The Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

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Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint will be held at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 3rd.

There are five automatic berths available in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint through the ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge Series.

  1. The TJ Smith Stakes, a Group 1 race run in April at Randwich Racecourse in Sydney, Australia
  2. The Highlander Stakes, newest addition Grade II race run in July at Woodbine in Canada
  3. The Nunthorpe Stakes, a Group 1 race run in August at York Racecourse in England
  4. The Flying Five Stakes, a Group 2 race run in September at Curragh Racecourse in Ireland
  5. The Sprinters Stakes, a Grade 1 race run in October at Nakayama Racecourse in Japan

 

The Turf Sprint Winners

The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint combines both speed and agility for international competitors at 5 furlongs on the turf course. The world’s fasted Thoroughbreds compete for a $1 million purse, and the race is for horses three-years of age and older. As the sprinters hit the stretch, speeds nearing 40 miles per hours are reached.

The phrase “horses for courses” takes on an even deeper meaning in the Turf Sprint, as the distance of the race is based on the host location. California-based horses have excelled when the race takes place at Santa Anita, as Desert Code (2008), California Flag (2009) and the only two-time winner Mizdirection (2012, 2013) all were victorious in the Turf Sprint at “The Great Race Place” Santa Anita. California Flag competed in each of the first five Turf Sprints starting in 2008. California Flag was voted the Cal-bred champion turf horse of 2010 and named the state’s Horse of the Year.

Just two of the nine editions of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint have been run at 5 furlongs (2010 & 2011), but the 2017 edition at Del Mar was also contested at 5 furlongs. The 2015 Turf Sprint was contested at 5 ½ furlongs, and six others have been run at the distance of 6 ½ furlongs. The 5 furlong winning times have been 56.53 and 56:48 seconds.

The 2016 Turf Sprint was another exciting race, as Irish-bred winner and race favorite Obviously (7-2 odds) went forward to the front and jockey Flavien Prat continued to fly down the hill at Santa Anita. As they crossed the main dirt and turned for home on the turf, Om was well behind and near the back of the pack before exploding like a rocket in the deep stretch, coming up a nose short to the winner Obviously, with Pure Sensation holding for third.

BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT WINNERS & RECORDS

Year/Track Winner/ Jockey/ Time/
Date/Distance Owner Trainer Odds
2017 - DMR Stormy Liberal  J. Rosario 56.12
Nov 04 - 5F Rockingham Ranch P. Miller $30.20
2016 - SA  Obviously (IRE) F. Prat 01:11.3
Nov 05 - 6 1/2F Fanticola, Anthony and Scardino, Joseph P. D'Amato $3.80*
2015 - KEE Mongolian Saturday  F. Geroux 01:03.2
Oct 31 - 5 1/2F Mongolian Stable E. Ganbat $15.90
2014 - SA  Bobby's Kitten  J. Rosario 01:12.7
Nov 01 - 6 1/2F Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. C. Brown $7.20
2013 - SA  Mizdirection  M. Smith 01:12.2
Nov 02 - 6 1/2F Jungle Racing LLC, Strauss, Nish, Grohs, MSK Racing Ventures, LLC and Beljak M. Puype $2.70*
2013 - SA  Mizdirection  M. Smith 01:12.2
Nov 02 - 6 1/2F Jungle Racing LLC, Strauss, Nish, Grohs, MSK Racing Ventures, LLC and Beljak M. Puype $2.70*
2012 - SA  Mizdirection  M. Smith 01:11.4
Nov 03 - 6 1/2F Jungle Racing LLC, Strauss, W., Grohs, J., Beljak, B., KMN Racing LLC et al. M. Puype $6.90
2011 - CD  Regally Ready C. Nakatani 56.48
Nov 05 - 5F Vinery Stables S. Asmussen $2.30*
2010 - CD  Chamberlain Bridge  J. Theriot 56.53
Nov 06 - 5F Carl R. Moore Management LLC W. Calhoun $6.90
2009 - OSA California Flag  J. Talamo 01:11.3
Nov 07 - 6 1/2F Hi Card Ranch B. Koriner $3.40*
2008 - OSA Desert Code  R. Migliore 01:11.6
Oct 25 - 6 1/2F Tarabilla Farms, Inc. D. Hofmans $36.50

 

Historical Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Results:

2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Results

Fourteen runners went to post in the ninth running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, but none of them could catch the wire-to-wire winner Obviously (IRE). The 8-year-old Irish-bred set blistering fractions of :21.41, :43.08 and 1:05.21 before holding on gamely by a nose to win the 6 ½ furlong turf sprint at Santa Anita in 1:11.33.

Sent off as the favorite at 7-2 with Flavien Prat aboard, Obviously cruised down the hill on the back stretch and remained clear as they kicked home in mid-stretch. From the very back of the pack, Om split horses under urging by rider Gary Stevens in mid-stretch, and came flying to the finish as Stevens lost his whip with Om surging late to just miss.

Trained by Phil D’Amato, who won his first Breeders’ Cup race, Obviously rewarded his backers and returned $9.50, $5.20 and $3.80 across the board, while Om paid $6.00 and $4.40. Pure Sensation was running just behind Obviously the entire way and then held for 3rd to pay $6.60. The longest shot in the field Calgary Cat (41-1) also came from way back to finish fourth and set off a superfecta payoff of $9,699.30 on a $1 ticket.

A $1 exacta paid $29.80 and a $1 trifecta returned $312.40. 

Obviously came to the Breeders’ Cup with one win, a pair of seconds and a third place finish in four graded stakes starts in 2016. A Breeders’ Cup Mile participant each of the past four years, Obviously showed his speed and agility for International competitors. He was planning on racing again at age 9, but suffered some bone bruising in training and retired. Obviously won 13 races in 29 career starts including 9 graded stakes wins. He also placed in six graded grass events and finished his career with earnings of more than $2.3 million.  

 

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