12 Breeders Cup Races To Take Place First Weekend In October

The Breeders Cup is quickly coming up (Nov.4-5). Before the World Championships occur, there are still 12 automatic spots up for grabs, which will be filled this weekend.

12 Breeders Cup Races To Take Place First Weekend In October

With the calendar turning to October this weekend, the Breeders Cup is just five weeks away. However, there are still automatic spots up for grabs for the 14 World Championship races that will be decided on Saturday and Sunday.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series resumes with a total of 12 “win-and-you’re-in” ents, with seven in the United States and five overseas on October 1 and 2. Churchill Downs, Aqueduct, Santa Anita, and Longchamp Racecourse in Paris (France) are hosts of the final Breeders’ Cup Series (on Sunday). This year’s Breeders Cup is being held at Keeneland Race Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5.

Grade III Ack Ack Stakes

The $300,000 Grade III Ack Ack Stakes, which will go to post at 4:55 p.m. (ET) at Churchill Downs, is an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Three graded stakes winners are among the 10 runners in the race, led by even-money morning line favorite Speaker’s Corner.

Speaker’s Corner is one of the top contenders to earn a spot in the Dirt Mile as he has five top-3 finishes in six races this year, including three graded stakes victories. However, the 4-year-old is coming off a fourth-place finish in his last outing last month in the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes. Speaker’s Corner gets the inside post.

Todd Pletcher-trained Untreated, winless in five starts this year, is the morning line’s second choice at 9/2. Fulsome, third in the morning line at 5-1, has three wins in four starts this year and is coming off a victory in the Grade III West Virginia Governor’s Stakes. Silver Prospector (12/1) is the other graded stakes winner, as the 5-year-old horse won the Grade III Steve Sexton Mile Stakes on May 30.

$500,000 Grade I Champagne Stakes

Aqueduct gets three Breeders Contender Series races this weekend, headlined by Saturday’s Grade 1 $500,000 Champagne Stakes, with post time slated for 5:45 p.m. (ET). Six 2-year-old colts will go one mile, with the winner getting an automatic berth in the Breeders Cup Juvenile.

The race has two leading candidates to earn a berth in the Breeders Cup in Andiamo A Firenze (6/1) and Top Recruit (5/1). However, the morning line favorite is Verifying (9/5) and Gulfport (2/1). Surprisingly, Veryfying is the favorite as he just won his debut last month, while Andiamo A Firenze, Top Recruit, and Gulfport have made at least three starts and have a stakes victory.

$200,000 Grade II Miss Grillo Stakes

Aqueduct also hosts the $200,000 Grade II Miss Grilllo Stakes on Saturday, with the winner earning a berth to the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The track’s No. 8 race is scheduled to go off at 4:39 p.m. Irish-bred Be Your Best (6/5) and First Look (9/5) are the morning line favorites.

Sunday At Aqueduct

Aqueduct will host two Breeders Cup Challenge Series races on Sunday, with the $400,000 Grade I Frizette Stakes first up. Seven fillies will go one mile, with the winner getting an invite to the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies event. Todd Pletcher-trained Chocolate Gelato is the morning line favorite at 9/5 though Breeders Cup leading contenders Leave No Trace (9/2) and The Great Maybe (7/2) are also in the field.

Immediately following the Frizette Stakes, Aqueduct will turn its attention to the $200,000 Grade III Pilgrim Stakes, where the winner will partake in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf. I’m Very Busy (7/5) is the morning line favorite in the 12-horse field.