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The Breeders’ Cup is a weekend of racing that everyone wants to participate in, and the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series will get you there. The yearlong “Win and You’re In” series awards a guaranteed place in the starting gate, plus entry fees and a travel stipend, to a few talented horses who win a qualifying race leading up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships held at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2-3.
The series continues with an NBC broadcast from Belmont Park this weekend. Go behind the numbers to learn more about the series below.
5 - The number of 2017 Breeders’ Cup challenge race winners who went on to win a Breeders’ Cup race in November: Classic winner Gun Runner, Longines Distaff winner Forever Unbridled, Twinspires Sprint winner Roy H, Mile winner World Approval, and Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Rushing Fall.
7 - Seven new races were added to the series lineup this year, including four at Royal Ascot and three others for the new Breeders’ Cup race, the Juvenile Turf Sprint.
7 - There will be seven Breeders’ Cup Classic qualifying races in 2018, including the TVG Pacific Classic and the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
10 - Number of different North American tracks that will host a Challenge series race this year.
11 - The number of years that the series has been in existence, since 2007.
12 - Total number of countries to host a “Win and You’re In” race this year.
14 - There’s a Challenge race for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races, from the Juvenile Turf Sprint to the Classic.
21 - The number of qualifying races that will be broadcast by NBC Sports Group, presented by America’s Best Racing.
39.5 weeks - Total time between the first Challenge series race in January and the final race in October.
45 - The number of 2017 Challenge winners that went on to compete in the Breeders’ Cup.
66 - Number of “Win and You’re In” races that are at the highest level: Grade or Group 1.
85 - Total number of Challenge races this year; 33 of which are not in North America.
1984 - The year that the Breeders’ Cup started. The Challenge Series began 23 years later.
$30 million - Amount of purses and awards that Challenge winners will get to compete for at the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships this fall.