How to bet the Breeders' Cup Sprint
A full field of one-turn specialists will dash 6 furlongs on the Keeneland dirt in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). With the scratch of morning-line favorite #14 Vekoma on Wednesday, the race opens up a whole lot more.
- $10 Exacta: 10 with 1,2,3,8 ($40)
- $.50-cent Trifecta Box: 1,2,3,8,10 ($30)
For a race bearing the name sprint, there is oddly not an abundance of early speed in the cast. The unbeaten #10 Yaupon (7-2) has not been headed in three straight assignments and will be the controlling pace of the race for Asmussen, who saddled Mitole to a win this event in 2019. Bred in the Bluegrass State, the son of Uncle Mo debuted in June at Churchill Downs and was a game winner at the distance. He has shown marked improvement since, with three straight open-length tallies, including scores in the Amsterdam (G2) and Chick Lang (G3) in his last pair of outings. While he has never faced a field of this nature, the Sprint goes through the colt and jockey Joel Rosario.
#8 Firenze Fire (8-1) looks like he is back in his best form following a convincing tally in the Vosburgh (G2) at Belmont Park most recently. The Kelly Breen charge has been a top sprinter for three seasons, and the Florida-bred was beaten just four lengths in this race last year while facing a much tougher cast. Son of Poseidon’s Warrior fired a bullet in his most recent morning move, and he has the positional speed to be in striking range turning for home with Lezcano in the stirrups.
#1 Echo Town (20-1) adds blinkers following a third-place finish in the Phoenix (G2) on the Keeneland surface. The second from the Asmussen shedrow has been a bit dull in his last pair of assignments, but if the equipment change helps, then I expect a huge run at big odds from the Grade-1 winning Speightstown sophomore.
#2 C Z Rocket (7-2) is 5-for-5 since being claimed in the summer by Peter Miller. City Zip gelding is improving with age, and the 6-year-old was also a sharp allowance winner on the local surface three races back. The stalker will have Luis Saez signed on for the ride.
Grade 1 victor #3 Collusion Illusion (20-1) is another who merits respect. Mark Glatt charge is 5-for-7 lifetime and had a good prep run in advance of his Keeneland debut when third in the Santa Anita sprint Championship (G2). Twirling Candy colt smoked a 3-furlong bullet at Santa Anita on Sunday to prepare for this tilt, and he is especially playable at a healthy morning-line price.