The Breeders' Cup Sprint
Breeders’ Cup Sprint
The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Sprint will be held at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 3rd.
There are seven ‘Win and You’re In’ automatic berths given to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The final two are the first weekend of October, a month before the Breeders’ Cup. These races are the Smile Sprint Handicap, Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes, Bing Crosby Handicap, Forego Stakes, Vosburgh Stakes, Phoenix Stakes an the Santa Anita Sprint Championships.
The Sprint Winners
The Twinspires.com Breeders’ Cup Sprint is a recently raised $2 million race contested at 6 furlongs. The world’s fastest Thoroughbred’s compete among open competition for horses three-years-old and older. The BC Sprint has been run every year since 1984 with Eillo winning the inaugural race at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Corey Nakatani has won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint a record four times, while trainer Bob Baffert has been a winner a record five times including in 2016 with Drefong. The 2016 runner-up, and race favorite Masochistic, was disqualified more than a month after the race following a pair of tests which confirmed the presence of the steroid stanozolol in the horse's system. The horse’s trainer and connections also forfeited the accompanying $255,000 place money.
Five horses stopped the clock with a winning time of less than 1:08.00, with the fastest time by Baffert-trained Midnight Lute in 2008 (1:07.08). Midnight Lute is the only two-time winner of the BC Sprint, winning each time with the late jockey Garrett Gomez aboard. A total of eight favorites at post time have won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint including Midnight Lute in 2007.
The 2015 winner Runhappy, a three-year-old son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, won as the 8-5 favorite in a Keeneland track-record time of 1:08.58.
The 1989 BC Sprint at Gulfstream was a memorable race, as the filly Safely Kept turned for home in the lead following blistering splits. But jockey Angel Cordero, Jr. came flying along the rail with Dancing Spree to nip her by a nose at the wire for owner Ogden Phipps.
The History of the Breeders' Cup Sprint
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint covers 6 furlongs on dirt and has served as one of the marquee staples of the world championships since 1984. Open to horses ages three-years-old and up, the current purse is $1,500,000. The number of competitors is limited to 14 total.
Midnight Lute is not only the lone winner of two Breeders’ Cup Sprint championships, he also stands as the reigning speed record holder with a time of 1:07.08 set during his 2008 victory. Four other winners have also recorded times that broke the 1:08.00 plateau. These include Kona Gold in 2000, Artax in 1999, Cajun Beat in 2003 and Trinniberg in 2012.
Corey Nakatani has won this race on four occasions, making him the winningest jockey in Breeders’ Cup Sprint history. He won with Lit Justice first in 1996 and followed up a year later with Elmhurst in 1997 and again with Reraise in 1998. Nakatani would return nearly a decade later to win his fourth title aboard Thor’s Echo in 2006.
The legendary trainer Bob Baffert has established himself as a force in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with five wins. He first saw the winner’s circle with Thirty Slews in 1992 before winning the aforementioned back-to-back reigns with Midnight Lute in 2007 and 2008. He has since won with Secret Circle in 2013 and most recently with Drefong in 2016.
Many of the winners from the Breeders’ Cup Sprint go on to earn honors as American Champion Sprint Horse from the Eclipse Awards.
BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT WINNERS & RECORDS
|2017 - DMR||Roy H||K. Desormeaux||01:08.6|
|Nov 04 - 6F||Rockingham Ranch and Bernsen, David A.||P. Miller||$4.90|
|2016 - SA||Drefong||M. Garcia||01:08.8|
|Nov 05 - 6F||Baoma Corporation||B. Baffert||$3.90|
|2015 - KEE||Runhappy||E. Prado||01:08.6|
|Oct 31 - 6F||James McIngvale||M. Borell||$1.60*|
|2014 - SA||Work All Week||F. Geroux||01:08.3|
|Nov 01 - 6F||Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc.||R. Brueggemann||$19.10|
|2013 - SA||Secret Circle||M. Garcia||01:08.7|
|Nov 02 - 6F||Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E. and Weitman, Paul||B. Baffert||$2.50*|
|2012 - SA||Trinniberg||W. Martinez||01:08.0|
|Nov 03 - 6F||Sherry Parbhoo||S. Parbhoo||$13.70|
|2011 - CD||Amazombie||M. Smith||01:09.2|
|Nov 05 - 6F||Sanford, Thomas C. and Spawr, William||W. Spawr||$7.90|
