A 'new horse' on dirt, Cistron prevails in Del Mar's Bing Crosby

July 27, 2019 09:04pm

A surface switch from grass to the main track continued to pay dividends Saturday for Cistron, who beat a collection of East and West Coast sprinters in the Grade 1, $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar.

The 5-year-old son of The Factor broke well and assumed the lead in the six-furlong showcase, setting fractions of :22.1 and :45.16 under jockey Victor Espinoza.

Cistron dug in from there, stopping the clock in 1:09.95 and paying $11.60 to win.

Desert Law, making his first Grade 1 start, finished second while Jalen Journey, whose five previous starts all came in Florida, ran third.

East Coast shipper Recruiting Ready, a Grade 3 winner and post-time favorite, never fired and missed the board.

With his Bing Crosby win, Cistron punched a “Win and You’re In” ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, scheduled for Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.

“I saw the :22.1 and that was great,” said Kosta Hronis of ownership group Hronis Racing LLC. “Then when the :45 went up, I felt really good because I thought we were going to be under :44.

“I thought, ‘At this point, he can finish.’ ”

Cistron now sports a career record of 27: 5-7-6 and has collected two graded wins on dirt in his last three starts, the first of which came April 20 in Santa Anita’s Kona Gold Stakes (G2).

Last out, the John Sadler trainee ran second May 25 in Santa Anita’s Triple Bend Stakes (G2) to Air Strike, one of the six rivals he defeated Saturday at Del Mar.

Prior to his last three starts on dirt, Cistron’s previous 13 races had all come on dirt, dating back to his 3-year-old season of 2017.

“I’m so proud of this horse,” Hronis said. “The work John Sadler has done with him is amazing. He loves this sprinting on the dirt now. He’s a new horse and we’re just so thrilled. Now he’s got a Breeders’ Cup date.

Cistron joins Promises Fulfilled as runners who’ve clinched Breeders’ Cup Sprint berths. That 4-year-old Dale Romans trainee won the division’s first challenge series race, the John A. Nerud (G2) on July 6 at Belmont Park.

Three more Breeders’ Cup Sprint “Win and You’re In” races remain on the schedule: the Vosburgh (G1) on Sept. 28 at Belmont, the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) on Oct. 4 at Keeneland and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) back in California on Oct. 5.


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