Holding on in a furious stretch drive to the wire, Carillanca’s 5-year-old Top Casablanca (CHI), won today’s 1¼- mile Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) on turf by a half-length over Marie Madelaine (CHI) and earned an automatic starting position into this year’s $ 2 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 81 stakes races whose winners receive free berths and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held, for the first time, at the Del Mar race track near San Diego, California, on November 3-4.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the connections of Top Casablanca to start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $ 40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Following the race, the connections of Top Casablanca indicated to John Fulton, the Breeders’ Cup South American representative, that the horse will be sent to the Del Mar to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Trained by Patricio Baeza and ridden by Hector Berrios, Top Casablanca finished third in last year’s Club Hipico Falabella, beaten only three-quarters of a length at odds of 63-1. Today, the bay son of Seeking the Dia (CHI), went off as the third choice at 6-1, but looked very sharp from the start, breaking well from the third post position and settling into sixth place behind pacesetters California One and Hachi (CHI) through the first three quarters of a mile. On the turn for home, Berrios angled Top Casablanca off the rail and into the lead toward the center of the course, while Marie Madeleine (14-1) and Larco (CHI) (4.7-1) both made determined charges along the inside to the wire but could not catch Top Casablana.
Top Casablanca completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:01.67 over a course listed as heavy. Nicodemus (CHI) finished fourth, and was followed in order by Hachi, Nuhdis (CHI), Asi Es No Mas (CHI), California One, Color Rosa (CHI), Full of Luck (CHI), the 2-1 favorite; Brillo de Sol (CHI) and Pamper Man (CHI).
Top Casablanca won for the second time this year and increased his career win total to nine. He captured the Clasico Peso Reglamento (G2) at Club Hipico on March 31 by 2 ¾ lengths over California One That victory came after a seventh-place finish in the Gran Premio Latinoamercano (G1) against the top horses in South America. Top Casablanca returned two months later in the 1 3/8-mile Gran Premio Hipodromo Chile (G1), and finished second.
The 2017 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, now in its 11th year, is being held at many of the world’s premier racetracks in 13 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Peru, South Africa and the United States.
The Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella was the third Breeders’ Cup Challenge race to be run in South America this year. On May 1, the 4-year-old Kiriaki (ARG) won the Gran Premio Criadores (G1) at Palermo and earned an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), and last Thursday, May 25, Ordak Dan (ARG) won the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo (G1) at San Isidro in Buenos Aires to gain a free berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
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