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Breeders' Cup 2017

Versatile Goldencents Removes Blinkers

If Goldencents’ game was baseball, he’d be a five-tool player. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby going a mile and an eighth on dirt and missed by a head in winning the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes at six furlongs on Del Mar’s synthetic Polytrack.

In any case, the millionaire bay usually gives his all.

He finished second last out on Aug. 25 in Del Mar’s Grade II Pat O’Brien at seven furlongs. Saturday he returns to dirt in the Grade I, “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs. The winner receives a fees-paid entry to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 1 and 2.

Trainer Doug O’Neill will remove the blinkers from Goldencents for Saturday’s important prep. Goldencents drew the outside post in a field of 10.

“He’s just a natural athlete,” O’Neill said of Goldencents, owned in part by Glen Sorgenstein, Josh Kaplan, Dave Kenney and Louisville University head basketball coach Rick Pitino, who races as RAP Racing.

“He’ll run just about anywhere you put him,” O’Neill said. “He’s training great. We’re taking the blinkers off him and Rafael Bejarano rides him for the first time (in a race).

“Raffy worked him the other day and he worked as well as he ever has. We’re real excited. I think he’s going to run huge.

“We put the blinkers on for the two sprints at Del Mar and he actually broke a little worse. He usually leaves the gate with good energy, and he really didn’t with the blinkers on, so we’re taking them off and we should be in good shape.”

The Santa Anita Sprint Championship will mark the 10th straight stakes for Goldencents. Since breaking his maiden in his first start, at Del Mar on Sept. 2, 2012, Goldencents has run in nothing but graded stakes, although he hasn’t won since taking the Santa Anita Derby April 6.

The field for the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, the ninth of 10 races: Gonna Fly Now, Joe Talamo, 10-1; Centralinteligence, Victor Espinoza, 7-2;  Distinctiv Passion, Edwin Maldonado, 10-1; Trinniberg, Jose Valdivia Jr., 7-2; Roman Threat, Gary Stevens, 4-1; Points Offthebench, Mike Smith, 7-2; and Goldencents, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2.

Declassify was scratched.

 

 

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