THREE-TIME ECLIPSE CHAMP BEHOLDER AND RIVAL STELLAR WIND HEAD ZENYATTA NOMS; VICTORY IN EACH RACE GIVES THE WINNER A FEES-PAID BERTH IN CORRESPONDING BC EVENT
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2016)–Nominations for five Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge races to be run on Oct. 1 closed on Thursday at Santa Anita, with superstar California Chrome heading a list of 20 three year olds and up considering the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at 1 1/8 miles, final prep for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at The Great Race Place on Nov. 5.
Three-time Eclipse Champion Beholder heads a list of 13 fillies and mares nominated to the $300,000 mile and one sixteenth Zenyatta Stakes, final prep for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff Nov. 4. In search of a record fourth Zenyatta win, Beholder is expected to face rival Eclipse winner Stellar Wind, as the two have traded punches twice this year–with six year old Beholder winning the Grade I Vanity Mile at Santa Anita on June 4, and Stellar Wind, last year’s Eclipse Award winning 3-year-old filly, upsetting Beholder in the Grade I Clement Hirsch at Del Mar July 30.
North America’s all-time leading money earner with $13,252,650, 5-year-old California Chrome, a winner of the 2014 Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies, comes off a smashing score in the Grade I Pacific Classic Aug. 20 and has now won five races in a row, including the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26. Trained by Art Sherman and owned by California Chrome, LLC, the California-bred horse by Lucky Pulpit is tentatively scheduled to begin stud duty at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky following the inaugural $12,000,000 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28.
Other notable nominees for Santa Anita’s Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Day Oct. 1 include:
FrontRunner Stakes, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, 43 nominations
–Recent Grade I Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt heads this group. Trained by Baffert and owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., the Kentucky-bred colt by Quality Road has won three out of his four starts and will try two turns for the first time.
–Third to Klimt in the Del Mar Futurity, Midnight Pleasure, who is trained by Shelbe Ruis, will make his third start in the FrontRunner.
–Trained by Simon Callaghan, Plum Dandy has the advantage of breaking his maiden at one mile on Aug. 25. Owned by Spendthrift Farm, LLC, the Kentucky-bred by Medaglia d’Oro will be making his third start.
Chandelier Stakes, for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, 44 nominations
–A full sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Zayat Stables’ homebred American Cleopatra disappointed when second as the favorite in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante Sept. 3, but looms the horse to beat in the Chandelier.
–A Grade II winner two starts back, trainer Peter Eurton’s Champagne Room was third in the DM Debutante and will be making her third start.
–Undefeated in two one mile starts on turf, LNJ Foxwoods’ homebred With Honors will take her unblemished resume to the main track for trainer Keith Desormeaux.
–A Kentucky-bred filly by Ghostzapper, Zapperkat was an impressive first out maiden winner at odds of 12-1 going six furlongs on Aug. 20. Trained by Richard Baltas, she lends considerable depth to a competitive group of prospective entrants.
Rodeo Drive Stakes, for fillies and mares three and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf
–Trained by Richard Mandella, Avenge, a 4-year-old daughter of War Front comes off a solid win in the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes. A winner of five of 11 starts, she’ll try 1 ¼ miles for the first time.
–An English-bred 4-year-old filly, Frenzified comes off a minor stakes win at 1 3/8 miles on turf Aug. 19 and seeks her first graded score for trainer Jim Cassidy and owner D P Racing.
–Mandella will also be represented by streaking California-bred Majestic Heat, who comes off a one mile turf win versus state-breds Aug. 14 and seeks her third consecutive win.
–A Grade III winner at 1 3/8 miles on turf two starts back on July 9, Real Smart is a proven stayer for trainer H. Graham Motion.
–A close third in the prestigious, Grade I Beverly D Stakes going 1 3/16 miles on turf at Arlington Park Aug. 13, Zipessa has solid credentials and is trained by Michael Stidham.
Entries will be taken for Santa Anita’s Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Day on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Victory in each Challenge Day event gives the winner a fees-paid berth in its corresponding Breeders’ Cup race. First post time on Saturday, Oct. 1 will be at 12:30 p.m. For more information on the 23-day Autumn Meet, please visit santaanita.com.