Lord Nelson keeps rolling in Santa Anita Sprint Championship

Profile Picture: James Scully

October 8th, 2016

Lord Nelson collared game pacesetter All Run with about a sixteenth of a mile remaining and surged clear to a 2 1/2-length decision in Saturday's $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1), improving to four-for-four in 2016 as he made a case for favoritism in the Breeders' Cup  Sprint (G1) on November 5. Flavien Prat was up on the Bob Baffert-trained colt.

A four-year-old son of Pulpit, Lord Nelson left the starting gate as the 1-2 favorite among five runners and completed six furlongs in 1:08.80.

The chestnut opened this year with a convincing allowance win in early June at Santa Anita and followed with a half-length score in the Triple Bend (G1) three weeks later. He was exiting a four-length romp in July 31 Bing Crosby (G1) at Del Mar.

Lord Nelson has captured a total of five stakes and is five-for-seven on the main track at Santa Anita, site of this year's Breeders' Cup. His career line now reads 13-7-1-1 with $958,271 in earnings.

All Run, who out-sprinted Jazzy Times to the lead to establish early splits in :21.37 and :43.83, held second by 3 3/4 lengths at odds of 23-1. Jazzy Times came next in third.

Owned by B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm, Lord Nelson was bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms and purchased for $340,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September sale. He's out of the Seeking the Gold mare African Jade, a daughter of Argentine champion and U.S. Grade 1 winner Miss Linda.

Santa Anita Sprint Championship Quotes:

FLAVIEN PRAT, LORD NELSON, WINNER: "I was a little worried about All Run pulling away from us and at the three-eighths pole, I didn't look like the winner. I think my horse is better going further. But when he switched leads he just took off and we really started running."

MARTIN GARCIA, ALL RUN, SECOND: "When a race like this is at six furlongs, you just keep it simple.. With these kinds of horses, you need to just let it go unless the horse doesn't break. My horse likes to run on the front end and I had to get after him a little bit early because my position was number one, and he kept running. I just got beat by a better horse."

BOB BAFFERT, LORD NELSON, WINNER AND JAZZY TIMES, THIRD: "I was surprised Jazzy (Times) didn't hang in there a little more, so I was disappointed, because on hot days like this, speed really holds well. (Flavien) Prat rode him (Lord Nelson) like he normally does. He's got a big turn of foot. The one horse (All Run) though, he was running pretty easily."

Addressing the Breeders' Cup Sprint Nov. 5: "There's always a lot of speed in that race. You've got Masochistic, and you've got Drefong (trained by Baffert). He's pretty fast, too. He worked well today. To win the Sprint you have to be doing really well, be at the top of your game. Post position is so important, the break is important. The Sprint is a difficult race to win, but if you have the right kind of horse you can do it, and so far, Lord Nelson looks like the right kind of horse. He likes this track and he hasn't lost this year."

TAMMY HUGHES GUSTAVSON, DAUGHTER OF WINNING OWNER B. WAYNE HUGHES: "My dad has a cold or he would've been here. He's here in L.A., but wasn't feeling well enough to come. My husband and I left the S.C. game (USC football game) to come out today. We're looking forward to the Breeders' Cup Sprint with this horse. We'll be here and there'll be a lot of people from the farm (Spendthrift) as well."

(Benoit Photos)