The Breeders’ Cup unveiled the schedule of races that make up its 2018 “Win & You’re In” Challenge series on Wednesday.
The winners of 82 races will automatically qualify for a spot in the starting gate of a corresponding Breeders’ Cup race. There are 66 Grade/Group 1 contests on the schedule, and 49 of the events will be held in North America.
Four races from the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting have been included in this year’s schedule: the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-G1), Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-G1), Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Eng-G1) and Norfolk Stakes (Eng-G2).
In addition to earning an automatic berth into a Breeders’ Cup event, Challenge series winners will also have their entry fees paid and receive a travel stipend for the connections. They must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of October 22 to receive these perks.
The Challenge series kicked off on January 6 at Kenilworth in South Africa when Oh Susanna qualifying for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) with her victory in the Cartier Paddock Stakes (SAf-G1). The first North American race of the series is the Shoemaker Mile (G1), which takes place May 28 at Santa Anita Park and is a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
The 35th edition of the Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The two-day festival includes 14 races and awards totaling more than $30 million.