the running of the Phoenix at Keeneland and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship
in LA this weekend, all 4 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Challenge races are now in the
books, though at least three of the four winners may not show up in their
reserved spot in the starting gate come November 3.
winner of the Win and You’re In Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder all the way
back on July 7, has run just once since.
He finished second as the 1-5 favorite to Delaunay in the Temperence
Hill Stakes at Louisiana Downs on the Super Derby undercard, and after that performance
his trainer, Ron Faucheux, said he may not head to the Breeders’ Cup. Prior to that race Gantry was undefeated at
the 6-furlong distance. He’s been
training well at his home base Evangeline Downs, but he’ll have to
improve a lot off of his last race to be a factor in the BC Sprint.
Lumber Guy won the second BC Challenge race of the season in the Vosburgh at
Belmont on Super Saturday. The Lumber Guy, a three-year-old facing his elders for the first time, came off a layoff
to win convincingly over a field including more highly regarded entrymate Sean
Avery. A fast-closing Caixa Electronica
was second and Poseidon’s Warrior, winner of the Vanderbilt last out, was third. Like Gantry, however, The Lumber Guy may not
run in the Sprint. He has already shown
his mettle at a mile in winning the G2 Jerome in April, and as of now trainer
Mike Hushion and owner Barry Schwartz are looking at both the Sprint and the BC
weekend the final two Win and You’re In races were run, in the heart of the
Bluegrass and on the west coast. At Keeneland
on Friday, the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes victory went to Sum of the Parts, another three-year-old taking on older horses. Coming into the race with a record of three
wins and a second at sprint distances this year, Sum of the Parts went off as
the third betting choice. He led the
whole way around and drew away in the stretch before holding on gamely to
defeat Noble’s Promise and Laurie’s Rocket.
Trainer Tom Amoss and owners Klaravich Stable and William Lawr are unsure
whether they will run Sum of the Parts in the BC Sprint.
Santa Anita Sprint Championship was run Saturday, with Coil springing the upset
ahead of stablemate Capital Account and Jimmy Creed. Heavily favored Amazombie checked in fourth-- I must have jinxed him by saying he never
runs out of the money in my last post. Coil, last year’s Haskell winner, avenged a
loss to Capital Account in the Pat O’Brien in August and should be one to
consider next month as he obviously likes the Santa Anita surface. Prior to this race, Coil and Capital Account
were being pointed toward the Dirt Mile, but trainer Bob Baffert announced today
that both his charges will run in the Sprint. Jimmy Creed and Amazombie
will run in the Sprint as well, setting up a rematch of the top four finishers.
Amazombie’s connections didn’t have an excuse for his poor performance, though trainer Bill Spawr said he didn't seem himself before or after the race and he will undergo testing in the coming days to make sure nothing is wrong.
less than four weeks until the big day I’m excited to see who will line up in
the starting gate!