Stud Don Alberto's 4-year-old homebred Nuevo Maestro (CHI) was declared the winner of Monday's $82,596, 1¼-mile Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) at Club Hipico following a successful claim of foul by jockey Jorge Luis Vergara against rider Jeremy Laprida aboard stablemate Penn Rose (CHI) for interference in the stretch. It was the ninth consecutive victory for Nuevo Maestro and earned him an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Mile on turf through the international Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive free berths and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on November 2-3.
Breeders' Cup South American representative John Fulton confirmed that the connections of Stud Don Alberto plan to bring Nuevo Maestro to the U.S. to compete in the Breeders' Cup Mile.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for Nuevo Maestro 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. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of Oct. 22 to receive the rewards.
Nuevo Maestro, trained by Guillermo Aguirre, broke from post 5 as the favorite in the 11-horse field and stayed well off the relaxed pace set by Gran Mati (CHI), who took the field through the first six furlongs in 1:12.2. Vergara began his drive to the front aboard Nuevo Maestro on the far outside with about 300 yards remaining, and engaged with the Las Oaks (G1) winning 3-year-old filly, Penn Rose, as the two stablemates battled furiously to the wire. Penn Rose crossed the wire first by a head but the order of finished was reversed by the stewards, who upheld Vergara's claim of that the filly had interfered with his mount in the stretch. Defending champion Top Casablanca (CHI) finished third followed by Gran Mati in fourth. The final time for the 1 1/4 miles in 1:57.73.
Nuevo Maestro improved his career record to 11 wins in 24 starts. He began a streak of now nine consecutive victories on October 1, 2017, including a 3 ¼- length victory in his most recent start, the 1 ¼ mile Clasico Ontono Garcia (G2) on April 20 at Club Hipico.
The 2018 Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, now in its 12th year, is being held at many of the world's premier racetracks in 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Japan, Ireland, Peru, South Africa and the United States.
The Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella was the second Breeders' Cup Challenge race to be run in South America this year. On May 1, the 5-year-old mare Sinfonia Fantastica (ARG) won the Gran Premio Criadores (G1) at Palermo in Buenos Aires and earned an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1).
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