2022 Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Features 82 Qualifying Races

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Knicks Go winning the 2022 ClassicBreeders' Cup/Eclipse Sportswire

The 2022 Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In schedule will feature 82 qualifying races in 11 countries, Breeders' Cup announced Tuesday. Winners, as usual, will receive automatic qualifying positions, and fees paid, into a corresponding race in the 2022 Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Horses from around the globe will be qualifying through the Win and You're In program for the 39th Breeders' Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Grade 1 races and purses and awards totaling $31 million. This year's Championships will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on Nov. 4-5. The first U.S. Breeders' Cup Challenge Series race of the year will be the GI Shoemaker Mile S. at Santa Anita Park May 30. The Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, now in its 15th year, will be hosted at many of the world's premier racetracks in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Peru, South Africa, and the United States.

The 2022 series in the U.S. has been restructured into a regional qualifying program to balance divisional competition across the country. In 11 of the 14 race divisions, there will be one Breeders' Cup Challenge Series race per region, identified as East, Midwest, and West. Breeders' Cup Challenge qualifying races in the Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf Divisions will be limited to two races. Breeders' Cup will promote these regional rivalries on the road to the World Championships.

The exception to the regional format will be in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Division, which will have six domestic races in this year's series. The complete 2022 schedule is available here.

“We're excited to introduce our restructured regional format for the year's domestic Challenge Series to better identify our top qualifiers from each part of the country as they move on to the World Championships,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders' Cup Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer. “The Win and You're In format has been in place since 2007 and provides a fast track to the World Championships through an automatic selection into the race and free entry fees. We look forward to working again with our racetrack partners in conducting the Challenge Series races around the world this year.”

Last year, 40 Breeders' Cup Challenge winners competed in the World Championships at Del Mar, including five Championship race winners: Knicks Go, Yibir (GB), Ce Ce, Echo Zulu and Corniche. As part of the benefits to horsemen, Breeders' Cup has allocated $5,180,000 in free entry fees for this year's Challenge Series. Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees and guarantee a starting position in a corresponding Championships race for all Challenge Series race winners. If not already Breeders' Cup nominated, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24 to receive the rewards.

In addition, Breeders' Cup will provide a $10,000 travel allowance for all starters within North America that are stabled outside of Kentucky and a $40,000 travel allowance to the connections of all Championship starters from outside of North America.

Complementing the season in North America, there will be 39 international Breeders' Cup Challenge races. The international portion of the series began on Dec. 11 when the 7-year-old Village King (Arg) captured the G1 Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini at Hipodromo de San Isidro in Argentina to gain the first automatic starting berth into the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf.

In support of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), which was signed into law in the U.S. in 2020, medications will not be permitted to be administered within 24 hours for all Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races.

NBC and CNBC will televise the “Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In–presented by America's Best Racing,” featuring nine live programs in the U.S. this summer and fall. The full 2022 television schedule will be announced on Wednesday, May 25.

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