Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Leading up to the Breeders’ Cup
, the sprint division has been
searching for a definitive leader. 2013 has lacked the star power of previous
years but that doesn't mean we can't make some serious money in this race!
The field for the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint is loaded with
horses that want the lead or want to be forwardly placed. The Santa Anita “Super
Highway” has been speed favoring all week and pretty much all year for that
matter but with literally 6 or 7 horses vying for the lead I could see a serious
pace melt down which could set up for a long shot closing from the clouds.
Let’s meet the field for the 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint.
#1. Justin Phillip ML – 4/1.The Zayat Stable owned 5 year
old son of First Samurai is in the best form of his life. The Steve Asmussen charge has won 3 races in
9 starts in 2013 and over $600,000 in purse money. His win in the Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga
was ultra-impressive. He followed it up with two strong finishes in a pair of grade I (Forego, Vosburgh) races in his last two
starts. The main obstacle for Justin
Phillip will be the rail. He could get shuffled back early on with a lot of
dirt hitting him the face. He is also winless in 3 starts at Santa Anita. I
would beware of taking a short price come Saturday.
#2. The Lumber Guy ML - 12/1. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup
Sprint runner-up has been anything but stellar this year, in fact, he’s been
down- right disappointing. The Michael
Hushion trainee seemed to show signs of life at Saratoga when he finished
second to the talented NY Bred Palace in an overnight stake. Jockey Mike Luzzi
will have his hands full keeping The Lumber Guy close early with all the speed
to his outside.
#3. Gentlemen’s Bet ML – 8/1. Gentlemen’s Bet is a horse
that gives it his all every time he pops the gate. He’s very quick out of the
gate but has shown the ability to rate. The 4 year old son of Half Ours has only
finished off the trifecta once in his career and that was in his last start
where he finished 4th to fellow Breeders’ Cup Sprint contenders Sum
of the Parts and Laugh Track in the Phoenix stakes (G3) at Keeneland. He has a puncher’s chance here!
#4. Majestic Stride ML – 20/1. The lightly raced son of
Trippi will be making only his 3rd start in 2013. The Jeff Bonde
charge has only lost once sprinting but has yet to win a stake. He finished 5th
in the 2012 Southwest stakes (G3) to Castaway in his only stakes try. He has a
shot with the speed favoring track but I’ll take my bet elsewhere.
#5. Sum of the Parts ML – 12/1. 2013 has been an off year to
say the least for Sum of the Parts. His win in the Phoenix stakes (G3) was his
first victory in 4 starts this year. He was very consistent in 2012 and even
finished a good 4th in last year Breeders’ Cup Sprint but you can’t
get past the fact he’s just not the quickest horse in the race.
#6. Bahamian Squall ML – 10/1. Trainer David Fawkes and
jockey Louis Saez team up with Bahamian Squall. He has a nice tactical running
style and gets a decent post. He’s been beaten by others in this race but I
think he’s sitting on a good run. He could hit the board at a square price.
#7. Private Zone ML – 3/1. Private Zone is lightning in a
bottle for trainer Doug O’Neill. He gets top jockey Joel Rosario in the irons.
His speed is his best asset and he’s used it well in his last two races with
victories in the Pirates Bounty and the Vosburgh (G1). Private Zone will take a
lot of money and deservedly so, but I will be taking a stand against him. He’s
yet to close the deal at Santa Anita. No short price favorite for me!
#8. Fast Bullet ML – 6/1. The “Coach” sends out another
Breeders’ Cup competitor in Fast Bullet. Just like his name the “Bullet” is
very fast. He’s 4 for 6 in his career and 1 for 2 at Santa Anita. He will need to break well and maybe even
rate to have a chance at beating this field. His 1 win at Santa Anita was very
impressive so if he could relax he could be very dangerous.
#9. Secret Circle ML – 4/1. Secret Circle might be the most
talented horse in the race. He’s making only
his second start since his second place finish to Bodemeister in last year’s
Arkansas Derby (G1). Secret Circle is undefeated sprinting and he has a great
running style for this race. He gets a perfect post position just outside of
the serious speed threats. Bob Baffert and Martin Garcia could find themselves
in the winner’s circle if Secret Circle comes to play Saturday.
#10. Wine Police ML – 30/1. Henry Dominguez sends out this
30-1 bomb. The son of Speightstown is not without a shot. He’s 5 for 11 in his
career with a good running style. He will definitely need to run the race of
his career but if he does he could hit the board at huge odds. I will be using
him in the exotics!
#11. Trinniberg ML – 8/1. Last year’s Sprint Champion has
been border line embarrassing since his victory last year. He’s coming into
this race off a 22 length defeat in the Santa Anita Sprint Challenge (G1). He
will need to wake up big time to compete in this race and prove that last year
wasn’t a fluke.
#12. Laugh Track ML – 20/1. The Mark Cassee trainee had a
troubled trip while finishing second to Sum of the Parts in the Phoenix. He was
squeezed and bumped at the start but still showed a strong closing kick. All of
his wins have come north of the border. He will need to prove he can win on