BREEDERS' CUP TURF SPRINT | PURSE: $1 MILLION | GRADE 1 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | 6 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF)
The Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint was the most popular race among the 15 on the two-day World Championships programs, with a maximum 14 drawing into the field for the race that is run at about 6 1/2 furlongs over Santa Anita Park's unique downhill turf course.
Installed as the moderate 9-2 favorite was Melnyk Racing Stables' Bridgetown, winner of the $150,000 Woodford Stakes Oct. 6 at Keeneland. In that test, Bridgetown earned his first graded stakes win since 2009 when he ground out a one-length advantage over Great Mills, who is also entered in the Turf Sprint.
Bridgetown, a 5-year-old son of Speightstown , covered 5 1/2 furlongs on the firm Keeneland turf in 1:02.55 under jockey Javier Castellano in winning the Woodford for trainer Todd Pletcher and drew the post 9 for his Breeders' Cup challenge.
Second choice at 5-1 is Unbridled's Note, a 3-year-old son of Unbridled's Song who races for Mike McCarty. One of the least experienced horse in the field, Unbridled's Note has won three of his seven starts, including the Eddie Delahoussaye Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita Sept. 28 in his turf debut. The colt also finished third in both the Amsterdam and Foxwoods King's Bishop Stakes on dirt at Saratoga Race Course.
Reneesgotzip, one of two fillies in the Turf Sprint (the other is Mizdirection), comes into the race with a career tally of four wins and two seconds in seven starts. In her second career start, the 3-year-old daughter of City Zip rolled to a 7 3/4-length win in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita in January. She is trained by Peter Miller for the Lanni Family Trust.
Listed at 10-1 morning-line odds is Camp Victory, a 5-year-old Forest Camp gelding whose eight wins in 25 starts includes the Triple Bend Handicap at seven furlongs on the synthetic main track at Betfair Hollywood Park. Camp Victory has run nearly half his lifetime races on grass while winning four of 11 such starts. He also started 11 times on synthetics, winning three. Camp Victory is trained by Mike Mitchell, who claimed him for $40,000 from West Point Thoroughbreds in February 2011. With Julien Leparoux named to ride, Camp Victory breaks from the 2 hole.
The Turf Sprint field also includes California Flag, the 2009 Turf Sprint winner who drew the inside 1 post position and will be ridden by Joe Talamo for trainer Brian Koriner. Talamo rode the 8-year-old gelded son of Avenue of Flags to victory in his previous Turf Sprint win and was also aboard for a victory in the San Simeon Handicap. The San Simeon, on April 21 over the same course and distance as the Turf Sprint, represents the lone 2012 outing for California Flag, an earner of $1.2 million. The California-bred has won 11 of 26 starts.
The also-eligibles for the Turf Sprint are Global Power and Starspangled Heat, either or both of whom could draw in should there be any scratches from the main body of the field.