Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint 2019: Prospective field, odds

October 22, 2019 12:03pm
While there is a strong possibility there may be a different Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner this year for the first time since 2016, it is far from a certainty that a different trainer will win.

This year’s winner will tackle a much different course configuration at Santa Anita Park, as it was held previously at 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course in 2016. In 2019, the Nov. 2 race will be contested at five furlongs on the turf oval.

Trainer Peter Miller has won the race in back-to-back years with Stormy Liberal, who will try to win the race for an unprecedented third year in a row. Should Stormy Liberal fail to accomplish the feat, Miller has backup plans in Belvoir Bay and Om.

Super Screener
 tip: According to Horse Racing Nation’s handicapping system, pace/presser types are representing most winners at this course configuration at Santa Anita, in stark contrast to the downhill turf that favored horses breaking from outside post positions and running from off the pace. Click here for more secrets to winning on the Breeders’ Cup.

Below is a look at the projected field and odds that reflect the type of price we expect to see once the morning line is set.

Belvoir Bay 20-1 [Equiano -- Peter Miller -- 27:11-6-2 -- $1,149,731]: 
Belvoir Bay will be attempting to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint off a long layoff having not race since early June, when she finished fourth in the Jaipur Invitational (G1) at Belmont. That day she was bested by World of Trouble, Om and Disco Partner. Of those three, only stablemate Om is expected to make the field in this race, as the Turf Sprint division has lost some of its tougher adversaries to retirement. A multiple graded stakes winner in her own right, she last won in February in the Wishing Well Stakes at Santa Anita. Of note, the race was run at five furlongs on the turf, which is the race configuration for the Turf Sprint this year. Belvoir Bay has been working at the San Luis Rey training center, with her last published drill on October 15. It is important to note that she has recently raced better off long layoffs than she did earlier in her career.
Eddie Haskell  4-1 [Square Eddie -- Mark Glatt -- 24:10-4-5 -- $627,707]: 
Glatt, the trainer, is searching for his first Breeders’ Cup win. His 6-year old Square Eddie gelding could be the one to get it done. Eddie Haskell finished second in the Eddie D Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita (five furlongs on the turf) just ahead of two-time reigning Turf Sprint champ Stormy Liberal. Pee Wee Reese, the Eddie D winner, was injured training up to the Breeder’s Cup and his career is most likely finished. 

A graded stakes winner, Eddie Haskell is another of the myriad horses in the field that press the pace, so his draw is crucial. An inside post puts him right in the thick of competing for a Breeders’ Cup victory.
Fairyland (IRE) 10-1 [Kodiac (GB) -- Aidan O'Brien --13:5-0-2 -- $824,718]: The Irish-bred filly won two back at Curragh, taking the Flying Five Stakes (G1) contested at five furlongs on the turf. While she followed it up with a 10th-place finish in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1), she is a multiple Group 1-winning turf sprinter for O’Brien, who has won a dozen Breeders’ Cup races to date. In four of her five career victories, she’s either been the pacesetter or within a length of the lead. The only exception to this was when she won at Curragh in September. She is a fast filly and deserves a strong look in this race.
Final Frontier 15-1 [Ghostzapper -- Tom Albertrani -- 10:4-2-1 -- $240,010]: Coming into the Breeders’ Cup off a win in a listed stakes race at six furlongs on the turf, Final Frontier is one of the lesser accomplished turf sprinters in this prospective field.

Albertrani is looking for his first Breeders’ Cup victory, but his win percentage in graded stakes race has not been stellar over the last few years. A favorable draw is a necessity for this 4-year old. He has beaten some decent turf sprinters to get to this point (Shekky Shabazz and Disco Partner to name two) so he won’t be totally in over his head. 

His running style is like most of the runners in this race -- settling right behind the early pace.
Imprimis 10-1 [Broken Vow -- Joseph Orseno -- 12:7-0-1 -- $434,554]: Imprimis tends to sit farther behind the leaders than most of the runners in this projected field. Trainer Joe Orseno may have his 5-year old Broken Vow gelding switch tactics as there are plenty in the Turf Sprint that will be able to sustain a brisk early pace. After winning back-to-back turf sprints this spring, Orseno sent Imprimis to Royal Ascot to contest the five furlong King’s Stand (G1). He finished sixth. Nearly three months later, he returned to North American racing, finishing fourth as the beaten favorite at Kentucky Downs. Last out, he finished third behind Turf Sprint rivals Stubbins and Leinster in Keeneland's Woodford (G2). 
 
