A full field of 14 horses get set for the shortest race of the two day Breeders’ Cup spectacle. Regally Ready looks to continue his hot streak as he enters the race as the favorite, but new sprinter Caracortado, multiple graded winner Chamberlain Bridge and other contenders might have something to say.
Churchill Downs – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2) – 5 Furlongs – Turf – $1,000,000
Date: November 5, 2011
Estimated Post Time: 3:21pm EST
1. Grand Adventure – Javier Castellano – 20/1
2. Holiday for Kitten – Joel Rosario – 30/1
3. Broken Dreams – Garrett Gomez – 20/1
4. Perfect Officer – Kendrick Carmouche – 12/1
5. Great Attack – Jeffrey Sanchez – 20/1
6. California Flag – Patrick Valenzuela – 15/1
7. Hoofit (NZ) – Edgar Prado – 15/1
8. Regally Ready – Corey Nakatani – 3/1
9. Rapport – Brian Hernandez – 30/1
10. Havelock – Robby Albarado – 9/2
11. Country Day – James Graham – 20/1
12. Camp Victory – Julien Leparoux – 12/1
13. Caracortado – Joe Talamo – 4/1
14. Chamberlain Bridge – Ryan Theriot – 5/1
Regally Ready (KY) – Trainer Steven Asmussen
He’s not just the favorite in this race because of his gate to wire win against a strong field in the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine on October 16. It’s also due to his 5 wins in 8 tries this year including three graded stakes, as well as, being in the money 7 times in 8 races. Not to mention, those three graded wins came on three sides of the continent including Churchill Downs, the host of this race. If he can get the lead, watch out as he will not give it up. He did a fantastic job at digging in and holding off favorite Bated Breath (GB) by a neck in the Nearctic.
Caracortado (CA) – Trainer Michael Machowsky
Two-time Grade 2 stakes winner and multiple runner-up Grade 1 performer. Has won 8 times in 17 career races and been in the money 13 of those 17. He started the year by winning tthe Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. He followed it up with a narrow defeat to Fluke (BRZ) in the Grade 2 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes going a mile. He went very wide around the final turn in the one mile Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes and finished 5th. He was bumped hard at 3/8 pole while making a big move but faded to finish 6th in the Grade 3 Alysheba Stakes going 1 1/6 miles on the dirt. He had a strong 2nd place effort (neck) vs east coast invader Courageous Cat in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile Stakes on the turf. He once again went very wide around the far turn and failed to make enough ground, ended up 3rd in the 1 1/8 miles Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on the Del Mar turf. His last race was an impressive last stride score over Mr. Commons in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile Handicap. He won by a nose. As you can tell, his races have been at a mile or longer. The decision to go in the Turf Sprint versus the Mile or Dirt Mile is a little surprising. He is a great horse who is training very well, but will need to make his late move much sooner in this 5 furlongs sprint to be successful. This will be interesting.
2011 Record: 7 Starts 2-2-1 (Won the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile Handicap at Del Mar and Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes at Santa Anita).
Chamberlain Bridge (KY) – Trainer Bret Calhoun
He’s a winner of a whopping 17 races in 36 tries. Yes, a winning percentage of 47%! Over the years, this seven year old has raced several times each season. However, this year, he has raced just five times. The year started with a win in the Rail Splitter Stakes at Sam Houston on February 12. He followed it up with a 4th in the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland. 3 weeks later he came 4rd in the Grade 3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs. A 6th in the Parx Dash Handicap was followed up by a solid 3rd in the Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap both at Parx Racing. He only lost by a 1/2 length for it all despite going wide on the last turn. He hasn’t raced since Turf Monster Handicap, but has been training extremely well. He’s the defending champion for this race and should still be respected.
