Breeders Cup Turf Sprint Trends
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Trends
The Turf Sprint is one of my favourite races at the Breeders Cup, even though I’ve yet to record the winner. In a country where course constitution has something of a sterile sameness about it, the Oak Tree chute which fires the horses from the gate like so many bullets from a gun, is unique. Down the track they go, dog-legging right before helter-skeltering sharp left and, if there’s anything left in the tank, rolling on up to the wire.
It’s a race where a lot changes late in the play, and many-way photo finishes are commonplace. What racing should be all about!
From a trends perspective, we’re only five years in, but three of those have been on this quirky Oak Tree track, so there is at least a peck of possible profile pointers from which to project prospective protagonists. (Try saying that after a couple of vodka tonics!)
Whilst the two Churchill Downs events were burn ups over the minimum five furlong stretch, the three here stretched out to six and a bit, and unsurprisingly, those with local knowledge have fared best.
In fact, all three Turf Sprint winners here at Santa Anita were previous winners on the course, two of them multiple winners. Moreover, two of the three second placed horses were also previous course and distance winners, the other having not raced over that strip before.
So, a course and distance win could be a very strong shortlisting tool.
Although six-year-old Chamberlain Bridge won the 5f Churchill Downs version in 2010, the other four sprints have been won by four-year-olds (three) and a five-year-old.
Mizdirection will attempt to double up after last year’s win, and she will do that off a similarly long layoff. So, don’t be put off by the days since a run figure if you like her chance.