Orseno has won two career Breeders' Cup races, both coming in 2000 with Macho Uno winning the Juvenile and Perfect Sting taking the Filly & Mare Turf.
Leinster 8-1 [Majestic Warrior -- George Arnold -- 18:3-5-4 -- $406,611]: As mentioned above, Leinster finished second to Stubbins in the Woodford at Keeneland last out. A graded stakes winner following his victory in the Troy (G3) at Saratoga, the 4-year old son of Majestic Warrior is another that sits further back behind the early pace, which may necessitate a change in style, depending on the draw.
The trainer Arnold is seeking his first Breeders’ Cup win. This will be the first time he has saddled Leinster at Santa Anita. Curiously, this is a sibling of Stormy Liberal, who's expected in the field. They met once before at Kentucky Downs.

Om
 20-1 [Munnings -- Peter Miller -- 30:7-6-6 -- $1,184,731]: One of the three from the Miller contingent, Om is another coming into the race off a long layoff, last seen winning a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint against allowance company at Churchill Downs in June.

A multiple graded stakes winner, he finished second in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint going down the hill at Santa Anita.

Om has a running style that should be conducive to competing in this race as he is a pace presser, but how he shakes off the layoff is a concern. He does have a win in his only career start at five furlongs on the turf.

Pure Sensation
 6-1 [Zensational -- Christophe Clement -- 35:14-5-7 -- $1,968,550]: A true frontrunner, look for Pure Sensation to be the one on the engine in the Turf Sprint. The multiple graded stakes winner has won four of his last five starts and has run in the Turf Sprint at Santa Anita previously, finishing third in 2016.

Clement has yet to win a Breeders’ Cup race, but earned third-place finishes with Pure Sensation and in back-to-back years with the recently retired Disco Partner.

So Perfect
 12-1 [Scat Daddy -- Aidan O'Brien -- 16:3-3-4 -- $548,918]: Multiple group stakes-winning filly So Perfect is the second of the two possible O’Brien entries for the Turf Sprint. While she finished a well-beaten 17th in her last effort, she has beaten formidable division competition overseas, including stablemate Fairyland.

She’s another that sits just off the early pace, which is the predominant running style in this race, meaning her success may be draw dependent.

So Perfect finished third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs, and she’s likely to be the only entry to have started in the inaugural race for freshmen last year that gets in against older competition in 2019.

Stormy Liberal
 15-1 [Stormy Atlantic -- Peter Miller -- 36:12-10-4 -- $2,202,580]: The winner of back-to-back editions of the Turf Sprint, Stormy Liberal seeks to follow the great Goldikova as a winner of three consecutive runnings of a Breeders' Cup race. Goldikova won the Mile from 2008-2010.

While his best is most likely behind him, Miller should have this gelding ready to peak at Santa Anita. Will the 7-year old son of Stormy Atlantic make history on the first Saturday of November? Like most in this field, the draw may dictate his chances, as he’s another pace presser type. 

An inside draw with those who sit further back immediately to his right could set him up for the three-peat if he's still good enough.

Stubbins
 12-1 [Morning Line --Doug O'Neill -- 10:4-2-2 -- $418,151]: O’Neill has five career Breeders’ Cup wins to his credit and for this one to add to his total, he’ll have to do it from far off the early pace in a five-furlong sprint.

Stubbins is a graded stakes winner who has beaten as well as run alongside a lot of the probables in this field. He’s coming in off a win in the Woodford and is no doubt in the best form of his career.

He’s 2-for-2 at Santa Anita and sports a win and a third-place finish in two career starts at five panels. If there is a blistering early pace with all of the presser types pushing Pure Sensation early, Stubbins could be the one benefitting late.

Totally Boss
 5-1 [Street Boss -- George Arnold -- 15:6-1-1 $665,418]: Totally Boss has won four of his last five starts. He won a six-furlong turf sprint last out at Kentucky Downs, a race in which Leinster finished third.

Of note, the Street Boss gelding was found closer to the early pace at Kentucky Downs than he had been over his last seven races, so there’s a good possibility trainer Arnold had jockey Florent Geroux employ that type of tactic in preparation for this race.

As stated above, Arnold has yet to win a Breeders’ Cup race, but the two he brings to this one puts him in prime position. It all depends on the draw, but Totally Boss has more than a puncher’s chance to do well here.

Other possible contenders: Extravagant Kid, Legends of War, Shekky Shebazz, Girls Know Best.

 

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