This year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) is one of the most anticipated races coming up with a strong field of speedy runners set to duel at six furlongs on the main track.
Mitole is the 9-4 early betting favorite for the Sprint at USRacing and with three Grade 1 wins this year, he is in the conversation for Horse of the Year.
The Steve Asmussen trainee won the seven furlong Forego (G1) in his last start and defeated a stacked field to win the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park back in June at a mile.
Among his foes is Imperial Hint who was third in this race last year and was the runner up in 2017. The six-year-old is coming off a game win in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Belmont Park in his last outing. He is the current second choice in early Sprint betting at US Racing at 3-1.
Shancelot won the Amsterdam (G2) by more than a dozen lengths at Saratoga back in July earning a lofty 121 Beyer Speed Figure. However, he came back to earth in his last two starts, a third in the H.A. Jerkens (G1) and a second in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) in his last two starts.
Catalina Cruiser has won seven of his eight career starts. His lone loss was in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) last year. He is perfect in three starts since and was a game winner of the Pat O’Brien (G2) at Del Mar going seven furlongs in his last start.
Last year’s Sprint runner up Whitmore is back for more and is going to be a price, currently at 20-1 at US Racing.
|Sprint by the Digits (last nine years)
Avg. Win payoff: $15.67
Avg. Exacta payoff: $109.62
Avg. Beyer Speed Figure: 105.9
Betting Favorites All time: 8 for 35
Winner: Roy H ($7.40)
Winner final prep: won SA Sprint Champ. (G1)
Runner up: Whitmore
Runner up final prep: 2nd in Phoenix (G1)
- The betting favorite has won the Sprint just eight times in 35 editions and just 1 of the 9 run at Santa Anita. Between 1997 and 2012 the betting favorite ran out of the money 11 times in 16 editions of the race…
- Three-year-olds have fared well in recent years, taking three of the last seven editions of the race. Overall three-year-olds have won the Sprint nine times.
- Older runners have held their own. Roy H won at six last year and Carmania in 1993 and Elmhurst in 1997 won at the ripe old age of seven.
- Bob Baffert has been the most successful trainer in the Sprint with five victories including in 2016 with Defrong… The Baffert trained Midnight Lute was the first back to back winner, taking the title in 2007 and 2008. Roy H. won in 2017 and 2018 for trainer Peter Miller.
- We have seen four of the last nine winners of the race take the field gate to wire including Defrong at Santa Anita. There have been a dozen wire winners overall.
- The top exacta came in 2006 at Churchill Downs with Thor’s Echo (15-1) and Friendly Island (58-1) combining for a $955.40 payoff. Shorter fields have kept the exacta light over the past four years, the best being $51.60 in 2017.
- Three big upsets in the Sprint have come at Santa Anita: Dancing in Silks in 2009 at $52.60, Cajun Beat in 2003 paying $47.60 and Work All Week who paid $40.20 in 2014.
- Post positions 12-14 are a combined 1 for 60. The best post has been five with six winners. The rail has produced three winners.
- The last six Sprint winners came into the race off a win in their final prep. The last 10 landed in the exacta.
- The Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) has been the key prep producing eight winners while the Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont Park has produced six.
- Asmussen, who sends out likely favorite Mitole is 0 for 8 in the Sprint.