Though Emcee was lost to the Dirt Mile, the 2012 Breeders' Cup Sprint has attracted a full field
and should be a contentious race. Last
year’s champ Amazombie is in, as are all four BC Challenge race winners. So who will wear the blanket of asters and
take home the lion’s share of the $1.5 million dollar purse?
Sum of the Parts 20-1 Sum of the Parts
has done well this year, with four wins and a second in his five starts of 2012. Trouble is, only one of those starts was in
graded company. That start was a win against
older horses in the G3 Phoenix at Keeneland last month, and his last work there
on the poly, 4 furlongs in 47.60, was the fifth fastest of 45 at the
distance. Look for him to go to the lead
as he has in all five previous starts this year.
Jimmy Creed 6-1 Another 3-year-old facing his elders, Jimmy
Creed was unraced as a two year old and has been improving rapidly since his
first start in the end of May. He’s
never finished out of the money and was second in the El Cajon at Del Mar
before finishing third to Coil and Capital Account last month in the Santa
Anita Sprint Championship, ahead of Amazombie.
Gantry 10-1 Gantry won the Smile Sprint
easily in July and looked invincible going into the Temperence Hill Stakes at Louisiana
Downs. He lost though, and his
connections were so disappointed they considered backing out of the plan to run
in the BC Sprint. He has won 5 of his
last 7, though, and if he can return to form he could be a factor on Saturday.
Coil 5-1 Coil, the 2011 Haskell winner,
has proven his versatility this year. He
won his first race off a layoff this summer before finishing second in the Pat
O’Brien, and the plan all along was to aim for the BC Dirt Mile. However, after winning the Santa Anita Sprint
Championship last month, a Win and You’re In race for the Sprint, his connections
opted for the shorter race. With his
recent win at the BC Sprint distance at Santa Anita, Coil shouldn’t be ignored
Justin Phillip 20-1 Justin Phillip is
also coming off a disappointing performance in his most recent race, a 6th
place finish in the G1 Vosburgh, a race won by Sprint entrant The Lumber
Guy. He finished in the money in his
three races prior to that but he hasn’t won since May.
Fast Bullet 6-1 The appropriately named Fast Bullet is undefeated in 2 starts
but unraced since October 2011. He’s a
wildcard, but trainer Bob Baffert has been liking the way he’s training, and
“there’s no telling how quick he might run” on Saturday.
The Lumber Guy 6-1 Another horse who
might be best suited to middle distances, The Lumber Guy won the G2 Jerome in
April and then won the Vosburgh at Belmont last month off a layoff. He gained experience against older horses in
the Vosburgh, and the flashy grey worked 4 furlongs last weekend in 47.78, the
fastest of 79 at the distance for trainer Mike Hushion.
Capital Account 8-1 Capital Account, the
third and final Baffert-trained entry, is a late developing colt that didn’t
start until June of his 3 year old year, and he first jumped into stakes
company this July in the Bing Crosby as a 5 year old, finishing 3rd
to Amazombie. He then defeated
stablemate Coil in the Pat O’Brien before the tables were turned last out in
the Sprint Championship.
Trinniberg 15-1 A leading 3 year old sprinter for the first half of the season,
Trinniberg is winless since the June 9 Woody Stephens. His most recent effort was a game 2nd
to Well Spelled in the Gallant Bloom but he has yet to face his elders. He’ll race with blinkers Saturday.
Smiling Tiger 12-1 Smiling Tiger hasn’t
won since July 2011, and hasn’t run since June 2012. His most recent effort was a 5th
place finish in the Triple Bend, a race that he won in 2011. He has finished in the money in 7 of his 8 races
at the 6 furlong distance, but appears to be out of his top form.
Amazombie 4-1 Amazombie, last year’s
Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse Champion Sprinter, is coming into this
race off an uncharacteristic 4th in the Sprint Championship here at
Santa Anita last month. He has more
recently been training just as he did last year, and his connections remain
confident. He is my to pick.
Hamazing Destiny 12-1 This 6 year old
will be making his 30th career start and third consecutive BC Sprint
start on Saturday. In 2010 he finished 2nd. He’s durable but not very consistent, though
he did work lights out on October 22nd at Churchill.
Poseidon’s Warrior 15-1 Poseidon’s
Warrior won the Vanderbilt this year but was third to The Lumber Guy in the
Vosburgh. 13 of his 18 starts have been
at the 6 furlong distance, with 6 of those being wins and a pair each of
seconds and thirds. He may be rounding
back into form after a couple of poor performances off a layoff earlier this
14- Boxer des Rues 30-1 Boxer des Rues looks to be the longest shot in the field. In 9 starts this year, he was second in a mile race in January and hasn’t been better than 4thsince. He is winless in his 2 starts at the Sprint distance, though he did finish a late running 4th in the 6 furlong Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar in August.