Lord Nelson tops Santa Anita Sprint Championship

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

October 6th, 2016

Unlike last weekend, when Santa Anita Park hosted the majority of its final major preps for the November 4-5 Breeders’ Cup, only one “Win & You’re In” contest will take place at the Southern California venue on Saturday.

That would be the $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) offering a spot to the Breeders’ Cup TwinSpires Sprint (G1) on November 5. Five are lining up for the six-furlong contest, and Lord Nelson stands out as the likely heavy favorite.

The Bob Baffert trainee is riding a three-race win streak that includes the Triple Bend Stakes (G1) and Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) in his past two. The four-year-old son of Pulpit earned a field- and career-best 107 BRIS Speed rating for that latter win, which came by four lengths under Flavien Prat.

Prat gets the return call as Lord Nelson returns here off a two-month break.

Jazzy Times will do his best to upset Lord Nelson’s win streak while making his stakes bow in this spot. Also trained by Baffert, the sophomore son of Discreetly Man broke his maiden in his initial outing and recently captured an allowance/optional claimer at Del Mar on July 31. For that the dark bay colt earned a 102 BRIS Speed rating.

Rafael Bejarano will be in the irons on Jazzy Times, who gets the blinkers taken off for this start.

All Run shows only two starts this year, finishing fourth and fifth in the Midnight Lute Stakes (G3) and Pirate’s Bounty Stakes, respectively, to snap a three-race win streak. The Flower Alley gelding earned a 103 BRIS Speed rating for one of those wins last year and gets Martin Garcia aboard Saturday.

Cautious Giant finished seventh in the Triple Bend last out, which followed a third-place effort by just 1 1/2 lengths in the Kona Gold Stakes (G2) prior to that. Tyler Baze will be in the pilot’s seat for the Sprint Championship.

Anytime Anyplace has posted much better numbers since switching to the main track two back but they may not be good enough to factor here under Victor Espinoza.

Later on Saturday’s card, 10 will line up in the $200,000 City of Hope Mile Stakes (G2), which is not part of the “Win & You’re In” Challenge.

However, the one-mile turf affair could still end up having Breeders’ Cup implications with the likes of 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) victor Hootenanny, multiple Grade 1 hero Obviously, and multiple Grade 2 winners Om and Vyjack entered.

Lord Nelson photo courtesy of Benoit Photos