race, the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in France, was dropped from the 2015 schedule. With the changes, there will be 50 races at tracks in the U.S. and Canada providing automatic berths to the winners and 28 races in foreign jurisdictions.

Four of the races – two in South Africa, and two in Australia – have already been run this year, and another, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Australia, is scheduled for Saturday. Fifteen of the races will take place within four weeks of this year’s two-day Breeders’ Cup event, scheduled for Oct. 30-31 at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

In addition to a spot in the starting gate, winners of the races have their entry and starting fees waived, which total 2 percent of each race’s purse, or $50,000, for example, for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

As in the past several years, all horses participating in the Breeders’ Cup who are based outside of the host state will receive travel stipends. Horses in North America outside of Kentucky will receive $10,000 travel stipends, and horses in foreign jurisdictions will receive $40,000.

Last year, 38 horses who won Breeders’ Cup Challenge races were pre-entered in Breeders’ Cup races, with 35 of those horses coming out of races in the U.S. or Canada.