Saturday’s $500,000 Lukas Classic (Grade II), featuring Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Rich Strike, and the $300,000 Ack Ack (GIII) at Churchill Downs have been added to the list of races to be televised live on NBC’s “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” telecast, which airs Saturday from 4-6 p.m. (all times Eastern).
The Ack Ack for 3-year-olds and up, which goes as Race 9 with an updated off-time of 4:56 p.m., is a one-turn, one-mile “Win and You’re In” event for this year’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) to be held Nov. 5 at Keeneland. Carter Handicap (GI) winner Speaker’s Corner is the even-money morning line favorite in the field of 10.
The 1 1/8-mile Lukas Classic for 3-year-olds and up, which goes as Race 10 at 5:26 p.m., is a springboard to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Rich Strike, who scored an 80-1 shocking upset in the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve in May, will attempt to become the first Derby winner to return to Churchill Downs and win since Silver Charm. The 1997 Derby winner took the 1998 Clark Handicap (GII) beneath the Twin Spires after runner-up finishes to Awesome Again in that year’s renewals of both the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).
In addition to Rich Strike, the Lukas Classic features last year’s Kentucky Derby runner-up and 8-5 morning line favorite Hot Rod Charlie; Charles Town Classic (GII) winner Art Collector; and Grade I winner Happy Saver, who came within six lengths of America’s top-rated horse Flightline in the Metropolitan Handicap (GI).
All other races from Churchill Downs on Saturday will air on FS2’s “America’s Day at the Races” from 12:30-4:30 p.m. and 6-6:30 p.m.
Wagering is available on www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.
Saturday’s live horse racing coverage on NBC and Peacock is headlined by the $500,000 Champagne (GI) and $200,000 Miss Grillo (GII) from Belmont at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, N.Y. The two-hour broadcast also will feature the $500,000 Woodward (GI) and $200,000 Belmont Turf Sprint (GIII).
The series leads to the 39th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. on Nov. 4-5.
NBC’s coverage will be led by host Ahmed Fareed, analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, and reporters Britney Eurton and Nick Luck.