NBC Sports Airs Coverage of Arlington Million Highlights Breeder's Cup Challenge Series
Led by Grade 1 winners Deauville (IRE), Beach Patrol and Divisidero, an international cast of 13 horses will go to the post in the 1 1/4 mile, Arlington Million this Saturday, August 12, at 6:30 p.m. ET on the live NBCSN telecast from Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, Ill. The one-hour program, which will also include the Beverly D. Stakes, is a part of the "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In - Presented by Lane's End Farm and America's Best Racing."
Saturday's show is fifth of 11 telecasts in the "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In, presented by Lane's End Farm and America's Best Racing," on NBC and NBCSN, featuring 17 "Win And You're In" races plus other major STAKES on the road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships, November 3-4, at Del Mar outside San Diego, which will also be televised by NBC Sports Group. Saturday's show also will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Winners of these Challenge races, which combined offer more than $10 million in purses, automatically qualify for a spot in the Breeders' Cup.
The telecast will be hosted by Laffit Pincay III, who will be joined by analyst Nick Luck and reporter Britney Eurton.
The Arlington Million winner will receive an automatic berth and free entry into the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf.
Deauville, owned by Mrs. Fitri Hay, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith, is the 7-2 morning line favorite. Last year, the bay son of Galileo (IRE) just missed winning the Million when he finished third, beaten by just a half-length. Trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, Deauville was recently second in the Icon Meld STAKES at Leopardstown, and prior to that was third in the Queen Anne STAKES at Royal Ascot.
The American contingent is headed by Gunpowder Farms' Divisidero and James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners and Head of Plains Partners' Beach Patrol, both listed at odds of 5-1. Divisidero, a 5-year-old son of Kitten's Joy trained by William "Buff" Bradley and ridden by Julien Leparoux, has captured the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in consecutive years at Churchill Downs and will look to return to top form after a sixth-place finish in this year's Grade I Manhattan STAKES at Belmont Park.
Beach Patrol, a winner of last year's Grade I Secretariat STAKES at Arlington for trainer Chad Brown, has gone winless since his local triumph last August but has remained consistent, landing three Grade I-placings. The 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, ridden by Joel Rosario, finished second to Divisdero in the Turf Classic at Churchill, and was recently third in the UN STAKES at Monmouth on July 1.
Also of interest is Al Shaqab Racing's Mekhtaal (GB), winner in the Prix d'Ispahan at Chantilly in May for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, and Stone Farm and Madaket Stables' Ascend, who will be in search of his second Grade I win this season after winning the Manhattan at Belmont in June at 27-1. Trained by Graham Motion, Ascend will be ridden by Jose Ortiz.
The $600,000 1 3/16 mile Beverly D. will give the winner an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Dom Felipe LLC's 5-year-old mare Dona Bruja (ARG), the 7-2 favorite, leads the nine horse field off a five-race winning streak. Since coming to the U.S. from Argentina this year, Don Buja, trained by Ignacio Correas, has won the Mint Julep at Churchill Downs and he Modesty STAKES at Arlington on July 8 in a local prep for the Beverly D.
About Breeders' Cup The Breeders' Cup administers the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships. The Breeders' Cup also administers the Breeders' Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2017 Breeders' Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 Grade I races with purses and awards totaling more than $28 million, will be held November 3-4 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. The Breeders' Cup culminates with the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic, which was rated No. 1 in the world in the final 2016 Longines World's Best Horse Race rankings.