Breeders’ Cup Sprint 2019: Projected field and odds

October 20, 2019 09:31am

The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint, one of the original Breeders’ Cup races, will be contested again at six furlongs on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.

In all but five years since 2000, the Sprint winner has also gone on to be named Eclipse Award champion in the division, including each of the last five winners.

Super Screener insight: Avoid the seven-furlong specialist in this event, instead focusing on true 6/8-mile sprinters who will relish this distance in their toughest test of the year. Click here for more secrets to winning on the Breeders’ Cup.

Below is a look at the probable runners with odds that will not balance given the field isn’t set, but instead reflect the type of price we expect each horse to go off at on race day.

Catalina Cruiser
[5-1 – Union Rags – John Sadler – 8: 7-0-0 - $691,100] The latest word from trainer John Sadler is that Catalina Cruiser is now headed toward to the Sprint, although connections are likely to still cross-enter in the Dirt Mile. He does show wins and big speed figures at six furlongs, seven furlongs, and this year at 6.5 furlongs in the True North (G2) at Belmont Park in his season debut. The question handicappers must grapple with now is: Does Sadler think that six furlongs going one turn is the right distance, or was it the presence of Omaha Beach in the Dirt Mile that prompted the decision?

Engage
[10-1 – Into Mischief – Steve Asmussen – 12: 5-4-0 - $649,080] Since transferring from the Chad Brown barn to that of Steve Asmussen, Engage has won both of his starts in stakes races. He took the Bensalem at Parx in September and then he secured a “Win and You’re In” spot in the Sprint with a victory in the Phoenix (G2) at Keeneland. All five of his career wins have come going at the Sprint’s distance of six furlongs.

Firenze Fire
[10-1 – Poseidon’s Warrior – Jason Servis – 20: 7-3-2 - $1,457,107] In the four-horse field of the Vosburgh (G1), Firenze Fire showed his courage and versatility when he went to the lead earlier than usual prompting a head to head stretch battle which Imperial Hint ended up winning by a nose. Overall, he has only one win in 2019, and that came in May at Belmont Park in the Runhappy. But he has continued to run at a high level, and the Sprint looks like a better fit than last year's Dirt Mile try.

Hog Creek Hustle
[20-1 – Overanalyze – Vickie Foley – 11: 3-3-1 - $547,600] An 18-1 victory in the Woody Stephens, which is restricted to 3-year-olds, made this son of Overanalyze not only a stakes winner but a Grade 1 winner. Since then, he was second in that thrilling blanket finish at Saratoga in the Allen Jerkens (G1) and most recently was fifth when facing older horses in the Phoenix.

Imperial Hint
[3-1 – Imperialism – Luis Carvajal Jr. – 23: 14-2-3 - $2,199,155] His career record at six furlongs is spectacular at 15: 10-2-2. One of those victories came in the Vosburgh at Belmont Park in September when he secured a “Win and You’re In” spot in the Sprint. He is following the exact same path to the Breeders’ Cup as last year with a dominant victory in the Vanderbilt (G1) as well. Last year at Churchill Downs, he finished third in the Sprint beaten by five lengths as the 1.60-1 favorite.

Lexitonian
[20-1 – Speightstown – Jack Sisterson – 10: 3-0-2 - $256,848] This 3-year-old ran a respectable third last time out in the Phoenix against older horses, just a half-length behind Engage and a nose beaten by Whitmore while beating a couple of other likely Sprint participants. Trainer Jack Sisterson frequently takes a shot in big races with his Calumet Farm runners.

Mitole
[2-1 – Eskendereya – Steve Asmussen – 13: 9-2-2 - $2,004,910] Coming into 2019, Mitole did not have a graded stakes victory, had not faced older horses, nor had he ever won a race beyond six furlongs. Six races later, he has three Grade 1 victories which include the Forego and the Churchill Downs at seven-furlongs and the Met Mile going the one-turn mile. His only loss of the year came in the Vanderbilt at Saratoga, but since then he returned to the winner’s circle in the Forego. 

Promises Fulfilled
[30-1 – Shackleford – Dale Romans – 17: 7-0-3 - $1,455,530] The son of Shackleford shows just one win this year, which came in the John Nerud (G2) at Belmont Park in July and earned him a “Win and You’re In” slot in the Sprint. Promises Fulfilled is a front-runner who goes to the lead in virtually every race. Last year in the Sprint, he could only hold the lead for the first quarter mile and then faded to fourth.

Shancelot
[4-1 – Shanghai Bobby – Jorge Navarro – 5: 3-1-1 - $284,300] Trainer Jorge Navarro is known for his ability to put speed into his horses, and Shancelot is one of his fastest yet. The winner of his first three races included the dazzling score in the Amsterdam (G2) that earned that gaudy 121 Beyer Speed Figure. Since then, the seven furlongs of the Jerkens was a head too long, and then he lost that duel with Omaha Beach in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1). Navarro left the 3-year-old colt in California to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup.

Whitmore
[15-1 – Pleasantly Perfect– Ron Moquett – 29: 12-9-2 - $2,637,600] Now 6, Whitmore has only one win this year, and that came back in March in a listed stakes race at Oaklawn Park. Last year’s Breeders' Cup Sprint second-place finisher looked more like himself when he missed the top spot in the Phoenix by only a half-length. That followed a four-month layoff that has the gelding fresh again. He is likely to come with double digit odds which will be very attractive to his supporters.

Possible
: Diamond Oops, King Jack, Landeskog, Matera Sky, Mr Melody.

 

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