My Breeders' Cup Sprint Picks

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D.S. Williamson

October 22nd, 2018

This year's Breeders' Cup Sprint should be as taxing as any race on Saturday's card. Both Imperial Hint and X Y Jet should enter the starting gate. If both go, the fractions could be mind-boggling. Will that set it up for Roy H or Ransom the Moon? Or, will the speed hold in the fastest run race during the 2-days Breeders' Cup Racing Festival?

Check out my Top 4 picks for this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint!

My Breeders' Cup Sprint Picks

1. Roy H

The defending champ got back on track after beating Distinctive B. and Ransom the Moon in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. He didn't bust a huge speed rating, but he did win easily. Trainer Peter Miller's got Roy H following last year's pattern up to this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

In last year's Sprint, the gelding ran a lifetime best. No doubt, he must prove that he can take his game out of California and to a deep track like Churchill Downs, but if he does, forget it. He'll again be the best sprinter in the world.

2. Imperial Hint

As fast as they come and, surprisingly, he doesn't need the lead nor will he face immense pace pressure other than what X Y Jet throws at him. Imperial Hint got the half-mile in :44.1 when winning the Grade 1 Vosburgh. He won the Grade 1 H.A. Jerkens after running the half in the same time, :44.1. No horse likely to enter the Sprint can keep up with Imperial Hint if he goes :44.1 again, including X Y Jet.

Can he run a :44.1 half-mile under the Twin Spires and carry his speed to a win? Imperial Hint almost held off Roy H at Del Mar in last year's BC Sprint. Where the Surf Meets Turf often favors front runners, though. It should be tough to hold off Roy H again.

3. Ransom the Moon

He tends to be off one race and then on a race, which in this case is a good thing because he was most definitely off in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Ransom the Moon finished 3rd. In the race before, the Bing Crosby, he beat Roy H by 2 1/4 lengths.

Ransom the Moon sat 9 1/4 lengths behind the speed at the first call. He rallied impressively to get up by those 2 1/4 lengths. They ran the half in :44.3 in the Bing Crosby, which puts Ransom the Moon in a strange position in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Does Flavien Prat sit 3, 4 lengths off? Or, does he take Ransom the Moon back and hope they can catch Imperial Hint and Roy H?

Prat's decision could determine if he ends up in the trifecta.

4. X Y Jet

The Jorge Navarro trainee has had a single start since almost holding off Mind Your Biscuits for the win in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March. X Y Jet did win that race, but we must question his fitness because a race in June might not be enough. He'll be the closest early to Imperial Hint unless likely jockey Emisail Jaramillo decides to wrest the lead from Imperial Hint. Either way, I think he ends up in the Top 4 in a race light on top-notch competition if, like what we expect, Mind Your Biscuits goes in the BC Classic.