Led by former Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Oscar Performance, an international cast of 11 horses will go to the post in the 1 ¼-mile Arlington Million this Saturday, August 11 at 6:00 p.m. ET on the live NBCSN telecast from Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, Ill. The 90-minute 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 America’s Best Racing.
The Arlington Million is the sixth of 11 telecasts in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” on NBC and NBCSN, featuring 17 “Win and You’re In” races plus other major stakes races from some of America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 2-3 on NBC and NBCSN. The complete Challenge series TV schedule can be accessed here: http://www.breederscup.com/challenge-series/tv-schedule
NBCSN’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on Saturday will be hosted by Nick Luck, who will be joined by reporters Britney Eurton and Kenny Rice, and by analyst and handicapper Eddie Olczyk.
Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) will broadcast the Arlington Million and the Beverly D. from 5:30-7:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM 93 with live internet streaming provided on the HRRN website, www.horseracingradio.net.
The Arlington Million winner will receive an automatic berth and free entry into the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Oscar Performance is the 3-1 favorite for the Million, breaking from post 11 under jockey Jose Ortiz. A 4-year-old colt owned by Amerman Racing Stable and trained by Brian Lynch, Oscar Performance has won six graded stakes races in his career, including the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, and back-to-back victories last year in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby and the Grade 1, 1 1⁄4-mile Secretariat Stakes over the Arlington course. He closed out 2017 with a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar. Oscar Performance returned to the races on June 17, winning the one-mile Poker Stakes at Belmont Park.
Trainer Chad Brown, who won last year’s Million with Beach Patrol and the 2013 running with Real Solution, has entered three horses, led by 9-2 second-choice Robert Bruce. The Chilean bred 4-year-old went undefeated in his six starts in his homeland, including three Group 1 stakes, before coming to the U.S. this year and into Brown’s stable. Robert Bruce won the 1 1/8-mile Fort Marcy at Belmont in his first North American start in May, but suffered his first career defeat when he finished sixth in the Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 9.
As for Brown’s two other starters, the 6-year-old gelding Almanaar won the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February, and the 6-year-old Money Multiplier was second in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 30 in his most recent start.
Among the overseas contenders, trainer Aidan O’Brien, also a two-time winner of the Million, has entered the Irish-bred Deauville, who finished third in last year’s Million after leading the field into the stretch. Circus Couture, who has raced in Italy and in England, finished seventh in the Summer Stakes at Ascot on July 14 for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, and Century Dream was fourth in the “Win and You’re In” Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot for trainer Simon Crisford.
The Beverly D. Stakes, for fillies and mares at 1 3/16-miles gives the winner a free berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The Grade 1 race could shape up as a Chad Brown vs. Aidan O’Brien showdown. The 4-year-old filly Sistercharlie, the 9-5 favorite, has won two Grade 1 stakes races this year for Brown, taking the Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and the Diana at Saratoga on July 21. After finishing third in the Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland on July 1, O’Brien sent the 3-year-old Athena to Belmont Park, where six days later she won the Belmont Oaks Invitational by 2 1⁄2 lengths.
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 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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