How to bet the 2021 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

Profile Picture: Rowan Ward

November 4th, 2021

Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar drew an overflow field: 12 in the main group, plus six more on the also-eligible list.

Favorites don't appear unbeatable

Last year's Turf Sprint heroine #1 Glass Slippers (6-1) is returning to try and defend her crown, but she's hemmed in on the fence, and this is an even deeper field in 2020.

There's also not as much speed in this year's field. That suits likely favorite #3 Golden Pal (7-2), who has shown excellent early speed. He toyed with the field in the Woodford S. (G2) last out, getting headed in upper stretch before bounding away again. But this is a deeper field than the Woodford—deep enough to make it worth looking for another viable candidate in the win pool.


Mid-range longshots offer appeal

#4 Lieutenant Dan (6-1) is an appealing spoiler candidate who should be a square price in the win pool. Better than ever in his three starts off an extended layoff, the Steven Miyadi trainee won the Eddie D S. (G2) last out down the hill at Santa Anita, but his previous two starts (both wins at Del Mar) show he is a real five-furlong horse. Lieutenant Dan loves the California firm turf, and he has the tactical speed to be involved every step of the way.

#10 Gear Jockey (5-1) has been reinvented as a turf sprinter this year, and that is going well. Though this will be his first time shortening up to a flat five furlongs, he has the tactical speed to work a trip. Even though Gear Jockey's last-out win came over the quirky Kentucky Downs course, his two-back third in the more conventional Troy S. (G3) was good enough to suggest he fits in this spot, and he can make an even better account with a smoother start.

Though #12 Extravagant Kid (12-1) drew a tough outside gate, there's still plenty to make him appealing in intra-race exotic wagers or even deep multi-race wagers. Though he has tables to turn on Golden Pal from the Woodford, a cleaner trip will help, as will the fact he comes in second off a layoff after a bit of globetrotting. That quality third-place finish in England's King's Stand S. (G1) is a good sign for the cutback to five furlongs, and Extravagant Kid has the tactical speed and firm-turf form to carry his good races to Del Mar.

Among the international shippers, the most interesting is #2 Emaraaty Ana (5-1). A stablemate of Glass Slippers in the Kevin Ryan yard, Emaraaty Ana should be able to sit closer to the pace than his companion. Though Emaraaty Ana's Sprint Cup (G1) win at Haydock last out came at a six-furlong trip, his second in the Nunthorpe S. (G1) two starts ago came at a flat five furlongs, and he also has a good third in the five-furlong Palace House S. (G3) back in May.

One other to consider for deeper exotics is #11 Fast Boat (12-1), who often finds a few too good at this level, but who fires consistently enough so he wouldn't be a big surprise to pass horses in the lane and round out a trifecta or superfecta.



In the win pool, play local star Lieutenant Dan; his proven five-furlong ability and tactical early speed make him a strong contender. Be sure to use him in multi-race wagers as well, though this is a deep enough field to make spreading worthwhile since Golden Pal, Gear Jockey, Extravagant Kid, and even Emaraaty Ana all have some solid claims.

In intra-race exotics, key Lieutenant Dan around those four, and consider including Fast Boat in the lower rungs of trifectas or superfectas.

The video below contains all available race replays for Breeders' Cup contenders' last racing effort, for your handicapping ease. TwinSpires has your back!