With the Breeders' Cup® 2018 only two months away, the Breeders' Cup® Challenge series is hitting its peak! The series consists of races from around the world and presents the unique opportunity for a horse to punch its ticket to the Breeders' Cup World Championships® with an automatic and free entry. So far, four horses have earned their place in the Breeders' Cup® Classic, with four spots still up for grabs before we head to Churchill Downs® in November. Let's take a look at the path so far and where we currently stand!
Domination in the mud.
That was the story as Diversify became the fourth steed to qualify for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday with a first place finish at Saratoga.
Diversify conquered the competition in the $1.2-million Whitney Stakes to earn a starting spot in November's big race, and has skyrocketed into the favorites category after the retirement of Triple Crown™ winner Justify.
The victory was Diversify's third in a row — the five-year old gelding won at the Commenator and the G2 Suburban Handicap in the last couple of months.
As for the race itself, Diversify, along with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., left no doubt. He burst out of the gates to take an early advantage and never looked back. Diversify trudged through the slop at a breakneck pace, claiming victory by 3 1/2 lengths over top contender Mind Your Biscuits.
The win earned Diversify a fees-paid birth into the Breeders' Cup Classic, which is a great fortune for a horse that wasn't even planning on running at Saratoga. That's right — trainer Rick Violette was considering skipping the race before deeming Diversify fit for competition just days before.
Remaining Road to the 2018 Breeders' Cup®!
There are only three spots left for the Breeders' Cup® Classic by way of the "Win and You're In" Challenge Series. Here are the remaining fixtures:
- TVG Pacific Classic -- August 18 at Del Mar
- Awesome Again Stakes -- September 29 at Santa Anita Park
- Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes -- October 7 at Belmont Park
Secure your Spot at the Breeders' Cup® 2018
You don't need to win a race to find yourself at the 2018 Breeders' Cup! Breeders’ Cup Experiences is the Official Package Provider for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, offering a variety of Official Ticket Packages with different seating options located around the track at Churchill Downs®! So while these horses are vying for their tickets to punch, you can gets yours today!