Led by multiple Group 1 winning 5-year-old Sixties Song (ARG), a standout field of 19 has been entered for Saturday's 1 ½ mile, $319,394 Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini (G1)- South America's most prestigious race – at San Isidro Racecourse, with the winner receiving an automatic berth into the 2019 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf through the international Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of more than 85 stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the 2019 Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini to start in the 1 ½ mile Longines Breeders' Cup Turf. Breeders' Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. If not Breeders' Cup eligible, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 21 of next year to receive the rewards.
The Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini is the first Breeders' Cup Challenge Series race of 2019. The early date allows the race winner more preparation time for the 2019 World Championships.
Owned by Stud Savini, Sixties Song signaled a return to the form which brought him victory in the 2016 Carlos Pellegrini when he won the Group 1, 1 ½-mile Copa de Oro by two lengths overStivers (ARG) on Oct. 27 at San Isidro. The win was his first start for trainer Nicolas Gaitan, who took over the horse from Alfredo Dassie. Sixties Song, a bay son of Sixties Icon (GB) out of Blissful Song by 1995 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled's Song, won the Copa de Oro in his second start this year since a 12th-place finish in last December's Carlos Pellegrini.
Sixties Song finished sixth of nine horses in his 2018 debut in the 1 ½ mile Gran Premio General San Martin (G1) at Palermo on Sept. 1. Ridden by Pablo Falero, Sixties Song has won 5 of 11 races on turf. Following his win in the 2016 Carlos Pellegrini, Sixties Song won the Group 1 Gran Premio Latino Americano at Valparaiso in Chile in March of 2017, but was not the same horse that summer, trailing the field in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Ascot. Following two off the board finishes back in Argentina, he was given time off to recuperate, and appears to be his old self again.
Prior to his recent runner-up finish in the General San Martin, in which he closed from 11th place, the 5-year-old Stivers, owned by Las Monjitas and trained by Juan Carlos Etchechoury, won two races earlier this year, including an eight-length win in the 1 ½ mile Grand Premio Portento (G3) at San Isidro in April. A gray/roan son of Lasting Approval, Stivers was also second in the Group 2 Chacabuco at Palermo on July 13, also at 12 furlongs.
Two 3-year-olds offer intriguing prospects for Saturday's race. Las Mojitas's Glorious Moment (ARG), also trained by Etchechoury, comes in with a solid win in the Classico de la Povinicia de Buenos Aires (G3) at about 12 furlongs, scoring by two lengths at San Isidro on Nov. 3 in his sixth start. The dark by son of Treasure Beach (GB), broke his maiden by six lengths in his prior effort.
In just his fourth start, De Mas de Dos's For the Top (ARG) won the Group 1 1 ½ mile, Grand Prix Nacional (Argentine Derby) at Palermo on Nov. 16 by five lengths on the dirt. Trained by Gustavo Romero, For the Top is a dark by colt by Equal Stripes (ARG) out of the Bernstein mare Stormy Martyr (ARG). Prior to Nacional, For the Top broke his maiden by a half-length at Palermo on Oct. 1. The Carlos Pellegrini will be For the Top's first start on turf.
Returning to the older horses, the 4-year-old Alampur (ARG), a dark by son of Catcher In The Rye, won the Group 1 Grand Prix Dardo Rocha (G1) at about 12 furlongs at La Plata on Dec. 2 from trainer Jorge Mayansky.
The 6-year-old Cosmico Romano (ARG) is scheduled to make his 43rd start on Saturday, and arrives with two wins in his last three starts for trainer Aldaberto Ravassa. A bay son of Cosmic. Cosmico Romano went wire-to winning the about 1 ¾-mile General Pueyrredon (G3) at San Isidro over a heavy course back in August.
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