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1/ST, North America’s preeminent Thoroughbred racing and leading pari-mutuel wagering company, has today announced a breakthrough partnership with France Galop, the governing body of French horse racing.

This new initiative sees both parties come together to form a series of high-class partnerships that will power increased international participation across a host of top-quality Graded contests and marquee race days, beginning with the $100,000 Grade 3¬†Gallorette Stakes¬†on¬†Preakness 149¬†race day at 1/ST‚Äôs Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland on May 18. The winner will be automatically qualified to run in the ‚ā¨250,000 Group 1¬†Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet Stakes¬†at Deauville¬†on August 18. The Galorette winner will also receive a free equine travel stipend to cover its subsequent travel costs to France.

The collective aim is to establish long-lasting links between revered races in France and valuable turf contests at 1/ST racetracks across North America, boosting the international profile and prize funds of all participating contests and increasing the number of runners entered in these races which, in turn, will engage a wider international audience and drive global wagering turnover.

This innovative collaboration with France Galop leverages natural synergies between two powerhouses of the sport. Moreover, it builds on similar global ‚Äúgateway‚ÄĚ partnerships which 1/ST has already formed with Ascot Racecourse (via Gulfstream Park‚Äôs¬†Royal Palm¬†series for Royal Ascot‚Äôs juvenile races) and the UK Jockey Club around the Group 1 July Cup and the Eclipse Stakes, now twinned as qualifiers for the newly minted¬†California Crown¬†taking place at Santa Anita Park on September 28, marking California‚Äôs richest day of racing.

As an automatic qualifier for France Galop’s Prix Jean Romanet, the Gallorette Stakes also shines the spotlight on a high-profile undercard for Preakness 149. This year’s Preakness 149 race day will be the most lucrative in the event’s history with $3.3 million on the line, highlighted by the running of the 149th Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel in the Triple Crown, featuring an increased $2 million purse. These enhanced purses reflect 1/ST’s vision for the future of the highest standard of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing, combined with unique and elevated guest experiences, and exciting opportunities for owners, trainers and bettors to usher in a new era for racing.

Aidan Butler, President of 1/ST, said: “1/ST is thrilled to create another great global partnership, breaking new ground in France with our friends at France Galop. This Gallorette-Romanet pathway is an exciting trial for hopefully more reciprocal race days in France, considering France Galop’s rich heritage in staging many of the most prestigious turf contests in Europe at courses like Deauville, Chantilly and Longchamp.

‚ÄúWe look forward to announcing more¬†global racing partnerships over the year ahead. Whether we‚Äôre bolstering the brand, increasing horse-recruitment numbers, or driving wagering dollars overseas, it‚Äôs high time for more innovative moments on the worldwide racing stage.‚ÄĚ

Henri Pouret, Chief Operating Officer at France Galop, added: “We’re naturally delighted to be teaming up with 1/ST on this compelling initiative which will introduce many new French racing fans to Preakness 149 and add some welcome transatlantic flavour to the Group 1 Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet Stakes, now in its 20th year of attracting the best middle-distance horses in the business.

‚ÄúThe travel stipend is an excellent incentive for facilitating stress-free long-haul travel,¬†helping to secure a stellar field of global contenders for the¬†Romanet, and proving that racing is a sport whose worldwide appeal is no barrier to worldwide participation, be it in France or the States.¬†We look forward to welcoming the¬†Gallorette victor to Deauville later this summer and building on the success of US-trained horses at other elite European events, such as Royal Ascot.‚ÄĚ