Breeders' Cup Weekend is Here!

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Del Mar | Breeders' Cup/Eclipse Sportswire

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DEL MAR, CA – Sunny skies, ideal conditions and two days of world-class Thoroughbred racing with a spectacular backdrop in Southern California.

Welcome to the 38th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Del Mar! The stunning seaside track plays Breeders' Cup host for the second time and first since 2017.

'Future Stars Friday' includes a highly anticipated clash of unbeaten 'TDN Rising Stars' Jack Christopher (Munnings) and $1.5-million OBS April topper Corniche (Quality Road) in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Fellow 'Rising Star' Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) will also put her unbeaten tag on the line in the female equivalent, facing off against the talented duo of Hidden Connection (Connect) and Juju's Map (Liam's Map).

The Friday program also features a trio of Breeders' Cup races on the lawn.

Dubawi Legend (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), runner-up in the G1 Darley Dewhurst S., and GI Summer S. winner Albahr (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), will square off in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

How wide open is the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf? Bobby Flay homebred and GI Natalma S. runner-up Pizza Bianca (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) is the morning-line favorite at 5-1. The field of 14 also includes one of the feel-good stories of this year's Breeders' Cup with the George Leonard, III-trained $5,500 OBS June 2-year-old California Angel (California Chrome).

The unbeaten three-time stakes winner Averly Jane (Midshipman), meanwhile, takes on the boys as Wesley Ward shoots for his third straight win in the GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Seven returning Breeders' Cup winners will be in action on Saturday–led by Korea Racing Authority's Knicks Go (Paynter) and champion 'Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit), the top two on the morning line for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. The Brad Cox powerhouse duo will face standout 3-year-olds Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) and Medina Spirit (Protonico) in the $6-million centerpiece.

As Medina Spirit's GI Kentucky Derby win remains in the balance due to a well-documented betamethasone positive, horses trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, including the aforementioned Corniche, will undergo enhanced scrutiny for this weekend's Championships.

Baffert has saddled the winners of 17 Breeders' Cup races, including champion and 'Rising Star' Gamine (Into Mischief), who is the 3-5 morning-line favorite to repeat against just four rivals in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

The streaking Letruska (Super Saver) will have a pair of talented GI Kentucky Oaks winners in 'Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) and Shedaresthedevil (Daredevil) standing in her way for a fifth top-level win on the season in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal), runner-up in the G1 Qatar Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe, is the 9-5 morning-line favorite to defend her title for HH Aga Khan Studs and Dermot Weld in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf. The field took a big hit with the late defections of second-choice Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and United (Giant's Causeway) Thursday.

Audarya (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) has also returned from across the pond, seeking a second straight win in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. War Like Goddess (English Channel) will be favored off four straight wins, including Saratoga's GI Flower Bowl Invitational.

Godolphin's G1 Qatar Prix de la Foret winner Space Blues (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) headlines a full field of 14, including the streaking Mo Forza (Uncle Mo) and Keeneland last out Grade I winners In Love (Brz) (Agnes Gold {Jpn}) and Blowout (GB) (Dansili {GB}), set for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile.

Glass Slippers (GB) (Dream Ahead) is back to defend her title in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. She will take on last year's Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Golden Pal (Uncle Mo), the 7-2 morning-line favorite.

Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) will be heavily favored while facing his elders for the first time in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. Fellow sophomore Dr. Schivel (Violence), a two-time winner at Del Mar, is three-for-three over this course.

'Rising Star' Life Is Good (Into Mischief) is the clear-cut one to beat in his return to the Golden State in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. The field of eight also features GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan H. winner Silver State (Hard Spun).

Consisting of 14 races with purses and awards totaling more than $31 million, the Breeders' Cup will be televised live on NBC, NBCSN and TVG. Friday's coverage begins on NBCSN and TVG from 5-9 p.m. ET and continues Saturday on NBCSN and TVG from 2:30-8 p.m. The World Championships will conclude in prime time on NBC from 8-9 p.m.

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