|2010 - CD||Big Drama||E. Coa||01:09.0|
|Nov 06 - 6F||Harold L. Queen||D. Fawkes||$5.20|
|2009 - OSA||Dancing in Silks||J. Rosario||01:08.1|
|Nov 07 - 6F||Ken Kinakin||C. Gaines||$25.30|
|2008 - OSA||Midnight Lute||G. Gomez||01:07.1|
|Oct 25 - 6F||Watson and Weitman Performances, LLC and Pegram||B. Baffert||$2.70|
|2007 - MTH||Midnight Lute||G. Gomez||01:09.2|
|Oct 27 - 6F||Watson and Weitman Performances, LLC and Pegram||B. Baffert||$2.50*|
|2006 - CD||Thor's Echo||C. Nakatani||01:08.8|
|Nov 04 - 6F||Royce S. Jaime Racing Stable, Inc. and Suarez Racing, Inc.||D. O'Neill||$15.60|
|2005 - BEL||Silver Train||E. Prado||01:08.9|
|Oct 29 - 6F||Buckram Oak Farm||R. Dutrow, Jr.||$11.90|
|2004 - LS||Speightstown||J. Velazquez||01:08.1|
|Oct 30 - 6F||Melnyk, Eugene and Laura||T. Pletcher||$3.70|
|2003 - SA||Cajun Beat||C. Velasquez||01:07.9|
|Oct 25 - 6F||Padua Stables and Iracane, John and Joseph||S. Margolis||$22.80|
|2002 - AP||Orientate||J. Bailey||01:08.9|
|Oct 26 - 6F||Lewis, Robert B. and Beverly J.||D. Lukas||$2.70*|
|2001 - BEL||Squirtle Squirt||J. Bailey||01:08.4|
|Oct 27 - 6F||David Joseph Lanzman||R. Frankel||$9.60|
|2000 - CD||Kona Gold||A. Solis||01:07.8|
|Nov 04 - 6F||Headley, Bruce, Molasky, Irwin and Andrew and High Tech Stable||B. Headley||$1.70*|
|1999 - GP||Artax||J. Chavez||01:07.9|
|Nov 06 - 6F||Paraneck Stable||L. Albertrani||$3.70|
|1998 - CD||Reraise||C. Nakatani||01:09.1|
|Nov 07 - 6F||Fey, B., Han, M., Opas, L., Sinatra, F. and Class Racing Stable||C. Dollase||$3.80|
|1997 - HOL||Elmhurst||C. Nakatani||01:08.0|
|Nov 08 - 6F||Evergreen Farm and Sahadi||J. Sahadi||$16.60|
|1996 - WO||Lit de Justice||C. Nakatani||01:08.6|
|Oct 26 - 6F||Evergreen Farms||J. Sahadi||$4.00*|
|1995 - BEL||Desert Stormer||K. Desormeaux||01:09.1|
|Oct 28 - 6F||Joanne H. Norr||F. Lyons||$14.50|
|1994 - CD||Cherokee Run||M. Smith||01:09.5|
|Nov 05 - 6F||Jill E. Robinson||F. Alexander||$2.80*|
|1993 - SA||Cardmania||E. Delahoussaye||01:08.8|
|Nov 06 - 6F||Jean Couvercelle||D. Meredith||$5.30|
|1992 - GP||Thirty Slews||E. Delahoussaye||01:08.2|
|Oct 31 - 6F||Degroot, Dutch Masters III and Pegram||B. Baffert||$18.70|
|1991 - CD||Sheikh Albadou (GB)||P. Eddery||01:09.4|
|Nov 02 - 6F||Hilal Salem||A. Scott||$26.30|
|1990 - BEL||Safely Kept||C. Perret||01:09.6|
|Oct 27 - 6F||Jayeff B Stables||A. Goldberg||$12.20|
|1989 - GP||Dancing Spree||A. Cordero, Jr.||01:09.0|
|Nov 04 - 6F||Ogden Phipps||C. McGaughey III||$16.60|
|1988 - CD||Gulch||A. Cordero, Jr.||01:10.4|
|Nov 05 - 6F||Peter M. Brant||D. Lukas||$5.80|
|1987 - HOL||Very Subtle||P. Valenzuela||01:08.8|
|Nov 21 - 6F||Ben Rochelle||M. Stute||$16.40|
|1986 - SA||Smile||J. Vasquez||01:08.4|
|Nov 01 - 6F||Frances A. Genter Stable, Inc.||F. Schulhofer||$11.00|
|1985 - AQU||Precisionist||C. McCarron||01:08.4|
|Nov 02 - 6F||Fred W. Hooper||L. Fenstermaker||$3.40|
|1984 - HOL||Eillo||C. Perret||01:10.2|
|Nov 10 - 6F||Crown Stable||B. Lepman||$1.30*|
Historical Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Results:
2016 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Results
The $1.5 million Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint had a smaller field of seven, but Drefong made it 4-for-4 in 2016 with a big Breeders’ Cup victory at Santa Anita. Running head-to-head with another California speed ball through a fast half mile in :44.03, Drefong moved ahead of Masochistic on the inside as they hit the top of the stretch. Jockey Martin Garcia urged him home and shook clear a sixteenth from the wire and held firm just over a length in front.
Drefong covered 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.79, and gave trainer Bob Baffert his fifth Sprint victory and his 13th Breeders’ Cup World Championship win overall.
“What a racehorse. What a race. He’s been getting better and better, but we didn’t know how fast he was. He had trained so well coming into this race I thought he was peaking. When I saw him in the paddock I just knew he was going to get it done.”
Baffert’s Lord Nelson, the 5-2 morning-line favorite, was scratched before the race after being treated for an infected cut.
Garcia won his second BC Sprint and fourth Breeders’ Cup race overall. Drefong (7-2) paid $9.80, $4.80 and $3.80. The 8-5 favorite Masochistic returned $4.00 and $2.80, and Mind Your Biscuits rallied hard in the stretch to finish third ($4.60).
A $1 exacta was worth $15.00 while a $1 trifecta returned $112.30.
Drefong won his stakes debut in August in the Grade I Kings Bishop at Saratoga. The Breeders’ Cup Sprint was his fifth straight win overall and increased his earnings to more than $1.2 million in six career starts.