2011 Record: 8 Starts 3-3-0 (Won the Rail Splitter Stakes at Sam Houston on February 12).
Havelock (MD) – Trainer Darrin Miller
This four year old gelding is on a tear lately. If you throw out his long distance attempt in the Grade 2 WinStar Kentucky Cup Stakes at Turfway Park, this horse is on a three race streak in sprints. He first won the 5 1/2 furlongs Arlington Sprint Handicap at Arlington Park. Shipped up to Woodbine and won the seven furlongs Grade 2 Play the King Stakes, then flew down to Kentucky for the 5 1/2 furlongs Grade 3 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland. He’s the hottest horse in the field and should be respected when considering who to bet.
2011 Record: 9 Starts 4-0-1 (He won the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes at Woodbine and Grade 3 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland).
Camp Victory (VA) – Trainer Mike Mitchell
During his career, he has either finished in the top three or no where near. Plain and simple. In 2011, he has been able to more consistent with his performance. It didn’t start off well in a 7th place result in an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Santa Anita. Mitchell dropped him down into the claiming ranks to get him a win. It worked as he won a claiming $40,000 race. That seemed to do the trick as he followed up with a win in an Allowance Optional Claimer. He stepped up into graded company for the first time in 10 months and did very well. He narrowly lost by a nose to Regally Ready in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap. Quickly followed it up with a win in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap. His first attempt off the turf since April 4 last year. Mitchell decided to keep him off turf for the next two races which turned into a 2nd in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap (Smiling Tiger) and Grade 1 Pat O’Brien Stakes (The Factor). His last race was a 5th back on the turf in the Grade 3 Morvich Stakes. He has been able to win on turf and synthetic, as well as, at different sprint distances. He is versatile, but this is a quick bunch. He will need his absolute best to win.
2011 Record: 8 Starts 3-3-0 (won the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 30).
California Flag (CA) – Brian Koriner
This seven year old gray gelding is the class of the field as he has been there done that in his career. Unfortunately, he has not been able to run as much over the past year and a half due to injuries. He is a multiple graded stakes winner that includes the BC Turf Sprint in 2009. Just as it looked like age and injuries were slowing this horse down, he comes out with a huge effort in the Grade 3 Morvich Stakes at Santa Anita. He sat off the lead in the 6 1/2 furlongs race and broke loose half way down the stretch. He won by 1/2 length. He finished in a time of 1:11.4. He might not be what he used to be and hasn’t raced many Grade 1 or 2 races lately, but he will be in the thick of things as they turn for him.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 1-0-0 (He won the Grade 3 Morvich Stakes at Santa Anita on October 10).
Perfect Officer (KY) – Trainer Michael Pino
Another career Allowance and low graded stakes horse who has yet to win a graded stakes race. He is however, a very consistent horse. The last two races it seems he has elevated his game with back to back runner-up efforts in the five furlongs Grade 2 Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing (Ben’s Cat) and 5 1/2 furlongs Grade 2 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland (Havelock). He has two stakes wins to his resume in 2011, the Tony Gatto Dream Big Stakes at Atlantic City and Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth Park. Ben’s Cat is a tough sprinter and he just about defeated him. That effort duplicated on November 5 and he might be in the thick of things.
2011 Record: 7 Starts 3-2-1 (He won the Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 10).
Hoofit (NZ) – Trainer Graham Motion
I would venture to say that this four year old New Zealand bred likes running here in the United States. After 16 races in New Zealand and winning just 2 times, he is a perfect 2 for 2 since his arrival in the Graham Motion barn. First, he easily won an Allowance race going 5 1/2 furlongs at Presque Isle Downs, then followed it up with a win in the six furlongs Grade 3 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland. He defeated a decent group horses including Aikenite, Flashpoint and Hamazing Destiny. Both those wins were on all weather, but his experience in NZ is on turf. He could loom large in this race if he continues to improve with each race.
