A victory in a "Win and You're In" race can catapult a horse's connections into the ultimate winner's circle ... one at the Breeders' Cup. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)
It's Breeders' Cup time and given that there are a number of Breeders' Cup Challenge Series “Win and You're In” races, we think it's important to outline exactly what winning a challenge race means to the horse owner.
For a Breeders' Cup Challenge Series win, an owner receives as a benefit free entry fees into the championship race of the division they won. The entry fee prize is equivalent to 2% of the purse of that Breeders' Cup race.
For instance, a horse that wins The Gold Cup at Santa Anita wins free entry fees into the Breeders' Cup Classic ($5 million purse), a value of $100,000. In addition, upon starting, the horse will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if traveling to Santa Anita outside of California, or an allowance of $40,000 if traveling from outside of North America. The nominator of the horse receives a $10,000 nominator award for the win in a challenge race.
Entry fees for all starters in Breeders' Cup Championship races are 2% of the purse. For example, for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, the owner would receive $40,000 in free entry fees; for the Turf Sprint, a $1 million purse, the free entry fees are $20,000.
All Challenge winners can use the entry fee benefit toward any Breeders' Cup race if they choose to run in a different division than the challenge race division won.
All horses must be nominated in order to run in the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Any horse that wins a Breeders' Cup Challenge race that isn't nominated will still get their benefit as long as they are nominated by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 20, 2014.
Breeders' Cup Nominations
If a horse was not nominated as a weanling (baby), which most are (approximately 10,000 nominated each year), the owner of the horse can choose to participate under the horses of racing age program and nominate their horse prior to the race.
Here are the details of that program:
Early racehorse nomination is July 15, 2014.
- $12,000 for 2-year-olds;
- $50,000 for 3-year-olds and older sired by Breeders' Cup nominated stallion, $100,000 if by non-nominated stallion; and
- $25,000 for 3-year-olds and older born in Southern Hemisphere by nominated Breeders' Cup stallion, $50,000 in Southern Hemisphere by non-nominated sire
Otherwise horse must be nominated by pre-entry deadline of Oct 20:
- $100,000 for all horses sired by nominated stallion
- $200,000 for all horses sired by non-nominated stallion
While seemingly complicated to understand, the moral of the story is winning a Breeders' Cup Challenge Series race has significant financial benefits for the horse’s owner(s), so its reasonable to expect full-out efforts by race competitors.