2017 Breeders' Cup Sprint Preview and Picks

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D.S. Williamson

October 21st, 2017

Every race on the 2017 Breeders' Cup 2-day card should be competitive. There isn't a single race where the likely morning line favorite is a lock. This includes the Breeders' Cup Sprint where Bob Baffert's 2016 BC Sprint winner, Drefong, could be an odds-on favorite to repeat. There are plenty of horses that could challenge Drefong.

My key horse is one who should relish the dirt at Del Mar. He might be coming up to the best race of his life. No doubt, that's what he must do to upset Baffert's monster. I also like a horse from the East Coast as my longshot play that might get lost in the betting.

Check out my plays for the 2017 Breeders' Cup Sprint!

1. Roy H

The Peter Miller trained sprinter was unlucky to lose the Bing Crosby Stakes. He did bounce back in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. That race over Mr. Hinx and American Anthem wasn't as impressive as the way he kept fighting on in the Bing Crosby Stakes.

He should get a decent trip behind the speed. He has no problem handling Del Mar's dirt. I think Peter's got himself a BC winner.

2. Drefong

The defending champion looked great when dominating his rivals in the Forego Handicap at Saratoga. He ran the fist quarter in a leisurely :22.89. Then, he marched to a :45.89 half-mile before drawing off for the win. Drefong was out for a jog in the Forego. He should be at his best on Breeders' Cup Day. It's going to take a gargantuan effort to beat him, no joke.

3. Imperial Hint

Imperial Hint easily won the Sprint Smile Stakes. The time wasn't too impressive, 1:09.23. No worries. He came back like a gangbuster in the Donald Levine Memorial Handicap. That race was simply a tune-up for the BC Sprint. How fast did Imperial Hint run in that race? 1:07.50. That's fast. It doesn't matter that the field wasn't all that talented. If he's on his toes, I must consider for a win bet because the odds should be overlaid.

4. Mind Your Biscuits

I like the fact that he closes in a race full of speed. He's hard to endorse on top, though. I'm not the only one who's thinking that the best closer in the race has a great shot due to how fast Imperial Hint, Roy H, El Deal, and Drefong figure to go early. Mind Your Biscuits odds should be underlaid in this. He also ran like a tired horse in the Forego, clocking in 6th, well behind Drefong. I think he comes back with a nice race. I'm not sure he's worth using in any slot other than the superfecta slot.

Best Longshot Play:  El Deal

He tried as hard as he could to hold off Takaful in the Grade 1 Vosburgh. Belmont's sweeping turn might have done him in on that day. I prefer him over Takaful because I think he could run much faster earlier in the BC Sprint than he did in the Vosburgh. If he gets the lead at Del Mar, and nobody else wants to press him because he appears to be running too fast, he might go on to the win.

If Drefong presses him, he might be fast enough to soften Drefong up for Roy H, he can lie right off. Imperial Hint could be good enough to run with El Deal and hang on for the win. Even if El Deal doesn't win the Breeders' Cup Sprint, he should have a say in the outcome.

At what should be huge odds, he's worth a look.