Inaugural running of Steel Valley Sprint features top 3 from Perryville

Profile Picture: James Scully

November 20th, 2015

Mahoning Valley will host the inaugural running of the $200,000 Steel Valley Sprint on Monday and a field of eight 3-year-olds has been entered for the 6-furlong test. Handicappers can turn to Perryville Stakes on the Breeders Cup Saturday undercard for insight as the top three finishers – Hebbronville, Bayerd and Lewys Vaporizer – all return in this spot.

Grade 3 scorer Hebbronville had a three-race win streak snapped two starts back when fourth in the Gallant Bob (G3) and was overlooked at 8-1 in the Perryville, but the Lynn Whiting trainee rebounded with a half-length decision, rallying from just off the pace. Trevor McCarthy, who guided the Majesticperfection colt to a pair of wins this summer, will regain the mount and Hebbronville is listed as the 2-1 favorite on the morning line.

Multiple stakes winner Bayerd traded decisions with Hebbronville before recording a close second last time and the Steve Asmussen-trained son of Speightstown will retain the services of Ricardo Santana Jr. The bay colt comes next at 5-2 on the morning line.

Lewys Vaporizer is the 3-1 third choice and brings plenty of early zip to the Steel Valley Sprint, setting the pace in his last nine outings. He threatened to win before being caught in deep stretch last time, finishing less than a length back of Hebbronville, and Irad Ortiz Jr. will be in to ride the gelding for Larry Rivelli.

Other contenders include Tanner’s Popsicle, who will step up to face stakes foes with a four-race win stretch for Tom Amoss; and the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Sharm.

One race prior to the Steel Valley Sprint, 10 fillies and mares will square off in the $75,000 Mahoning Distaff at six furlongs. Multiple stakes queen Heykittykittykitty, a close second in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at Keeneland two starts back, is the early 9-5 favorite for trainer Ron Moquett.

Photo of Hebbronville edging Bayerd and Lewys Vaporizer in the Perryville courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography