Kicking off the Breeders' Cup
Challenge stakes action on Sunday was the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (G1), a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint
. A field of 11 older horses contested this 6 furlong sprint, with Play the King (G2) winner Big Band Sound sent off as the 5-2 favorite off his 6th place effort in the Woodbine Mile
(G1). In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Fire Lily, third in the Renaissance Stakes (G3) at the Curragh, and 9-2 third choice Night Carnation, second in the Queensferry Stakes at Chester before winning an allowance at Bath.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent 16-1 Next Question to the lead immediately and he set quick fractions of 23.03 and 45.71 over the good turf, while pressed by 10-1 Bear Tough Tiger. Night Carnation, 5th early, challenged for the lead midstretch through 5/8 in 57.01 but Next Question outfinished her, winning by 1/2 a length in 1:09.32. It was another 1/2 length back to Bear Tough Tiger third, and another 1/2 length to favorite Big Band Sound fourth.