Bob Baffert has a lot of decisions to make heading into the Breeders' Cup.
Coil and Capital Account made things a little more interesting
with their 1-2 finish for the Hall of Fame trainer in the Grade I,
$250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Saturday.
Coil edged Capital Account by a head in a finish decided by a photo.
Amazombie, last year's champion sprinter, was fourth as the 4-5 favorite ridden by Mike Smith.
Coil ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.89 under Martin Garcia and paid
$17.20, $7.60 and $4 after being sent off at 7-1 odds in his ongoing
transition to sprinting this year.
"It's a great opportunity to get this horse back and I did my
job," said Garcia, who had ridden Coil in five straight races before
being replaced by Rafael Bejarano in the 4-year-old colt's previous two.
Capital Account and jockey David Flores returned $5.80 and
$3.80, while Jimmy Creed was another three-quarters of a length back in
third and paid $6.40 to show.
The result was a reversal of the Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 26, when Capital Account beat Coil by a half-length.
"It was very close at the end, but I knew it would have taken a
couple more jumps to beat the winner," Flores said. "I have to give
great credit to my horse because when I asked him to go he was
responding. Maybe next time I'll have to go a little bit earlier."
Amazombie was being prepared to defend his title in the Breeders' Cup Sprint next month at Santa Anita.
"At the top of the lane I could tell he was starting to get a
little bit tired," Smith said. "He kicked on good until the eighth pole
and then got really tired at that point.
"You'd certainly like to win, but with these types of horses,
you're talking about the first two finishers probably being one of the
favorites going to the Breeders' Cup. The important thing was to get a
good race in him and move forward."
Trainer Richard Mandella said he's considering either the BC
Sprint or BC Dirt Mile or the $100,000 Damascus on the Breeders' Cup
undercard for Jimmy Creed.
Coil, winner of last year's $1 million Haskell Invitational,
earned an automatic berth in the Sprint on Nov. 3, with his entry fees
being paid as part of the "Win and You're In" program.
Baffert wasn't at the track on a day when he had eight
starters, and hit the board with three of them. He came into Saturday
winning at a 46 percent clip since the Autumn Meet began on Sept. 28.
Baffert has seven wins, three seconds and a third with 21 starters.