HomeBreeders Cup Experiences BlogBreeders' Cup Classic Challenge Series: Win and You're In™ Update

Breeders' Cup Classic Challenge Series: Win and You're In™ Update

By Evan Chronis June 20, 2018

With the Breeders' Cup® 2018 quickly approaching in November, the Breeders' Cup® Challenge series is heating up! 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, two horses have earned their place in the Breeders' Cup® Classic, with five 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!

Nonkono Yume

DSC_0223

It never hurts to be first. That was the mindset as six-year old Nonkono Yume stomped by the competition in route to victory at the February Stakes in Tokyo on February 18, becoming the first horse to qualify for the 2018 Breeders' Cup® Classic. The win was Nonkono Yume's eighth in 21 career starts, and possibly the most important of the horse's career. Nonkono Yume, trained by Yukihiro Kato and jockeyed by Hiroyuki Uchida, fell behind the competition early, but stormed back in his final stride at the three-furlong speed of 37.7 to beat out his rivals and cross the finish line first. 

The victory carries with it all prepaid fees for the Breeders' Cup®, plus a $40,000 travel allowance since Nonkono Yume is an international horse. 

Pavel

With the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) race taking place at Churchill Downs®, it provided a nice taste of what the winning horse could potentially feel at the same track in November. That's the case for four-year old Pavel, who ignored the odds on his way to victory on June 16. Pavel earned the second guaranteed spot in the 2018 Breeders' Cup® after outlasting favorites Uncle Mojo and Backyard Heaven in the 1 1/8-mile scamper. Jockey Mario Gutierrez got his horse in front after the far turn and never looked back, claiming victory and a return ticket to Kentucky in November. 
 
Pavel will get a chance at redemption after finishing a disappointing 10th place in the Breeders' Cup® Classic last year. The victory puts Pavel's career earnings at $1,175,000.
 

Remaining Road to the 2018 Breeders' Cup®!

 There are still five spots left for the Breeders' Cup® Classic by way of the Challenge Series. Here are the remaining fixtures:

  • Haskell Invitational -- July 29 at Monmouth Park
  • Whitney Stakes -- August 4 at Saratoga
  • 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

Derby-Experiences-Racing-024-2

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!

Take Me to Breeders' Cup 2018!

About the Bloggers

Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 

Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.

Evan Chronis

Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.