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BC Turf Sprint Early Preview

Posted by on 10/7/2014 10:11:52 PM

One of the things that is foreign to handicappers others than those based in Southern California is the distance of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint as it is raced on a course with the only right-hand turn in North America.

It starts up near Baldwin Avenue as far away from the winner’s circle that one can see. The runners start on a downhill course so the early splits are often out of this world as they race this ‘about’ 6 and a half-furlong distance. They go right, left, cross the dirt on the main track and the get back on turf for the furious run to the wire.

It’s an exciting race to watch and a more exciting race to bet and win.

This till be the 7th running of the BC Turf Sprint and it will be a scramble as usual.

Last year entered this race at Santa Anita but 13 went when Caracortado, a course specialist, was a vet scratch.

The race was so wide-open that Mizdirection opened up as the 4-1 morning line favorite. When the gates opened, Reneesgotzip ran like her name suggests getting the first quarter in :21.47 and opening up a 2-length lead. The margin was done to a length and a half by the time they went a half mile in :43.36 and she maintained that advantage at the top of the lane.

That is when celebrity took over. Mizdirection, who is part-owner by sports personality and host Jim Rome, chased 5 wide, was still 3 wide into the stretch out got up by a half-length while being time in 1:12.25. She paid $7.40 and was repeating in this very race.

For the victory this mare beat the boys and earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the final race of her career.

Going into last year the average winning payoff in the Turf Sprint was over $24. The average superfecta the first 6 years was over $1600 for a dollar wager and the superfecta was super value as the average ‘super’ paid nearly $12,500.

California-based horses have now won all 4 Turf Sprints held at Santa Anita.

Sweet Swap has not been out for quite some time but she is a course specialist. Four of her 6 career wins came on this course and she posted the same 97 Beyer winning her last race here in April.

Reneesgotzip will likely be back for more this year and she last won a solid stakes at Del Mar and is trained by the talented Peter Miller.

Rich Tapestry might be a factor if she makes in here from Hong Kong. She won a Group 2 last year, beat 13 winning a Group 3 in March and has earned over $1.2 million in her career.

Wesley Ward , who is very good with young horses, trains no Nay Never. This colt won his debut last year, was promptly sent to England where he won a Group 2 and then took the Group 1 Darley Prix Mony. Both of those European races were on grass.

He has been freshened since running 2nd in his only start this year and he could be value in this race.

Kaigun is going good now as he is coming off a second in a Grade 1 at Woodbine at a mile. He will be a late threat if at all.

Cougar Mountain hails from the world-class stable of Aidan O’Brien. The runner won his debut in impressive fashion but has had trouble in Group 1 company since. He has experience at a number of different venues and could be the surprise package.

When the entries are taken and things are about to shake out, the most astute players from California know that the rail can be death on the hillside course. Unless a runner has clearing speed, and that is hard to project because of the downhill nature of the course, a racer runs the risk of getting shuffled if he or she can’t gain some sort of position.

The winning profile on this course usually is kind to stalkers that can quicken at will.

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