2011 Record: 2 Starts 2-0-0 (Won the Grade 3 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland).
Grand Adventure (KY) – Trainer Mark Frostad
He is a 3 time graded stakes winner who has had a roller coaster ride of a season. He’s raced six times with just two top three performances. He ran 2nd in the Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland and 3rd in the Connaught Cup Stakes at Woodbine. He had poor results over the next three races; 6th in the G2 King Edward Stakes, 6th in the G2 Play the King Stakes both at Woodbine and 9th in a step up to Grade 1 in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes. His last race was quite solid considering the depth of horses in the race. He finished 4th to Regally Ready, Bated Breath (GB) and Gypsy Ring. It’s been a while since his last win on June 27, 2010 in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes. A span of 10 races. He has performed better in the sprints than middle distance. Hard to see him pulling this one off though.
2011 Record: 6 Starts 0-0-1
Holiday for Kitten (FL) – Trainer Wesley Ward
This three year old filly wants to take on the boys. She comes off a nice victory in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland against fillies and mares on synthetic. She sat off the lead the entire race, made a move down the stretch and hung on to win by a head. The two races prior to that she ran on the turf; finished 5th going five furlongs in the Turf Amazon Handicap at Parx Racing going five furlongs, then 3rd going 5 1/2 furlongs in the Crank It Up Stakes at Monmouth Park. This is a tough spot for this filly. She hasn’t competed well in turf sprints so far and this will not be the race where she does.
2011 Record: 7 Starts 3-0-1 (Won the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland).
Broken Dreams (FL) – Trainer Thomas Proctor
This five year old mare is coming off a career win in the G3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes at Santa Anita on September 30. It was her first graded stakes win. She ran 6 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:12.23. She defeated a couple of quality females in Unzip Me and Tanda. She has been close on a few occasions this season in non-graded stakes, and has an Allowance score to her credit as well. She will need to improve on that career effort to defeat this field.
2011 Record: 8 Starts 2-2-1 (Won the Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes at Santa Anita).
Great Attack (FL) – Trainer Wesley Ward
Four year old colt has yet to win in 2011, but has hit the top three on three occasions in four races. In his career, he has yet to win a Stakes race, but has three Allowance wins. His last two races have been in graded company. He finished 3rd two back in the G3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland, then came back to finish 5th last time out in the G3 Woodford Stakes. He is consistent, with 9 top three finishes in 12 career starts, but this will be his toughest race yet. Don’t seem him hitting the board.
2011 Record: 3 Starts 0-2-1
Country Day (KY) – Trainer Stephen Margolis
Five year old with just 16 races under his belt tells you he has had injury problems in his career. He missed almost 9 months from his Allowance win at Keeneland last October. Despite missing several months, he came up big in a neck defeat to Havelock in the Arlington Sprint Handicap. He didn’t get a good trip in his 8th place result in the G3 Turf Monster Handicap. His last race was 3rd beaten just 1 3/4 lengths in the G3 Woodford Stakes. He has yet to win a graded race in his career, but his performance as of late has been improving. Catching up for lost time?
2011 Record: 3 Starts 0-1-1
Rapport (KY) – Trainer Ronny Werner
This four year old filly is another product of injuries. She ran three times as a two year old in maiden races at Churchill Downs and Saratoga from the D. Wayne Lukas barn. All three times she finished well off the board. She missed 9 months from August 2009 to May 2010 until she popped up on the west coast at Hollywood Park in the Bob Baffert barn. She won her Southern California debut in a maiden special weight race. She came back less than a month later to claim an Allowance race. She then made her way back to the east coast to race in the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes at Calder Race Course. She finished 4th. She picked up her first graded stakes win at Saratoga in the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes. She would finish 6th in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park, then 2nd in the Dream Supreme Stakes at Churchill Downs. Injuries would get to her again, this time missing 11 months before coming back to the track in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland a couple of weeks ago. She finished a decent 4th. I’m surprised she has been entered in the Turf Sprint, she has yet to run on this surface. It’s a tough spot to fall in considering the lengthy time off and competition.
2011 Record: 1 Starts 0-0-0